“Contested American Identities: KU Scholars Address the Challenge” exhibition opens Feb. 19

Monday, February 9, 2015

The University of Kansas Libraries will open an exhibition that takes an interdisciplinary look at identity and the intersecting categories of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and ability.

“Contested American Identities: KU Scholars Address the Challenge” opens Feb. 19 with a reception held in Watson Library’s Haricombe Gallery. The opening reception program will feature a panel discussion moderated by African and African-American Studies Associate Professor Clarence Lang and supported by American Studies Chair and Professor Jennifer Hamer, Switzer Fellow and Research and Training Center on Independent Living Assistant Research Professor Dot Nary and Blane Harding, director of Multicultural Affairs.

The opening reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by the panel discussion at 6:15 p.m. This event is free and open to the public; those who plan to attend should RSVP to Rachel Karwas at 785-864-8961 or rkarwas@ku.edu.

 “The goal of the KU Libraries’ exhibits program is to promote the creative scholarship of our campus community, to highlight the strength of the libraries’ collections and to work in partnership with cultural venues internal and external to KU,” says Sarah Goodwin Thiel, KU Libraries’ community engagement librarian and exhibits program coordinator.

Thiel emphasized the significance of this exhibition, as it is the first in the newly named Haricombe Gallery. The gallery is named by a consortium of donors after former Dean Lorraine J. Haricombe, whose vision and leadership provided the foundation for the libraries’ exhibition program.

The “Contested American Identities” exhibition showcases essential research being generated at KU. This installation introduces the program’s new instructional component geared towards faculty and students, designed to facilitate and encourage scholarly conversation.

“The Haricombe Gallery is an ideal space where students can make connections across disciplines and participate in the practices of academic exchange and collaboration,” said Thiel. “We are honored to participate in  the ongoing conversation at KU on national issues and concerns surrounding identity.”

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Leah Hallstrom
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