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2008 Spring Conference

Academic* Activist* Community* Collaborations: a Roundtable, a two-day event co-sponsored by our American Studies Program and the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair endowment, will highlight productive models for connecting activist, volunteer, and academic communities. The conference will assist the American Studies community at Vanderbilt in building volunteer work and/or activism experiences into their teaching, and making useful pedagogical connections between that work and intellectual and active models of citizenship.More generally, the conference aims to help the larger Vanderbilt community think about what's involved in developing fruitful, ethical, and effective pedagogical and research models in collaboration with the local activist and volunteer communities.

The guest speakers come from an array of disciplinary perspectives and professional experience, including Africana studies, human/economic geography, political science, English, environmental science, and a nonprofit advising firm. Each speaker has extensive experience in working with communities local to their home institution and/or their research, and in organizing productive collaborations between researchers and educators, and activists and volunteers.


Anna Bartel
Assoc. Director, Harward Center for Community Partnerships
Bates College
Lewiston, ME  04240

Joy James
John B. and John T. McCoy Presidential Professor and Chair of Africana Studies
College Professor in Political Science
Williams College
Williamstown, MA

Amy Koritz
English Department
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA

Wolfgang Natter
Professor, Political Science; Director, Alliance of Social, Political, Ethical, Cultural Thought (ASPECT)
and Center for Democratic Planning and Participatory Research
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA

William R. Stott, III
Director, Albemarle Ecological Field Site
Manteo, NC 27954
Research Professor, Carolina Environmental Program
Chapel Hill, NC

Todd Vogel, Ph.D.
Co-Executive Director, International Sustainability Institute
Seattle, WA

Karen Werner
Core Faculty, Goddard College
Visiting Lecturer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Smith College
Goddard College
Plainfield, VT

Academic* Activist* Community Collaborations will begin at 1 p.m. on Thursday, February 21, with a tour of Nashville hosted by local activists (Urban Epicenter, Homeless Power Project and Kilowatt Ours). After the tour, we'll have a banquet dinner at Vanderbilt. On Friday, we'll conduct a roundtable discussion with the seven featured speakers. Each speaker will have a one-hour time slot, with 30-40 minutes for their paper/comments and the remaining time for participant discussion. Lunch will be provided.