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Stanford Professors Explore Race and Ethnicity at San Francisco's Premier Literary Festival, Litquake 2010

On Saturday, October 9th, 2010, four Stanford humanities professors shared examples of representations of race and ethnicity in literature and art, and discussed how these portrayals impact contemporary culture.

The panel discussion, led by David Palumbo-Liu, a professor of comparative literature at Stanford, was presented during a literary pub crawl dubbed Lit Crawl, which takes place on the final night of Litquake, California's largest literary festival.

The event was held at Creativity Explored, an art gallery in San Francisco's Mission District neighborhood.

Discussion topics ranged from how portrayals of fictional characters shift when they are racially identified to comic strips as social commentary on the "mulatto millennium."

"Representations of Race and Ethnicity" Panelists

Moderator - David Palumbo-Liu, Professor of Comparative Literature, is finishing a book that explains why literature is ethically indispensable today.

Assistant Professor of English, Saikat Majumdar is the author of a novel and a forthcoming critical study of English as a global literary language.

Associate Professor of English, Michele Elam’s new book The Souls of Mixed Folk: Race, Politics & Aesthetics will be published in late 2010.

Professor of American Art and Culture, Bryan Wolf focuses on nineteenth-century art and literature and re-conceptualizations of race and ethnicity in contemporary American art.

Continuing a Tradition

The Stanford Humanities Outreach Project and the Stanford Humanities Center have joinlty sponsored Litquake events for the past two years. In the 2008 festival four Stanford scholars spoke about the intersection of humanities scholarship and environmental issues, and in 2009 a panel of professors shared their thoughts on The Value of the Essay in the 21st Century.