Virginia Commonwealth University

Make it real.

2015 Featured Guests

Kathy Merlock Jackson

is Professor and Coordinator of Communication at Virginia Wesleyan College, where she teaches courses in media studies.  She is the author and editor of several books on children and film and Walt Disney, and is the current editor of The Journal of American Culture.

The Hot Seats

play stringband music with simple intentions: to keep the role of traditional musician as entertainer and commentator alive and kicking. Homer and Jethro, The Skillet Likkers, George Formby, Harry Reser, Woodie Guthrie, Gus Cannon, Phil Ochs, Tommy Jarrell, Arthur Smith, Uncle Dave Macon, Frank Zappa – these are pools from which The Hot Seats draw. Their original music is simultaneously hard to classify and instantly identifiable, combining the virtuosic soloing and tightness of bluegrass, the band-driven rhythm of old time, the jerky bounce of ragtime, and the swagger of good old rock and roll.

Peter Lurie

is Associate Professor of English at University of Richmond.  His teaching and research interests include William Faulkner, Film Studies, nineteenth and twentieth century literature, and Modernism.  He is the author of Vision’s Immanence:  Faulkner, Film, and the Popular Imagination.

Emilie Raymond

is Associate Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Her research and teaching interests include Hollywood and politics.  Her latest book is Stars for Freedom:  Hollywood, Black Celebrities, and the Civil Rights Movement.

Christopher Brooks

is Professor of Anthropology and Director in the School of World Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.  He is produced numerous publications on the African and Diasporan experience.  His latest book is Roland Hayes:  The Legacy of an American Tenor.

Joan Trumpauer-Mulholland

is a Southern native and veteran civil rights activist who was imprisoned for her participation in the 1961 Freedom Rides and went on to work as a Freedom Summer organizer in 1964. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia.

Gregory Smithers

is an Associate Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University with research and teaching interests in the entangled history of Native American and African American people. His most recent books are Racism in American Popular Media: From Aunt Jemima to the Frito Bandito with Brian D. Behnken and The Cherokee Diaspora: An Indigenous History of Migration, Resettlement, and Identity.

VCU Black Awakening Choir

Founded in 1970 by Faye Smith, the VCU Black Awakening Choir is one of the oldest student organizations on the VCU Campus.  Currently under the direction of Joseph Clarke, the choir strives to keep ministry first with the 2015-16 theme “I choose God!”