Mansfield English tutor Michèle Mendelssohn has co-organised a two-day symposium on the work of Alain Locke, to take place at the Rothermere American Institute October 12-13, 2012. The event promises to be a stimulating set of papers, conversations and performances celebrating this highly distinguished American writer and philosopher and his relationship to Anglo-American culture and black modernity.
Alain Locke was the first African-American Rhodes Scholar. He came to Oxford in 1907 after outstanding work at Harvard. He went on to a distinguished academic career and was one of the intellectual lights behind the rebirth of the black arts movement in the early 20th century. As well as editing the essential anthology, The New Negro (1925), Locke is often identified as the father of the Harlem Renaissance. The goal of the symposium is to consider Locke's international influences, his intellectual legacy, and the project of black institutionalism—all in the context of recent discussions concerning what might constitute a black tradition in letters.