Thursday, June 10, 2010

Addressing the Pipeline Problem

A couple of days ago, Joycelyn Moody, the director of the AALCI, discussed the inspiration for the Institute. Moody's vision was very much linked to ideas expressed in the late literary scholar Nellie McKay's article "Naming the Problem That Led to the Question 'Who Shall Teach African American Literature?'; or, Are We Ready to Disband the Wheatley Court?".

Among other issues, McKay's article gives attention to the problem of the "pipeline," the notion that in black studies, broadly defined, there are not enough people in place "to attract the next generation of scholars to this important part of the life of the mind."

For Moody, one way to address the problem of the pipeline meant developing a program, this AALCI program, that encourages undergraduates to pursue graduate study in fields related to black studies.

Working with this program "fulfills my goals," said Moody, "which are essentially Nellie McKay's goals."

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