The role of academia in promoting social justice by connecting to the communities of which it is a part will be the subject of a lecture scheduled for Monday, October 26.
Craig Werner, an award-winning teacher and scholar of literature, music and cultural history, will deliver the talk “Outreach Teaching” in the Holman Room, Mary Lyon Hall at 5 p.m. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Wheaton Institute for Interdisciplinary Humanities.
A professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Werner participates in the UW Odyssey Project, an outreach effort to offer UW humanities classes for adult students facing economic barriers to college. The Odyssey Project serves a diverse population, and most of the students are overcoming the obstacles of single parenthood, homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, incarceration, depression, domestic abuse, or other obstacles to accessing education. Odyssey has been the catalyst that enables many adults to transform their lives and find a career direction.
Werner’s talk, and the ensuing discussion, on how to do outreach teaching, will contain practical advice that will be useful to students, faculty, and student-support staff.
A former chair of the university’s Departments of Integrated Liberal Studies and Afro-American Studies, Werner has won numerous teaching awards including the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching; the English Graduate Student Association’s Teaching Excellence Award; Best Summer School Course from the National Association of Summer School Sessions as part of the teaching team for “Sites and Sounds of the Freedom Struggle.”
Werner has published numerous books and articles in his field of study, including “A Change is Gonna Come: Music, Race, and the Soul of America,” “Playing the Changes: From Afro-Modernism to the Jazz Impulse,” and most recently “We Gotta Get Out of this Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War.”
He is also a member of the nominating committee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a contributor to National Public Radio.
5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 26
Holman Room, Mary Lyon Hall
Open to the public