Conferences and Colloquia

Douglass Institutes across the System have a number of programs designed to support rich intellectual inquiry and exchange in their communities. From book talks and brown bag lunches to discussion/speaker series and symposia, the colloquia create safe spaces for multidisciplinary, multicultural, intergenerational learning and discussion on a broad array of topics related to diversity, inclusivity, and social justice.


Douglass Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Conference

Call for Proposals

The Frederick Douglass Institute for Academic Excellence at Bloomsburg University invites undergraduate students to submit papers for presentation at our annual interdisciplinary research conference to be held at the Kehr Union on May 1-2, 2014. This year’s theme is “Turning Points” and is meant to acknowledge that academic year 2013-2014 marks important anniversary events including the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the 200th anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner, and the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, the March on Washington, and the Beatles’ introduction to the United States, and the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the 2nd World War. These moments in time mark shifts in our culture and we invite students to interpret the theme broadly through a disciplinary lens. Students may choose to examine events, inventions, or ideas that markedly impacted our way of life (historical and/or contemporary) and could be justified as a “turning point” for having brought about a paradigm shift in our society.

50-100 word proposals will be due by Monday, April 7th at 4:00 p.m. via email to Proposals should include title page with student’s contact information.

There is no cost for registration for the conference. Non-BU presenters will be provided lunch on the day of their selected presentation.


Our conference keynote presentation:

Thursday, May 1  "The Ballot, the Bullet, or the Microphone: Rap Music’s Origins, Development, and Future as a Form of Political Communication in America"

7:00 p.m. KUB Ballrooms

Featured Speaker: LaVar Pope, Bloomsburg University, Visiting Professor, Political Science

This lecture will frame early rap artists' use of the microphone as a "weaponizing" of political issues in the late- 1970s in the wake of increased (but often viewed as non-responsive) black electoral politics ("the ballot)" and crime/drugs ("the bullet") in many American large and mid-sized inner cities. Additionally, the speaker will argue that during the golden age of rap music, artists highlighted both political failures and issues with crime--although the latter is overwhelmingly discussed by academics. Thirdly, he will discuss some key issues with the popularity and commercialization of rap music as an authentic mode of political communication.

The Annual Frederick Douglass Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Conference takes place at Bloomsburg University.  To see the proceedings from previous conferences, please click below:

2013     2012