Syracuse University's 26th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Public Affairs Lecture will feature Deborah McDowell, director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. McDowell will present "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Martin Luther King in His Time and Ours" at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 11 in SU's Maxwell Auditorium. The lecture is sponsored by the Department of African American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and is free and open to the public.
Additionally, AAS will host an "Open Dialogue with Deborah McDowell" at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12 in Sims Hall, Room 219. The session is free and open to the public.
McDowell, the Alice Griffin Professor of Literary Studies at the University of Virginia, is a well-known writer, scholar and editor of African-American literature for both academic and general audiences. Her books include "The Changing Same: Studies in Fiction by African-American Women" (1994), "Leaving Pipe Shop: Memories of Kin" (1997) and "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" (1999). She has also published numerous articles, book chapters and scholarly editions.
McDowell is the founder of the African-American Women Writers Series for Beacon Press and served as its editor from 1985 to 1993, overseeing the re-publication of 14 novels from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She also serves as a period editor for the Norton Anthology of African-American Literature, was contributing editor to the D. C. Heath Anthology of American literature, and was co-editor with Arnold Rampersad of "Slavery and the Literary Imagination" (1988).
McDowell is the recipient of various grants, including the Mary Ingraham Bunting Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute, the National Research Council Fellowship of the Ford Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson International Center Fellowship. McDowell is co-chair with David Blight of a scholarly group sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University, and was recently elected to the executive committee of the Prose Fiction division of the Modern Language Association.
McDowell received both a master's and Ph.D. degree from Purdue University and a B.A. degree from Tuskegee University.