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The Legacy of 1619

The 2019 Annual Callaloo Conference

9:15 am

Multiple Locations

Four hundred years ago, 20–30 Africans landed at Point Comfort, Virginia, as the first enslaved Africans to arrive in the American colonies. What is the global significance of this historical event? 

Presented by Department of English, with support from the Center for Africana Studies, Departments of Africana Studies and History of Art, Provost’s Excellence Through Diversity Fund, and Wolf Humanities Center.

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The year 2019 marks the quadricentennial of a momentous event in American history: the arrival of “20 and odd” enslaved Africans in 1619 at Point Comfort, Virginia Colony. This event and its attendant histories would alter the course and character of not only the United States, but also the modern world. The Legacy of 1619: The 2019 Callaloo Conference is an occasion to commemorate this world-historical event and moreover bring to bear the great advances made in African Diaspora literary, visual, and cultural studies to understand the significance of 1619 and its continued reverberations; to raise questions that remain particularly germane in our present: How do the political, economic, and cultural circumstances of Virginia Colony in 1619 speak to us in twenty-first century America? And the voices of those “20 and odd” Africans, what might they say to us now? From the vantage point of 1619, and our own time four centuries later, how do we envision another calculus of being in the world? The Legacy of 1619: The 2019 Callaloo Conference provides a timely occasion to engage and extend these questions.


Thursday, October 17

Class of ’49 Auditorium

Houston Hall, Room 230


5:00 PM-6:00 PM       Greetings

Dagmawi Woubshet, Co-convener

Margo Crawford, Co-convener

Charles Henry Rowell, Editor, Callaloo


6:00 PM-7:30 PM       Keynote: 1619


Howard Dodson, Jr., Director Emeritus, Howard University Libraries & Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture



John McCluskey, Indiana University

Koritha Mitchell, Ohio State University

Hermine Pinson, College of William and Mary


7:30 PM-8:30 PM       Reception


Friday, October 18

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)

118 S 36th St, Philadelphia


10:00 AM-11:30 AM   Dissident Genealogies                                    


Salamishah Tillet, Rutgers University, Newark

Joyce Ann Joyce, Temple University

Marlon Ross, University of Virginia



Julius Fleming, Jr., University of Maryland

Jackson Brown, University of Texas, Austin



Kenton Butcher, University of Pennsylvania


11:45 AM-1:15 PM     2019


GerShun Avilez, University of Maryland, College Park

Margo Crawford, University of Pennsylvania

Soyica Colbert, Georgetown University

Robert Reid-Pharr, Harvard University



Joshua Bennett, Dartmouth College

I. Augustus Durham, University of Maryland, College Park



Mayowa Ajibade, University of Pennsylvania


3:00 PM-4:30 PM       Keynote conversation: 1619/2019


L.H. Stallings, Georgetown University

Kevin Quashie, Brown University



Margo Crawford, University of Pennsylvania


5:00 PM-7:00 PM       Readings


Herman Beavers, University of Pennsylvania

Dagmawi Woubshet, University of Pennsylvania

Ishion Hutchinson, Cornell University

Airea D. Matthews, Bryn Mawr College



Elias Rodriques, University of Pennsylvania


Saturday, October 19

Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion

Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, Room 602


10:30 AM-12:00 PM   After the End of the World


Simone White, University of Pennsylvania

Christopher Freeburg, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Tavia Nyong’o, Yale University                                   

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Cornell University



Jonathan Howard, Boston College

Scott Heath, Loyola University, New Orleans 



Kiana Murphy, University of Pennsylvania


12:15 AM-1:45 PM     The Future of Diasporas


K. Ian Grandison, University of Virginia

Kokahvah Zauditu-Selassie, Coppin State University

Joan Anim-Addo, Goldsmiths, University of London



Grace Johnson, University of Pennsylvania

Jarvis C. McInnis, Duke University



Tajah Ebram, University of Pennsylvania

3:00 PM-4:30 PM       Enacting Entanglements

*This panel is being organized by the Institute for Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with their three-part exhibition Colored People Time: Banal Presents, curated by Meg Onli, Assistant Curator. The exhibition will run from September 13 to December 22, 2019.


Amber Rose Johnson, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Pennsylvania

Doug Kearney, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Sable Elyse Smith, Artist

Zakkiyah Iman Jackson, University of Southern California

Wilmer Wilson IV, Artist


5:00 PM-7:00 PM       Readings

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Cornell University

Gregory Pardlo, Rutgers University, Camden

Natasha Trethewey, Northwestern University


8:00 PM                               Dinner for Conference Participants


Sunday, October 20


10:00 AM-12:00 PM        Callaloo Advisory Board Meeting (Closed Session)


Jackson Brown, University of Texas, Austin


The Legacy of 1619 has been made possible by the generous support of the Department of English and the following co-sponsors: Center for Africana Studies; Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing; Institute of Contemporary Art; Wolf Humanities Center; History of Art Department; Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies; Department of Africana Studies; University Research Foundation Grant; School of Arts and Sciences Conference Support Grant; Provost’s Excellence through Diversity Fund; African American Museum in Philadelphia; and Professors Margo Crawford, Al Filreis, and Dagmawi Woubshet.