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Mia Mask and Jonathon Kahn will discuss their recent books in “Diasporic Dialogues,” on November 20, 2009.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – The Africana Studies Program will present a discussion by professors Jonathon Kahn and Mia Mask, as part of the Faculty Seminar Series “Diasporic Dialogues,” on Friday, November 20. The event is free and open to the public and will begin at 12:00pm in Taylor Hall, Room 203.

Jonathon Kahn, assistant professor of religion, and Mia Mask, associate professor of film, will both be discussing their recently published books.

Mia Mask’s book Divas on Screen: Black Women in American Film, provides an insightful examination of African American film icons: Dorothy Dandridge, Pam Grier, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Halle Berry.

Entitled Divine Discontent: The Religious Imagination of W.E.B. DuBois, Jonathon Kahn’s book is a comprehensive analysis of W.E.B. DuBois, touching upon issues of American religion, intellectual history, African American Studies, and philosophy of religion.

About Mia Mask

Mia Mask, associate professor of film at Vassar, received a Ph.D. from New York University. Before coming to Vassar in 2000, she taught film studies at The College of Staten Island-CUNY, graduate media studies at The New School, and film history at Tufts University, where she was a multicultural teaching fellow. In the spring of 2003, she was a visiting professor of film studies at Yale University. She has twice been a visiting scholar at New York University. Mask teaches African American cinema, documentary film history, horror film, feminist film theory, African national cinemas, and genre theory. Formerly an assistant editor and regular contributor at Cineaste magazine, Mask has written film reviews and covered festivals for IndieWire.com, The Village Voice, Abafazi: Simmons College Journal, Film Quarterly, Time Out New York, Brooklyn Woman, and The Poughkeepsie Journal. Her criticism was anthologized in Best American Movie Writing, 1999.


About Jonathon Kahn

Jonathon Kahn, assistant professor of religion at Vassar, received an A.B. from Princeton University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. He teaches courses on religion and modern philosophy, theories of religion and nationalism; and race, religion and democratic theory. His main interest in research is on the issue of religious moods and virtues in the writings of W. E. B. Du Bois. Kahn’s articles on Du Bois and religion have been published in Philosophia Africana and The Souls of W.E.B. Du Bois.

About the Africana Studies Program

For 40 years, the faculty and students of the Africana Studies Program have helped Vassar move toward a more diverse and egalitarian college community.

The program began in response to the Civil Rights and Black Student Movements of the late 1960s. In 1969, 34 black female Vassar students occupied Main Building and demanded that the college create a curriculum space within the institution for teaching, researching, and discussing the experiences of peoples of the African Diaspora.

Since then, the program has provided students with a comparative and scientific perspective in their approach to the study of the histories, politics, cultures, and experiences of people of African descent. Drawing from a wide range of faculty, Africana Studies offers a uniquely comprehensive interdisciplinary curriculum, covering fields such as art, geography, literature, political science, religion and sociology.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations or information on accessibility should contact Campus Activities Office at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, November 16, 2009