Finding Community Within New African American and African Studies Major

Jhala Martin is one of the first students at Michigan State University to declare African American and African Studies (AAAS) as her major. The new Bachelor of Arts degree offered through the Department of African American and African Studies within the College of Arts & Letters was launched this year to promote and support Black transdisciplinary advocacy, engagement, and thought.…

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MSU Celebrates New Academic Learning Space for Department of African American and African Studies

Michigan State University’s College of Arts & Letters held an official opening Nov. 17 for a new space dedicated to the Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS) — the first department of its kind at MSU. “The Ascension of AAAS” event celebrated the 8,400-square-foot renovated space as well as the new bachelor’s degree offered by the department. Located on…

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CREATE! Micro-Grant Project Explores Themes of Existence and Time Through Painting

Abbey Behan fell in love with painting as a 7-year-old, following Bob Ross tutorials in the basement with her dad. These small, early paintings opened her eyes to a more sophisticated form of painting and taught her valuable lessons about the creative process. “Ever since I was little, I have been making artwork. There has just always been a strong…

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Forms of Freedom Project Reimagines Pedagogy, Artmaking, and Educational Justice

Conceived through an imperative to reimagine the possibilities for public pedagogy, Forms of Freedom: The Art and Design of Black and Indigenous Creative Public Pedagogies is a two-year research collaboration between Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) artist collectives to exchange, learn, and create radical forms of artmaking and education.

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Inaugural Endowed Professor Teaches How to Connect Writing With Culture

As the inaugural Karen L. Gillmor Ph.D. Endowed Professor in Professional and Public Writing at Michigan State University, Kristin Arola, an innovative scholar and researcher, is not only teaching students persuasive and effective writing skills she also is showing them how to connect and make sense of their culture through their writing.  “To have been selected to serve in this…

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Finding Her Purpose in the New African American and African Studies Major

For Michigan State University sophomore Amber McAddley, her African American and African Studies (AAAS) major is helping her learn about herself and what it means to be “Black in America.” After the new major launched last spring, McAddley became one of the first students at MSU to declare AAAS as their major. While also pursuing a minor in Spanish, McAddley…

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Message from Dean Christopher P. Long Regarding Nationwide Protests in Iran

Dear Arts and Letters Community, Over the past two months, one of the largest women's rights movements in history has been unfolding in Iran and around the world. Thousands of people have gathered in over 140 cities outside Iran and around the world to stand in solidarity with sustained nationwide protests in Iran following the tragic death of 22-year-old Mahsa…

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CREATE! Micro-Grant Project Explores Identity and Healing Through Anishinaabe Beadwork

Affiliated with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, Esme Bailey’s culture served as inspiration for her CREATE! Micro-Grant project. The Michigan State University senior, who is majoring in English with minors in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS), grew up in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, near the Isabella County Indian Reservation. She applied for and received a 2022 CREATE! Micro-Grant for $500 to make a set of…

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MSU Theatre Brings Roller Derby to the Arena Theatre

Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre presents For The Love Of (or, The Roller Derby Play) Nov. 11-20 in the Arena Theater of the MSU Auditorium Building. The play, written by Gina Femia, follows the story of derby player Joy who can’t believe when she is invited to join the Brooklyn Scallywags along with the league’s star player, Lizzie Lightning. When bout bruises and…

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English Graduate Works at Intersection of Horror and Religion

College of Arts & Letters graduate and biblical scholar Brandon Grafius loves a good horror movie and, at the same time, has long been interested in the study of religion. For his recently released book, Lurking Under the Surface: Horror, Religion, and the Questions That Haunt Us, he continues his career-long investigation into the intersection of horror and religion, two…

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