• Creating a Collective Urban Experience with Julian Chambliss

    Air Dates: May 3-9, 2021

    The analytical mind can explain the world around us, but the creative mind can help create our future. Dr. Julian Chambliss explores the power of Afrofuturism in comic books, the expression of creativity in the midst of the pandemic, and the way we think about and process history as a society.

    Chambliss explores the real and imagined city. From planning and community development to comic books and popular culture, his research, teaching, and writing explore how perceptions shape policy and action creating our collective urban experience.  Chambliss studied urban history at the University of Florida and focused his attention on policy formation, culture, regionalism, and civic infrastructure issues.  His research evolved to focus on urban development and culture in U.S. cities.  Chambliss served as Professor of History in the Department of History at Rollins College from 2004 to 2018.  He joined the Department of English at Michigan State University in 2018 with a joint appointment in the Department of History and as core faculty in Consortium for Critical Diversity in a Digital Age Research.  There, he teaches courses exploring critical making, or the process of creative synthesis that animates his class projects, comics and culture in the United States.  In 2019, Chambliss joined the Michigan State University Museum as the Val Berryman Curator of History, where he designs generative digital projects that use the classroom as a platform for students to act as co-researchers to trace community development, document diverse experience and explore culture.  Chambliss is one of the producers of “Every Tongue Got To Confess,” a podcast exploring the experiences and stories of communities of color.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Chambliss discusses his work around Afrofuturism, which he says “…encompasses the consideration of the black past, the black present and the black future. And it kind of epistemology of transformation and liberation that is advocating for a different set of beliefs, practices and structures that protect, nurture and promote a better future.”

    “Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 3:30 a.m. & 11:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

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