USCB Virtual Interdisciplinary Conference on Race, Identity, and Equality

The University of South Carolina Beaufort will virtually present their first annual Interdisciplinary Studies Conference on February 15 – 16, 2021. The conference theme is “Race, Identity, and Equality,” which will be looked at from a variety of vantage points and disciplines. SC Humanities supported this program with a Mini Grant.

The conference director states, “When speaking about the utilization of anti-racist pedagogies and practices in higher education, we have come to understand that traditional disciplinary boundaries play a role in reinforcing systemic bias and discrimination.” The first annual USCB Interdisciplinary Studies Conference is designed to instigate conversation amongst students and scholars across all levels and disciplines as an opportunity to deconstruct those silos and reconstruct pathways that acknowledge and reject those hegemonic structures. Some of the topics that will be discussed at the conference include: systemic racism, colorism, identity, equality, pedagogy and race, community engagement, arts and humanities, public health, disparities and implicit biases in the public sphere, representation, deconstruction of canons, and cinematic interpretations and racial disparities.

The conference will feature two keynote speakers: Dr. Vernon Burton, historian at Clemson University, and Dr. Gloria Holmes, from Quinnipiac University.  Videos of their presentations will be made available for free on the conference website after February 20.

Dr. Orville Vernon Burton is the inaugural Judge Matthew J. Perry Distinguished Chair of History and Professor of Pan-African Studies, Sociology and Anthropology, and Computer Science at Clemson University, and the Director of the Clemson CyberInstitute. From 2013-2015 he was Creativity Professor of Humanities; in 2016 received the Clemson Dean’s Award for Research in the College of Architecture, Art, and Humanities, and in 2018 received the initial University Research, Scholarship and Artistic Achievement Award. Burton is a prolific author and scholar (twenty authored or edited books and more than two hundred articles); and author or director of numerous digital humanities projects. The Age of Lincoln (2007) won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Literary Award for Nonfiction and was selected for Book of the Month Club, History Book Club, and Military Book Club. 

Dr. Gloria Holmes is a professor emerita at the School of Education at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT where she served as both chair and director of the Master of Arts in Teaching Program. Presently, she is an adjunct at the University of SC in the Department of Education. She has taught graduate courses in education and English, and was a middle school English teacher for many years before her work in higher education. Dr. Holmes has a doctorate in English, and her graduate research focused on American literature with a concentration on African American women writers. Her doctoral dissertation honored the work of novelist, Zora Neale Hurston, the Black Church, and the Blues

To participate in the full conference, there is a registration fee of $35 for faculty members and members of the general public. The fee is waived for undergraduate and graduate students. International participants may apply for up to five free tickets per institution. Register online here through February 14.

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.

Photo by Rita Godoy from FreeImages