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Campus News in Brief

CAUSE group hosts its first conference on black power

Leaders from around the world gathered to discuss their cutting-edge research in transnational African-American history at the “Black Power Beyond Borders” conference. The event was hosted by Carnegie Mellon’s Center for African-American Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE) last weekend in Baker Hall’s Giant Eagle Auditorium.

“One of the objectives of CAUSE is to facilitate research in new areas, and that is what we aim to do at this conference by helping to internationalize black history,” said CAUSE Director Joe Trotter, the Giant Eagle professor of history and social justice.

Presenters at the conference included keynote speaker Barbara Ransby, professor of history and African-American studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Kevin Gaines, professor of history at the University of Michigan; Yohuru Williams, associate professor of African-American history at Fairfield University; and Robbie Shilliam, a senior lecturer at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.

The conference’s main goal was to expand people’s knowledge of the black power movement geographically, chronologically, and thematically. Moreover, the conference aimed to investigate the multiple meanings of black power within America. Historians have only begun to further study and investigate the black power movement.

‘Anti-Gravity Great Downhill Race’ returns for Carnival

The “Anti-Gravity Great Downhill Race” returns to campus for Spring Carnival and will be held next Monday, April 18, at 4:30 p.m. on the Cut in front of Doherty Hall. The event will be dually hosted by the School of Art and the 2010 Kraus visiting professor of art, Pat Oleszko.

The race, featuring individual as well as group entries from the College of Fine Arts, is free and open to the public.

This year’s race will be organized by students enrolled in the School of Art’s “Altering the Existing” class. This hands-on course teaches students to deconstruct and transform the function of existing objects in order to create unconventional sculptural works.

The art students include Zahra Ahmed, a senior; Zena Ruiz, a fifth-year senior; juniors Tara Helfer, Steven Mentzer, Julia Cahill, Natalia Gomez, and Allison Gozion; and sophomores Emily Wobb, Mirrie Choi, and Laura Westover.

The mobiles and machines that the students build will trundle down the Cut during the race event. Bystanders are warned that crashes, explosions, and feats of magic are to be expected.
“You can be a triumphant tortoise — on a roll. Our only rule is that you leave your engines at home and let Auntie Gravity do her voodoo ... doo,” Oleszko said.