Don’t Deny My Voice (2012- )

Don’t Deny My Voice is a fifteen-month program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities that responds to the resurgence of interest in contemporary poetry, its expanded production and wide circulation. Focuses on the history, changes and modal transformations of African American poetry in our cultural and social landscape and consider three critical periods: 1900-1960, 1960-80 and 1980-present. College teachers/grad students are eligible to apply. July 15- August 3, 2013. Application Deadline, March 4, 2013.

University of Kansas Haitian Research Initiative: “Faces of Haiti” (2011- )

The University of Kansas Haiti Research Initiative is a post-disaster institutional project involving partnerships with the government of Haiti, KU and the Atlanta-based International Center for Community and Human Development, Inc. Members of the Initiative travelled to Haiti in July 2011 and have described the activities and findings of the tip in the report, “Faces of Haiti.” The purpose of the visit was to assess the current research and educational environment in Haiti, and to form professional connections in order to develop further ties between the University of Kansas and Haitian institutions. The report includes four chapters: 1) Haiti in Perspective: An Outsider’s View by Maryemma Graham; 2) Making KU Connections by Kiran Jayaram; 3) A Haitian Businessman Speaks by C. B. Claiborne; and 4) The Libraries of Haiti: Creating a Knowledge Society by Brian Rosenblum. There is also a concluding section with suggestions for further action for KU.

Press Coverage: KU faculty, alumni join Haiti Research Initiative team

Project on the History of Black Writing (1983- )

The Project on the History of Black Writing at the University of Kansas (HBW) has been in the forefront of research and inclusion efforts in higher education for twenty-five years. It was founded in 1983 at the University of Mississippi, Oxford, HBW is committed to the following: literary recovery work in black studies; textual scholarship, book history and pedagogy; professional development, curriculum change and innovation; and public literacy programming.

The Cambridge History of African American Literature (publication)

Published in 2011 with the help of Dr. Jerry W. Ward, Jr., The Cambridge History is the result of 10-years of international collaborative work. It presents a comprehensive overview of the literary traditions, oral and print, of African-descended peoples in the United States. It is a major achievement both as a work of reference and as a compelling narrative and will remain essential reading for scholars and students in years to come.

Language Matters Initiative (2003- )

Language Matters is a national educational and service initiative of the Toni Morrison Society. Established in 2001, it is designed to provide opportunities for interactive dialogue among school teachers and between teachers and scholars, and to create appropriate instructional materials for those teaching imaginative literature, especially the novels of Toni Morrison in secondary school classrooms. Coordinated by the Project on the History of Black Writing at the University of Kansas, Language Matters is a three-time NEH grant recipient.

Making the Wright Connection (2009- )

The Wright Connection is an online community of scholars and teachers of the works of Richard Wright (1908-1960), the author of such major works as Uncle Tom’s Children, Native Son, and Black Boy. The community grows out of a fifteen-month program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities that explored Richard Wright and his influence on the American idiom. The program included a two-week summer institute held from July 11-24, 2010 at the University of Kansas, and subsequent virtual seminars that used technology to foster collaboration among participants. The site serves as a clearinghouse for all information about Richard Wright and welcomes announcements of new books, articles, reviews, and conferences, as well as discussions of new pedagogical approaches to teaching Wright. It also serves as an archive of past work on Wright, including the complete print run of the Richard Wright Newsletter (1991-2006) and podcasts of lectures by some of the world’s foremost scholars of Wright.

Langston Hughes National Poetry Project – Speaking of Rivers: Taking Poetry to the People (2003-2006)

“Speaking of Rivers” began as part of the centennial celebration of Langston Hughes’s life and work (1902–2002). It involves a series of public poetry and book discussion programs and an accompanying website. Targeting diverse audiences and populations, The National Poetry Project proposes to increase interest in and exposure to poetry as a spoken and written art, as a form of participatory democratic activity, and as a means of advancing human understanding.