Sankofa textile pattern

Sankofa: The Legacy of Africana Studies from Charles Mills to the Class of 2022

The Jordan Symposium
Mar 4, 2022, 12:45–5 PM
Newhouse Center for the Humanities & Collins Cinema
See access restrictions below

Building on the project in decolonizing the humanities, the Suzy Newhouse Center's theme this year, we end with a symposium on the power of the humanities to decenter Western ways of knowing and being in the world. The Sankofa is a Ghanian symbol of a bird that looks back into the past to perceive solutions for the future. We honor the pioneering work of political philosopher Charles Mills, and look forward to Africana Studies at Wellesley and beyond. 

Bringing together students and scholars, we discuss the richness of the histories, thought systems, and cultures of the global African diaspora. Distinguished scholar Robin D.G. Kelley will give the keynote address. 

This is an in-person event open only to students, staff, and faculty in the Wellesley College testing protocol. The keynote presentation will be livestreamed at

12:45-2:10pm, Newhouse Center Lounge: Faculty panel and discussion with Kellie Carter Jackson (Wellesley), Chipo Dendere (Wellesley), Neil Roberts (Williams College), and Panashe Chigumadzi (Harvard). Chair: Stephen Sheehi, Mary L. Cornille Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities. 

2:15-3:15pm, Newhouse Center Lounge: Mellon Mays student fellows Isabella Garcia ’22, Neha Lund ’22, and Deana Weatherly ’22 present their thesis projects. Chair: Irene Mata, Director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program and Associate Professor of WGST.

3:45-5:00pm, Collins Cinema & WellesleyLive: Keynote by Robin D.G. Kelley, Distinguished Professor and Gary B. Nash. Endowed Chair in U.S. History (UCLA) 
"Radical Theory, Neoliberal Reality: Rethinking Black Radical Consciousness with Charles W. Mills, Angela Davis, Cedric Robinson, and Walter Rodney in the 1970's and 1980's"
The keynote presentation will be livestreamed at

For more information, please contact:

Generously supported by:

the Betsy Turner Jordan '59 Lecture Fund; the Departments of Africana Studies, Philosophy, History, and Political Science; and the Project on Public Leadership & Action (PPLA).