ECU News Services


Harris to Deliver Sallie Southall Cotton Lecture

A scholar in African American literature and folklore will deliver the Sallie Southall Cotton Lecture, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in Wright Auditorium.

Trudier Harris, a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will present, ""Little Old Ladies and the Last Word: An Exploration of Sassiness and Risque Behavior in African American Folklore."

Trudier Harris
Harris is a recipient of the UNC System Board of Governors' Award for Excellence in Teaching, the William C. Friday Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the John Hurt Fisher Award of the South Atlantic Association of Departments of English, for outstanding contributions in English scholarship.

Her books include "From Mammies to Militants: Domestics in Black American Literature (1982), "Exorcising Blackness: Historical and Literary Lynching and Burning Rituals" (1984), "Black Women in the Fiction of James Baldwin" (1985, for which she won the 1987 College Language Association Creative Scholarship Award), "The Power of the Porch: The Storyteller's Craft in Zora Neale Hurston, Gloria Naylor, and Randall Kenan" (1996), and "Saints, Sinners, Saviors: Strong Black Women in African American Literature" (2001). In 2003, she published her memoirs, "Summer Snow: Reflections from a Black Daughter of the South."

Harris taught at the College of William and Mary for six years before joining UNC.
The Sallie Southall Cotton Lecture is presented through the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series. The series annually brings prominent scholars representing a variety of disciplines to speak at the university.

The next speaker in the series is Theda Perdue, Atlanta Distinguished Term Professor of Southern Culture at UNC - Chapel Hill, who will lead a discussion on "Native Americans of North Carolina," March 18.

Lectures are open to the public and held in Wright Auditorium at 7 p.m. For the Harris and Perdue lectures, complimentary tickets are available for ECU students, faculty and staff; cost is $10 for the general public. Tickets are available through the ECU Central Ticket Office at 252-328-4788, 1-800-ECU-ARTS or (voice/TTY) 252-328-4736.

Individuals requesting accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252.737.1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the events.

The Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series is made possible through generous contributions from the Dean’s Advancement Council of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, the East Carolina Alumni Association and additional friends and supporters of the college. For more information about the series, contact Dr. John Tucker at 252.328.1028 or, or visit

This story appeared originally in the Jan. 29, 2010 issue of Pieces of Eight. An archived version of that issue is available at