Black studies scholar Lia T. Bascomb will be the keynote speaker for Virginia Tech’s third annual Undergraduate Research Symposium on Diversity, hosted by the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences on Friday.
This year’s program theme is “Identity, Culture, and Power in Local and Global Spaces.” Bascomb, an assistant professor of African American studies at Georgia State University, will speak on “Freakifying Black Spectacle: Janelle Monae and a History of Exhibition.”
A showcase for student scholarship at Virginia Tech, the symposium is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.
The all-day event in the Ambler Johnston Great Room on campus at 700 Washington Street SW will begin at 9 a.m. with remarks by Tom Ewing, associate dean for graduate studies, research, and diversity. Student panels through the day will address issues of race and gender in education, interrogating state power, gender and the body, and creating identities through cultural production.
The program will close with a performance by students from the Department of Music in the School of Performing Arts.
“This symposium will examine how identity has shaped our social, educational, and political institutions locally and globally, and how changing perceptions are reflected in current events and popular culture,” said Ryan Rideau, director of undergraduate diversity initiatives for the college and assistant director of the Undergraduate Research Institute.
Sponsors are the college’s diversity committee, the Residential College at West Ambler Johnston, the Honors Residential College, and the Undergraduate Research Institute. The institute’s mission is to familiarize undergraduate students with investigation, inquiry, and creative expression in the liberal arts and human sciences. The institute publishes Philologia, an annual research journal written and reviewed by students in the college.