Thabiti Willis, Associate Professor of History and Director of Africana Studies
On November 2, 2019, Professor Thabiti Willis hosted a workshop that examined the ways in which arts and humanities can help build relationships across North African and Middle Eastern community partners. The workshop drew on the expertise of Sylvia Smith and Richard Duebel, two London-based BBC journalists whose work focuses on arts and culture in North Africa and the Middle East.
Richard Duebel is a filmmaker, photographer, and art director who has been working in these regions for more than 20 years on issues of culture, geopolitics, and the applied arts. Sylvia Smith makes radio and television programs for international audiences from the Afro-Arab world as well as reports from other countries that explore the relationship between North Africa and the Middle East through the medium of arts and culture. Together, they facilitated the workshop that focused on strategies for cultivating partnerships in societies where there are no rights that protect speech.
This workshop was sponsored by the History department in tandem with Middle East Studies. Faculty members from all disciplines were welcome to attend the workshop. Participants came from a variety of disciplines, including Africana Studies, American Studies, French, History, Middle East Studies and Languages, and Political Science, as well as staff from the Gould Library and Academic Technology.