Geoscience Colloquium to Explore Power and Place of Revision through Black Museums

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LaToya Eaves from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

LaToya Eaves, assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Sustainability at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, will present a symposium in the Department of Geosciences titled “Urgent Care: Revisioning Power and Place through Black Museums.”

The conference will begin at 3:05 p.m. on Friday, October 14 in Gearhart Hall 026.

According to the African American Museums Association, there are more than 200 museums of African American history and culture—or other sites with significant African American collections such as libraries and archives—across the United States. Many of these museums sprung up soon after the height of the civil rights movement, with an increase in establishments in the 1970s. Museums of African American history and culture serve to decenter the white histories of the America and to refocus on the black experiences of this country.

While geographers have studied a range of institutions and phenomena related to memory and heritage as well as urban and regional transformations, museums remain understudied and undertheorized despite their engagement in valuable historical and geographic narratives . Using data from participant observation and semi-structured interviews, Eaves’ research analyzes the creation of dark places and the construction of power in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The findings reveal how African American museums are integral to understanding the relationships between black place-making and urban geographies in the United States and, therefore, contribute to insurgent knowledge about place.

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