Chattanooga State’s Chautauqua Series Lecture Covers “Zora Neale Hurston And The Oral Tradition”

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Humanities and Fine Arts Division of Chattanooga State Community College will host the fourth lecture of its fourth annual Chautauqua Lecture Series on Thursday.

Named after the lake in upstate New York where the first of its kind was held in 1874, a Chautauqua brings members of the community together to enjoy inspirational performances and lectures. The gatherings aimed to bring communities together in an environment of cultural enrichment and questioning.

The Humanities and Fine Arts Division invites you to join in this tradition with its slate of presentations and performances for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Chattanooga State’s Chautauqua Series will feature the informative and unique research of five ChattState Humanities and Fine Arts faculty as well as the series finale with Writers@Work 2018 visiting author George Singleton and his special guest Clyde Edgerton. The most recent of these lectures, a talk on portrayals of heroism in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, was held in November and drew an enthusiastic audience, members of whom dressed up for the event.

The next Chautauqua lecture will take place on Thursday at 4 p.m. English Professor Rachael Falu will present “Zora Neale Hurston and the Oral Tradition,” a lecture based on Falu’s knowledge of and experience teaching the author’s work as part of her African-American literature courses.

Ms. Falu herself first encountered Zora Neale Hurston as an undergraduate but finds, after years of studying the inclusion of race and the South in literature and after years of teaching, that the works of the writer continue to offer new insights. “I’m interested in writers of the American South, and Hurston includes in her texts this enthralling vernacular of working class, Southern people,” Ms. Falu said.

As a professor of African-American literature, Ms. Falu teaches Hurston’s most famous work, Their Eyes Were Watching God, but her Chautauqua presentation will cover a variety of the author’s writing, including folklore, songs, short stories, and novels. Particularly intriguing to Ms. Falu is Hurston’s inclusion of dialect. “Hurston plays on words throughout her texts, but what’s really fascinating about the writer is that she brings value and authenticity to a vernacular [of the working and lower class] that was often dismissed or deemed inferior. She’s not ashamed to be truthful to the people of that time or the settings they dwelled in,” Ms. Falu said.

Following Ms. Falu’s February lecture, one additional ChattState faculty member, Josh Johnson, will present a lecture in his field of study. The final installment in the 2017-2018 Chautauqua Lecture Series will be a special event offered in partnership with the Humanities Department’s Writers@Work program, entitled “Writers@Work: Banter and Banjos.” This special event on April 5 will feature authors George Singleton and Clyde Edgerton as they discuss writing, read from their works, swap stories, and perhaps play some music.

Each Chautauqua lecture lasts approximately 60 minutes and includes a Q&A period. All sessions are offered free of charge to interested members of the Chattanooga community, and each presentation will start at 4 p.m. in the mobile classroom of the Augusta Kolwyck Library on the main campus of Chattanooga State Community College located at 4501 Amnicola Highway. A complete schedule, including dates, times, and additional information on each lecture can be found on Facebook as “Chattanooga State’s Chautauqua Series,” Instagram as “chautauqua_series”, and Twitter as “@ChautauquaSeries”. Contact Associate Professor Keri Lamb for more information at keri.lamb@chattanoogastate.edu or 423-697-2546.



Cleveland City Schools' Activities For The Week Of Aug. 20

Cleveland High School senior parents are invited to the Family College Planning Event on Tuesday, 6:00 pm at the Bradley Central High School Fine Arts Building with sessions on Financial Aid and College Planning. Families are invited to participate in a mini college fair before the sessions begin at the same location with representatives from Chatt State, Cleveland State, ... (click for more)

Cleveland State To Offer New Recording Industry Class This Fall

Cleveland State Community College will be offering a new class this fall, RIM 2000 History of the Recording Industry. This class will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-10:20 a.m. and as the title suggests, students will study the recording industry from its beginning in the late 19th century to the modern day.  The class will be taught by Stephen Brannen who has ... (click for more)

Female Inmate Dies At Bradley County Jail Monday

A female inmate was found unresponsive at the Bradley County Jail on Monday afternoon. Correctional officers and on-site medical personnel performed life saving measures, but she was later declared dead after Bradley County EMS arrived.  The inmate was 54-year-old Fawn Zanette Brandham. Correctional officers contacted the 12th Judicial District Attorney's office, ... (click for more)

Federal Appeals Court Rules In Favor Of Family With Down Syndrome Child Who Sued County Schools

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a couple with a Down syndrome child who sued the county schools. The parents of Luka Hyde objected when the county schools tried to move him from his zoned school to a segregated school. The ruling says under federal law that students with disabilities are supposed to be placed in the least restrictive ... (click for more)

Use Purse Building For Chattanooga Museum Of History And Industry

I was caught off-guard and pleasantly stoked by Eric Atkins' editorial on Chattanoogan.com last week suggesting that one of the soon-to-be surplused city buildings could be turned into a history museum.   I didn't think anyone other than myself that I didn't know cared, or at least would turn their thoughts into the topic of an editorial.  I believe that most of the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: One Person Every Hour

After the first weekend in August, the United States was shaken to its core as every major media outlet reported that 67 people had been shot in Chicago, 12 of them dead in the senseless carnage. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel pleaded for calm and announced an additional 600 police officers would join other law enforcement in the five most troubled districts. This past weekend, which ... (click for more)