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Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken examines activism in the humanities

Assistant Professor Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken

Interdisciplinary Studies Assistant Professor Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken highlights recent research, which operates at the intersection of Africana Studies, Haitian Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Jewish Studies, in the third installment of the City College of New York’s 2015-16 “Presidential Conversations: Activism, Scholarship, and Engagement” series on Thursday, February 4, 4-5:30 p.m., in the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture’s Sciame Auditorium. The presentation, titled “Is Engagement in Postcolonial Scholarship Activism?,” is free and open to the public.

“I interrogate both if and how literary analysis and criticism might be considered forms of activism,” Benedicty-Kokken said. “Inspired by thinkers such as René Lemarchand and Lewis R. Gordon, and documentary filmmakers such as Dror Moreh or Raoul Peck, my talk proposes that CCNY has a singular position that very few have in contributing to the most avant-garde and controversial issues taking place today in the humanities.”

Benedicty-Kokken is the author of Spirit Possession in French, Haitian, and Vodou Thought: An Intellectual History (Lexington Books, 2015). She is co-editor of Revisiting Marie Vieux Chauvet: Paradoxes of the Postcolonial Feminine, forthcoming from Yale French Studies, as well as The Haiti Exception: Anthropology and the Predicaments of Narrative, forthcoming from Liverpool University Press.

Inaugurated in 2014, “Presidential Conversations: Activism, Scholarship, and Engagement” is a forum that features City College faculty sharing their research and creative scholarship with CCNY President Lisa S. Coico.

About The City College of New York

Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Science; Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; School of Education; Grove School of Engineering; Sophie Davis Biomedical Education/CUNY School of Medicine; and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. U.S. News, Princeton Review and Forbes all rank City College among the best colleges and universities in the United States.


Syd Steinhardt