The 2015 Mellon Faculty Seminar in Nantes, France

July 5-12, 2015

Interrogating the French Empire: Exploring the Historical and Contemporary African Diasporic Engagement and Experience in France

The UNCF/Mellon Programs are pleased to offer the 2015 Faculty International Seminar in Nantes, France. The working theme for the Seminar is Interrogating the French Empire: Exploring the Historical and Contemporary African Diasporic Engagement and Experience in France. This Seminar will be the first of a three-part series as we discuss the role of France in the transatlantic slave trade and the attendant consequences of French colonization throughout the world, particularly in the Caribbean and North and West Africa. The 2015 Seminar in Nantes will explore French involvement in the transatlantic slave trade as well as slavery in the Caribbean, focusing on those economic, cultural, and political factors that shaped French participation through slavery’s abolition. Nantes serves as an important point of entry because of its history as a port city that benefited greatly from its role in the 18th century slave trade with Africa. It is the first city in France to publicly acknowledge its role in the transatlantic slave trade by erecting a museum that chronicles France’s role as an important player in the capture, transportation and relocation of enslaved Africans throughout the Caribbean, North America, South America and Europe. The seminar will generate questions, informed by the most recent scholarship, that include: How was the transatlantic slave trade organized, and what were its principal components? How did slavery in the Caribbean influence political and cultural developments in France, and vice-versa? How are we to understand the relationship between the Haitian and French Revolutions? What factors led to France’s abolition of slavery?

2014 UNCF/Mellon Domestic Faculty Seminar

Please click here to be directed to the 2014 UNCF/Mellon Domestic Faculty Seminar Folder.  


Please click here to access an article entitled, "Victim, Risque, Provocateur: Popular Cultural Narratives of Rihanna's Experience of Intimate Partner Violence," co-authored by Dr. Sharon Raynor. Dr. Raynor participated in the 2013 International Seminar in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

Faculty Opportunities

Please click here for more information about the Research Symposium, “The African Diaspora from an Afrocentric Perspective” sponsored by Claflin University and National Association of African American Studies & Affiliates.

UNCF/Mellon Faculty Seminar

Photographs courtesy of the UNCF/Mellon Programs Office, Dr. Marco Robinson  and Brazil Cultural.



The 2014 UNCF/Mellon Faculty Seminar took place July 6-14, 2014. This Seminar was held in Albuquerque, NM. Faculty representing Claflin University, Philander Smith College, Spelman College and Tuskegee University were selected as participants in this Seminar. Faculty from the University of New Mexico also participated. The theme of the 2014 Seminar, facilitated by Dr. Arica Coleman, Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, was “In Search of Home: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of the Shared Experiences of Indigenous and Immigrant Populations in Colonized Spaces”.

2014 UNCF/Mellon International Faculty Seminar Participants

  • Dr. Zanice Bond, Tuskegee University
  • Dr. Daniel Egbe, Philander Smith College
  • Dr. Robert Jefferson, University of New Mexico
  • Dr. Stephen Knadler, Spelman College
  • Dr. Alison McLetchie, Claflin University
  • Professor Opal Moore, Spelman College
  • Dr. Melissa Pearson, Claflin University
  • Dr. Jorge Salvo, Claflin University
  • Dr. Lindsay Smith, University of New Mexico
  • Dr. Zandree Stidham, University of New Mexico
  • Professor Luci Tapahonso, University of New Mexico



Six members of faculty from three UNCF institutions were selected to receive Faculty Residency grants for the 2014-2015 academic year. Five faculty will complete their residency during the 2014 summer and one will complete her residency during the 2014 fall semester.

Summer 2014 Residency Award Recipients
  • Dr. Monica Stephens Cooley, Spelman College
  • Dr. Amanda Masino, Huston Tillotson University
  • Dr. Janice Sumler-Edmond, Huston Tillotson University
  • Dr. Yvonne Welbon, Bennett College
  • Professor Blythe Winger, Spelman College
Fall 2014 Residency Award Recipient
  • Dr. Jacqueline Alvarez-Ogbesor, Spelman College



Three UNCF Institutions were awarded funding for Teaching and Learning Institutes which occurred during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Bethune Cookman University hosted a Teaching and Learning Institute entitled, Academic Integration: A High Impact Practice for Academic Excellence.

Morehouse College hosted a Teaching and Learning Institute entitled, Mapping a New Future by Mining the Past: Using HBCU Repositories to Create Digital Humanities Projects.

Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy, Coordinator and Professor of English, School of Humanities at Dillard University, participated in the Teaching and Learning Institute hosted by Morehouse College and expressed the following about her experience and about the impact that her participation is having upon her teaching and scholarship, "Our knowledge of the digital humanities is fueled to a great part by our wonderful summer sessions with Dr. Corrie Claiborne and Dr. Samuel Livingston's excellent guidance. Dr. Hornsby's knowledge of the latest digital humanities tools in linguistics we've been using since then, and I'm incorporating a lot of what we learned this year in my Linguistics class, in American Ethnic Literature, and future classes. Thank you so much for the opportunity… Thank you thank you thank you to UNCF/Mellon Programs for enhancing the intellectual and academic tools for HBCU Faculty.”

Tuskegee University hosted a Teaching and Learning Institute entitled, Interwoven Stories: How Archives Can Be Used to Bolster Black History Month Programs and Beyond.