Indiana Wesleyan University’s Dr. Rusty Hawkins, John Wesley Honors College associate professor of humanities, has been invited to participate in a week-long seminar on Slave Narratives at Yale University this summer. The seminar will be led by renowned slavery and abolition expert Dr. David W. Blight, professor of American history at Yale, class of 1954.

Participation in the seminar is very competitive and only one-third of applicants received an invitation to attend. Twenty-seven faculty members, including Hawkins, from fields such as history and English, will be in attendance.

Application for the seminar included a nomination letter from the chief academic officer of the nominee’s institution, a nomination form, nominee’s curriculum vitae, and nominee’s statement of reasons to attend.

Seminar topics will include narratives such as those of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington. The seminar will also use several books, like Blight’s own A Slave No More, as discussion pieces. The aim of the seminar is to use various slave narratives as a way to comprehend slaves’ lives in their entireties as they journeyed towards freedom.

Hawkins originally applied for the seminar because he teaches an honors college course every fall covering the history of slavery and abolition. He’s eager to return to the classroom in the fall and share with his students the fresh ideas and perspectives discussed at the seminar.