Chestertown, MD, February 24, 2006 — In celebration of Black History Month, the Rose O'Neill Literary House Tea & Talk Series presents Richard DeProspo, Professor of English, on "Dissing the Master: 'Signifying' from Frederick Douglass to Spike Lee," Tuesday, February 28. Join us for tea at 4 p.m. and talk at 4:30 p.m. in the O'Neill Literary House. All are invited.
Prof. DeProspo will read and discuss his paper first delivered February 16 at the annual National Association of African-American Studies Conference in Baton Rouge.
"My essay tries to combine the African-American tradition of 'signifying'—the creative one-upsmanship practiced by tricksters, which has been traced by African-American scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. back to African folk tales—with theories of literary influence devised by such contemporary theorists as Harold Bloom, Julia Kristeva, and Michael Rifaterre."
African-American writers discussed in the essay include Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Malcolm X, Alex Haley, and Sanyika Shakur. Prof. DeProspo will also discuss Spike Lee's 1994 film Malcolm X.
The Rose O'Neill Tea & Talk Series showcases the research, writing, and talent of Washington College's faculty and is held in the College's O'Neill Literary House. Established in 1985, the Literary House was acquired and refurbished through a gift of alumna Betty Casey, Class of 1947, and her late husband Eugene, and named in memory of his late mother, Rose O'Neill Casey. Now in its 21st year, the O'Neill Literary House reflects the eclectic spirit of Washington College's creative writing and academic culture.