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Maria E. Hamilton Abegunde-Remembering What I’d Rather Forget
September 18, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pmFree
Join us for a reading, talk about writing as a process and act of witnessing, remembering, healing, imagining and activating healing and justice.
Audience Q& A with Maria E. Hamilton Abegunde follows. The event will also play live on 99.1 WQRT. You can stream at www.wqrt.org
Maria E. Hamilton Abegunde, Ph.D. is a Memory Keeper, poet, ancestral priest in the Yoruba Orisa tradition, healing facilitator, doula, and a Reiki Master. Her research and creative work are grounded in contemplative and ritual practices and respectfully approach the Earth and human bodies as sites of memory, and always with the understanding that memory never dies, is subversive, and can be recovered to transform transgenerational trauma and pain into peace and power. She is the inaugural recipient of the Ph.D. in African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University.
Dr. Abegunde is the author of three poetry chapbooks, including Wishful Thinking about the 2001 disappearance of Tionda and Diamond Bradley in Chicago. Anthologized poems are included in Gathering Ground, Beyond the Frontier: African American Poetry for the 21st Century, and Catch the Fire. Her poetry has also been published in Tupelo Quarterly, The Massachusetts Review, Cogzine, and Rhino.
Excerpts of her memory work, The Ariran’s Last Life, have been published in Trouble the Waters: Tales from the Deep Blue, Let Spirit Speak!, Warpland, Best African American Fiction, and The Kenyon Review. Co-edited works include Jane’s Stories III with Glenda Bailey-Mershon with whom she and others co-founded Jane’s Stories Press.
Dr. Abegunde is a Cave Canem poetry fellow. She has also received writing fellowships from Sacatar, Ragdale, and Norcroft. Her awards for poetry include the New Discovery Award from the Poetry Center of Chicago and a COG poetry finalist award (Judge: Juan Felipe Herrera). In 2021 she was one of the inaugural poets selected for the Poets & Scholars Retreat at the Rutgers University Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice.
Her creative work and research was recognized through the NEH summer institute fellowship Black Aesthetics and African Centered Cultural Expressions: Sacred Systems in the Nexus between Cultural Studies, Religion and Philosophy, under the directorship of Dr. Pellom McDaniels III and Paul Carter Harrison. Her book chapter “Seeing as a Ritual for a Good Death: The Spiritual Construction of Alain Gomis’ Film Tey” appears in Ashe: Ritual Poetics in African Diasporic Expressivity (edited by Michael Harris, Paul Carter Harrison, and Pellom McDaniels III).
Because of her work on intergenerational/ancestral trauma, community healing, arts-based practices, she was invited to join faculty in the School of Education at the University of Juba, South Sudan to help create a two-year Master’s program in Teaching Emergencies. Dr. Abegunde is also a trained Civic Reflection Dialogue and Powerful Conversations on Race facilitator for Spirit & Place, which she used to launch the initial symposium and dialogues for the anti-Black racism critical conversations on race for the IU College of Arts and Sciences.
She is an inaugural winner of the Dr. James E. Mumford Excellence in Extraordinary Teaching Awards from the IU Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching (FACET) and an Inclusive Excellence Award for teaching during extraordinary times.
Dr. Abegunde was the founding director of The Graduate Mentoring Center in the University Graduate School, where she directed the center between 2014-2021. As director she developed the Five-Fold Path for mentoring as a contemplative practice as well as nationally recognized student-centered mentoring practices, including trauma-informed practices, for students, faculty, and staff.
Before coming to IU Dr. Abegunde worked in elementary school education for over 20 years and as an independent teaching artist. She was the lead team teacher for the Middle Passage Project and sailed from Puerto Rico to Brazil with Captain Bill Pinkney to retrace and teach about Middle Passage routes. She also served as poet and ritualist-in-residence for the UNESCO-Transatlantic Slave Trade Route-USA Project.
When Dr. Abegunde is not teaching and working, she enjoys watching/reading science fiction.
Made possible by the Midwest Gig Fund