Clemson University’s Year-Long Examination of Its History on Race

200px-Clemson_University_Seal.svgThe College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities at Clemson University in South Carolina is holding a year-long series of events, exhibitions, and lectures entitled “Race and the University: A Campus Conversation.” The series is designed to create greater awareness of Clemson’s history on the issue of race and to foster dialogue on diversity at the university today.

Clemson is located on the site of a former plantation and many of its earliest building were built by convict laborers, many of whom were once slaves.

Thomas-RhonddaRhondda R. Thomas, an associate professor of English at Clemson is one of the coordinators of the year-long program. She explains that “this series of events grew out of discussions by the arts and humanities council about ways to enrich the college’s culture through a variety of intellectual, cultural, and social events. The aim of the initiative is to use humanistic forms of inquiry to initiate a dialogue about race and diversity — past, present, and future — at Clemson.

Dr. Thomas is the co-editor of The South Carolina Roots of African American Thought, A Reader (University of South Carolina Press, 2014) and the author of Claiming Exodus: A Cultural History of Afro-Atlantic Identity, 1774-1903 (Baylor University Press, 2013). She holds a master’s degree from the University of New Hampshire and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Maryland at College Park.

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