Dr. Eaton Presents on African American Literature in Italy and Hungary

By Caitlin Burns | April 1, 2018

Dr. Kalenda Eaton, associate professor of English, led international discussions on African American history and literature in March.

In Szeged, Hungary, Dr. Eaton presented “The Just Return of Honest Industry: Subverting the Economics of American Slavery from Belinda to Beloved” at the American Corner on March 22 as part of the opening celebrations. Attendees were Hungarian university students studying American culture and educators studying multiculturalism in American communities.

American Corners are global outposts that are sponsored by the United States Embassy to connect and educate communities in other nations on American culture, values, and society.

In Italy, Dr. Eaton lectured at the University of Milan, discussing slavery in literature. Dr. Eaton highlighted historic female authors who either were once slaves, or modern female authors who write fictional stories based on slave narratives. She also explored ways how African American artists of all mediums write about history.

The purpose of Dr. Eaton’s lectures were to analyze economics and the use of human bodies as a commodity, as well as to assist the European students in providing contextual insight into the readings. Dr. Eaton helped students understand American vernacular and dialect, and explain how nuances in the course texts such as Southern regionalism are tied into a larger narrative of African American history.