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Ousley Residency takes flight in fall 2017

March 30, 2017
By Emmy Newman’17

Beloit College plays host to a variety of prestigious scholar-in-residence programs, including the Lois and Willard Mackey Chair in creative writing, the Crom Visiting Philosopher, Victor E. Ferrall, Jr. artist-in-residence, the Upton Scholar, and more. These residencies are named for distinguished members of the Beloit community and patrons of the college, and the fall of 2017 marks the inception of another important residency:The Ousley Scholar in Residency.

In 1890, Laurence Ousley was one of Beloit’s first African-American students. Although he did not graduate, his sister, Grace, beginning at Beloit in 1900, was the first black woman to graduate from the college.  After Laurence’s death in 1943, he donated $10,000 to the college earmarked, “to be used to assist needy colored students therein.” Since their attendance at Beloit, and Laurence’s generous gift, the siblings have been honored with a conference room in South College and two honors day awards given to students each year.

The Ousleys have been honored, as Nicole Truesdell, senior director of academic diversity and inclusiveness, says “…physically at the college, within the student body, and now academically” as the residency that will bear their name welcomes its first visiting scholar.Thanks to a grant from Touissant Foundation, Beloit will bring Moya Bailey, assistant professor of cultures, societies, and global studies and women's, gender and sexuality studies at Northeastern, to campus for two days this fall, Sept. 28 -29.

Moya is perhaps most well-known for coining the term “misogynoir” in an essay published in 2010 titled “They aren’t talking about me…”. Misogynoir refers to the specific type of discrimination experienced by black women. Moya’s studies focus  on the use of digital media by marginalized groups to express feelings, explore intellectual theories, and as a platform for activism.

For her two-day residency, Moya will hold workshops on campus as well as potentially with high school and grade school students from the area and hold a conversation with Nicole regarding “activism under 45.”

By inviting a junior scholar whose work connects social justice with intellectual and theoretical pursuits, Nicole hopes to bring a fresh face to theory in practice for students and show a new model for how students can execute their own social justice actions in the context of their liberal arts education.

Nicole plans for the residency to focus on junior scholars who bring social justice and scholarship into conversation, a valuable and pertinent perspective to be shared with campus.