College of Humanities and Social Sciences to Present “Contexts,” the Eighth Annual Multidisciplinary Conference, Focusing on Topic of Historic Injustices on October 24, 2019

--This year's conference, titled “My Ancestors’ Crimes, Not Mine,” features Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean, political science professor at Quinnipiac University, as keynote speaker

What responsibility do people in the present have for dealing with the consequences of our predecessors’ actions? A day-long multidisciplinary conference at William Paterson University in Wayne will delve into that topic on Thursday, October 24, 2019, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the University Commons Ballroom on campus. It is free and open to the public.

“The Contexts conference series seeks to engage current topics using the disciplinary lenses found in the departments of College of Humanities and Social Sciences,” says Wartyna L. Davis, acting dean of the College. “William Paterson University as a stakeholder in the community is committed to creating a forum for critical engagement for the campus and the surrounding community.”

The event is divided into two panel sessions and a keynote address. Speakers will discuss how can we achieve restorative justice for past wrongs while addressing the problems we encounter and live with today. The conference will create space to grapple with present injustices by stretching one arm bravely to the past, and the other arm towards hope and the future.

The morning session, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m., is titled “America’s Legacies.” This session will feature Jules Gill Peterson, assistant professor, English and African American studies, Princeton University; Autumn Womack assistant professor, Departments of English and African-American Studies, Princeton University; and Vanessa Agard-Jones assistant professor, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University.

The keynote session, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., will feature Khalilah Brown-Dean, author of Identity Politics in the United States. She is an associate professor of political science at Quinnipiac University and former faculty co-coordinator of the health policy and advocacy concentration at the Frank H. Netter School of Medicine. Her keynote address is titled, “Lessons from the Past, Prospects for the Future: Reconciling the Peril and Promise of American Democracy.”

The final conference session, from 2 to 3:15 p.m., is titled “Global Visions.” Speakers include Nada Ayad, assistant dean, Cooper Union, Alumna Lissette Acosta-Corniel ’99, MEd ’05, assistant professor, Center for Ethnic Studies, Borough of Manhattan Community College/City University of New York.

For more information, contact Tia N. Cherry at