Panel Opens Yearlong Reflection on the Meaning of Freedom

Thursday, January 24, 2013

PHILADELPHIA (January 24, 2013) – “Emancipation Narratives,” a panel discussion at Saint Joseph’s University on Jan. 31 at 4 p.m., will shed light on the meaning and obligations of freedom in the context of the Emancipation Proclamation’s 150th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The event will be held in Wolfington Teletorium in Mandeville Hall.

This panel, which features five SJU faculty members who use emancipation narratives in their work, opens yearlong programming emphasizing themes that touch on freedom.

“This panel has great power and meaning for everyone at Saint Joseph’s, given our Jesuit mission and its commitment to social justice and the empowerment of those at society’s margins,” says Randall Miller, Ph.D., professor of history and the panel’s moderator.

Noting the interdisciplinary focus of the event, which includes specialists in African American literature, narrative theory, sociology, history, and theology and religious studies, Miller adds that all panelists include emancipation narratives in the classroom and/or in their scholarly work.

Panelists for the afternoon include:

  • Aisha Lockridge, Ph.D., assistant professor of English
  • Melissa Logue, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology, director of Africana Studies
  • Jo Alyson Parker, Ph.D., professor of English
  • Katherine Sibley, Ph.D., professor of history
  • Bruce Wells, Ph.D., associate professor of theology and religious studies

“Topics for the panel feature slave narratives, narratives of African American self-willed freedom, women's narratives of consciousness and power, Jewish collective and scriptural narratives of emancipation, all from varying disciplinary perspectives,” says Miller.

An open discussion with the audience and reception follow the panel, which is free and open to the public. The event is part of the Dean’s Colloquium series of the College of Arts and Sciences and is also sponsored by the Office of the President and the Office of Mission and Identity.

Media Contact

Patricia Allen, Senior Associate Director of University Communications, 610.660.3240,


As Philadelphia's Jesuit, Catholic University, founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts. SJU ranks as a top university in the Northeast, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the College of Arts and Sciences and AACSB accreditation of the  Erivan K. Haub School of Business. The University is also deeply committed to the Jesuit tradition of scholarship and service, earning a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. With courses offered on campus and online, SJU prepares its more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to lead lives of personal excellence, professional success and engaged citizenship.


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