October 14 at 2:30 PM
UNC Asheville Highsmith Student Union (1 University Heights) + Zoom
“African-American and Indigenous Spiritualities, Creativity, and Social Justice,” a presentation by Rachel Elizabeth Harding, will explore thematic parallels in the work of painters John Biggers (1924-2001) and Daniel Minter (1961). Separated by more than a generation, and each with his own unique professional trajectory, these creative artists share Southern roots, diasporic visions, and sensibilities grounded in both the materiality and the mysticism of African American life.
Rachel Elizabeth Harding is Associate Professor of Indigenous Spiritual Traditions in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Denver. A native of Georgia, a writer, historian and poet, Rachel is a specialist in religions of the Afro-Atlantic diaspora and studies the relationship between religion, creativity and social justice activism in cross-cultural perspective. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and holds an MFA in creative writing from Brown University and a PhD in history from the University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Harding is author of A Refuge in Thunder: Candomblé and Alternative Spaces of Blackness as well as numerous poems and essays. Rachel’s second book, Remnants: A Memoir of Spirit, Activism and Mothering, combines her own writings with the autobiographical reflections of her mother, Rosemarie Freeney Harding, on their family history and the role of compassion and spirituality in African American social justice organizing.