Students, Africana Studies Faculty colleagues, Affiliated Faculty, Alumni, Parents, Staff, and friends.
The COVID – 19 virus has reshaped all our worlds in lightning fast speed. We are working from home, preparing to teach our students online, meeting on zoom, learning how to approach our teaching synchronously (meeting regularly as a class) and asynchronously (meeting at different times and dates), and trying to stay a safe distance from each other. Students have had to move off campus, request their books and computers be sent home, and now that classes will NOT resume before the end of the semester, figure out how to accept that they will be Notre Dame graduates, some of you, without even having the chance to interact with friends and classmates in all the ordinary ways they used to take for granted. Our staff, Miss Gayle that’s you!, are in and out, but largely working from home, trying to figure out how to do all sorts of things without routine access to equipment and materials, and how for the moment at least, do it by cell phone. It would be exciting, except that it’s very scary, unpredictable and we have no idea when it will end.
So I’m writing this to greet you and to say that we in Africana Studies, along with the rest of the University, are open for business. We are not physically present, but we are working from home; we are online and available to you. We are working on several positions, our Africana Studies Club will be hosting a number of events on Facebook Live and Zoom over the coming weeks, and you’ll find the details about those announcements here on the Department website. We had been so looking forward to another year of Show Some Skin which was to begin this week, as well as visits by a brilliant array of writers and scholars to campus this spring including Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, Kimberle’ Crenshaw, Tressie McMillan Cottom, and even Trevor Noah. They won’t be here in person this year unfortunately. Lots of things are going online, so perhaps some of those may eventually appear in that way.
There’s a lot to do to run the department, but we know you will be looking forward to the time when we can gather together face to face. When that happens, we’ll be here. I look forward to seeing you in person, and online. Until then, take good care of yourself.
Dianne Pinderhughes, Chair
Department of Africana Studies