The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Auslander keynotes Black History Month

Dr. Mark Auslander, associate professor of anthropology and museum studies at Central Washington University, will be giving a lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday as part of Gannon University’s observance of Black History Month.  The lecture is free and open to the public, and will be held in Yehl Ballroom, located in Gannon’s Waldron Campus Center.

The lecture is titled “Slavery and Liberation in African American Family History: Transforming Community through Service-Learning,” and is one of the ways the university plans to celebrate Black History Month.

Auslander is the author of “The Accidental Slaveowner: Revisiting a Myth of Race and Finding an American Family.”  The book is part history, part anthropology and part detective story. “The Accidental Slaveowner” traces how different groups of people have struggled with one powerful story about a slave named “Kitty” since the 1850s.

The lecture will be followed by a book-signing by Auslander.

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Arlene Montevecchio, director of Gannon’s Center for Social Concerns, arranged the speaker.

“I think it is a great opportunity in light of many of the things the university is trying to accomplish: LifeCore developmental model, Erie-GAINS service and service-learning initiatives, and diversity and intercultural competence,” Montevecchio said.

Auslander earned a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Arts and a doctorate degree in anthropology from the University of Chicago between 1983 and 1997.

Auslander’s interests and expertise include sociocultural, historical, engaged and museum anthropology.  His other areas of expertise include art and aesthetics, meaning in the material world: symbolic mediation, ritual and performance, race and class and slavery studies.

Auslander also enjoys studying contemporary African and Diasporic art.

Ethnography – from the Greek words ethnos, meaning folk, and graho, meaning to write – is a qualitative method aimed to learn and understand cultural phenomena, which reflect the knowledge and system of meaning guiding the life of a cultural group.

Auslander has studied the ethnography of the following areas: Sub-saharan Africa, Zambia, South Africa and the United States

For more information about this lecture, contact Gannon’s Center for Social Concerns at 814-871-7433.


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