A Changeling in their Laps: Critical Cosmopolitanism and the Intellectual work of Alain Locke

Wednesday, August 14, 2019 - 5:30pm
Well known as one of the cultural leaders of the Harlem Renaissance, Alain Locke developed a career that is a montage of experiences. In 1907, Locke became the first African American Rhodes Scholar. He began his teaching career in 1912 as a professor of Philosophy and English at Howard University where he worked over forty years. Playing an active role in adult education, Locke became the first African American to serve as president of the American Association for Adult Education. He was a major contributor to Opportunity: Journal of Negro Life and Survey Graphic, where he served as the editor of The New Negro: An Interpretation in 1925. Dr. Olidge will discuss Alain Locke’s life and events which contributed to his intellectual perspective on cosmopolitanism as demonstrated in his philosophical and educational thought. She will present how Locke’s perspectives of cosmopolitanism, as a black queer intellectual, become misread in contemporary readings of black history. The presentation situates Locke’s criticism and use of cosmopolitanism within a group of transnational modernists whose experiences enabled them to deploy cosmopolitanism as social critical theory. About the Speaker: Kara Tucina Olidge is a scholar and arts and educational administrator and the executive director of the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University. She is the former deputy director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a branch of the New York Public Library based in Harlem. Her scholarly work focuses on the intersection of art, critical cosmopolitanism, and community activism. She graduated from Spelman College with a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy with a minor in Art History. Dr. Olidge received a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans, where she received the Marcus B. Christian Graduate Scholarship. Dr. Olidge was one of four emerging arts administrators selected for the National Arts Administration Mentorship Program. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy at the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo), where she was awarded the Mark Diamond Research Grant for her doctoral work, Critical Cosmopolitanism and the Intellectual Work of Alain Locke.

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