Inaugural Augusta Baker Lecture – Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas

The University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science will host the Inaugural Augusta Baker Lecture on Friday, April 24 in a virtual format through Go-To-Webinar. The 2020 Baker Lecture will feature Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, literacy scholar and author of The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games. SC Humanities helped support this program through a Fast Track Literary Grant.

The Augusta Baker Lecture is designed to celebrate all facets of storytelling and children’s literature and provide a scholarly companion piece to the annual Baker’s Dozen Storytelling Festival hosted by Richland Library (which has been cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19).

The August Baker Lecture will take place on Friday, April 24 at 6:00 p.m. To register for the free virtual event, visit this link: This year’s lecture is titled: “The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination in Youth Literature, Media, and Cultureand will be an engaging and provocative exploration of race in popular youth and young adult speculative fiction.

The featured speaker Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas is an Associate Professor in the Literacy, Culture, and International Educational Division at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. A former Detroit Public Schools teacher and National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, she was a member of the NCTE Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color’s 2008-2010 cohort, served on the NCTE Conference on English Education’s Executive Committee from 2013 until 2017, and is the immediate past chair of the NCTE Standing Committee on Research. Currently, she serves as co-editor of Research of the Teaching of English, and her most recent book is The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games (NYU Press, 2019).

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 21-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.