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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (1/05)
Contact: Dr. Jeanne Hamming, 318-869-5082, or Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

Princeton Professor Valerie Smith to Speak Jan. 17 at Centenary's MLK Day Convocation


Dr. Valerie Smith

SHREVEPORT, LA — Dr. Valerie Smith, Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature and the Director of African American Studies at Princeton
University, will be the keynote speaker Monday, Jan. 17, when Centenary College of Louisiana holds its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day convocation.

Dr. Smith's talk is titled "Memory and the Civil Rights Movement," and will commemorate Dr. King by exploring how positioning Dr. King's memory and the Civil Rights Movement within a broader history of oppression and resistance can inspire action today.

The program, free and open to the public, will be held at 11 a.m. in Kilpatrick Auditorium on the Centenary campus.

Dr. Smith earned her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1982, taught at UCLA and then returned to Princeton in 2001. She is a specialist in African American literature and culture, with specific interests in black feminist theory and film studies. She is currently writing a book on memory and the Civil Rights Movement.

Dr. Smith is the author of Self-Discovery and Authority in Afro-American Narrative (Harvard University Press, 1987) and Not Just Race, Not Just Gender: Black Feminist Readings (Routledge, 1998), and editor of African American Writers (Scribners, 1991); New Essays on Song of Solomon (Cambridge University Press, 1994); and Representing Blackness: Issues in Film and Video (Rutgers University Press, 1997).

Also on the program will be Dr. Kenneth L. Schwab, Centenary president; Ashley Sittig, Centenary student and head of the Maroon Jackets honor organization; and Katie Walker, Centenary student.

For more information, contact Dr. Jeanne Hamming, assistant professor of English at Centenary, at 318-869-5082.

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