In Brief: February 16

Africana Studies conference at BGSU to examine art, history, identity

MH SA SmThe politics, history, identity and art of Africa and its diaspora will be discussed during the 19th annual Africana Studies Student Research Conference at BGSU. The event, focusing on “Emerging Perspectives in Africana Studies,” will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 24 in 101 Olscamp Hall.

Students from BGSU, Ohio University, Ohio State University, Denison University, Miami University and the University of Toledo will present their research during a series of panel discussions.

Artist, author, curator, academic and BGSU alumnus Dr. Michael Harris will present “Conjuring an Africana Aesthetic” as the keynote speaker during the noon luncheon.

Harris is an associate professor of art history and African American Studies at Emory University, where he teaches African American art history and Yoruba art and culture. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education at BGSU in 1971; an M.F.A. in painting from Howard University; followed by four degrees from Yale University: a master’s degree in African and African American Studies, a master of arts and master of philosophy in art history, and a Ph.D. on the history and transformation of contemporary Yoruba art. He was named to the “25 Who Made a Difference” list of curators and scholars in the fall 2001 issue of the International Review of African American Art.

He is completing a book-length manuscript, “Sanctuary: A Black and Blues Aesthetic in African American Art.” His recent book, “Colored Pictures: Race and Visual Representation,” won two national awards. He is a longtime member of the artist collective AfriCOBRA and has exhibited his work across the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. He is represented in many public and private collections.

There is a charge for the luncheon, but attendance at the keynote lecture and panel discussions is free. To help ensure adequate seating, faculty who wish to bring classes are asked to call 372-8514 in advance.


Common read author Berger returns to pursue more ‘beautiful questions’

Warren BergerLast October, BGSU common read author Warren Berger visited campus to share his ideas on how asking thoughtful questions can lead to innovation and a better understanding of our world, as he presented in his bestselling book “A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas.”

Now Berger is returning to follow up and provide additional opportunities for faculty and students to apply this approach in their work and study. Students and faculty in the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering, General Studies Writing, College of Education and Human Development, College of Business Administration and others engaged in teaching critical thinking will be meeting with him.

Undergraduate students participating in an essay contest — the Lowell and Virginia Leland Literary Prize — are writing about “A More Beautiful Question” and will meet with Berger Feb. 21 to talk about the book and his writing process. He will meet with General Studies Writing faculty the next day to talk about how questioning can support curriculum revision efforts.

The new Collab Lab is hosting a faculty workshop called “Design Thinking for Creative Problem Solving: A Workshop with Warren Berger,” from 1-3 p.m.  Feb. 21 in 121 Park Avenue Building. Faculty will learn how to apply the design thinking process. Berger will share insights into problem-solving and how to ask important questions.

Berger will participate in a Think Tank on design education from 4-5 p.m. in the Park Avenue Library and later will give opening remarks for a symposium on design, innovation and entrepreneurship. The symposium, featuring alumni and other professionals, will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. in 122 Park Avenue Building. For more information, contact Dr. Sara Khorshidifard, architecture and environmental design, at 372-3608 or

On Feb. 22, Berger will meet with education majors to talk about the importance of questioning, both in the classroom and by those preparing to be teachers about their own education. He will also confer with business faculty and Student Ambassadors.

An expert on design thinking and innovation, Berger has studied hundreds of the world’s leading innovators, designers, education leaders, creative thinkers and red-hot start-ups to analyze how they ask game-changing questions, solve problems and create new possibilities. He believes that questioning leads to innovation, can help people be more successful in their careers and can spark change in our businesses and lives.

Updated: 03/09/2020 09:12AM