UCSB to Host Conference on 'Black Radical Tradition'

Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Scholars from all over the country will meet at the University of California, Santa Barbara November 5-7 to honor and celebrate the life's work of their colleague, UCSB Professor of Black Studies Cedric J. Robinson, and to discuss the future of the black radical tradition in teaching and research.

More than 100 scholars, undergraduates, and graduate students will attend the two-day conference and participate in roundtable and panel discussions on Robinson's contributions to the field and celebrate the 20th anniversary of his seminal book, Black Marxism:

The Making of the Black Radical Tradition.

The book, which was originally published in 1984, is considered to be one of the most important works on radical black thought in print.

Robinson is also the author of Tradition, Terms of Order:

Political Science and the Myth of Leadership, Black Movements in America and The Anthropology of Marxism.

Organized by Robinson's colleagues and former graduate students, the symposium will include two panel discussions addressing past and future directions in radical scholarship. Some activities are open to the public, including a keynote address on November 6, 7:30 p.m. in the Corwin Pavilion by Robinson, who will be introduced by his UCSB colleague Gerard Pigeon, professor of black studies.

"Professor Robinson's visionary and scholarly accomplishments have deeply influenced the field of social sciences and validated our discipline," Pigeon said.

Robinson, who joined the UCSB faculty in 1979 as the director of the Center for Black Studies, is a professor of political science and black studies.

His fields of teaching and research include modern political thought, radical social theory in the African Diaspora, comparative politics, and media and politics. Robinson is also co-founder and regular correspondence of Third World News Review, a weekly television and radio program and the oldest public access television show in the country.

He is currently working on a book about early black films in the United States.

The establishment of an annual lectureship in Robinson's name will be announced at the close of the symposium.

According to Howard Winant, professor of sociology at UCSB, "Cedric Robinson is an intellectual treasure, a world-historical theorist, whose influence is already great and will only increase as time passes.

We are immensely lucky to have him on the Santa Barbara campus."

One of the aims of the conference is to establish a network of concerned scholars, activists, and artists who are committed to continuing the radical tradition in academe.