Senior Fellows Program: The Black Intellectual Groundworks

Dr. Rossen Ventzislavov

Woodbury University’s College of Liberal Arts (CoLA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Rossen Ventzislavov, professor of philosophy, has been awarded this year’s CoLA Senior Fellowship. The Senior Fellows Program encourages faculty members in CoLA to reflect on and suggest ways to advance the University and College through interdisciplinary, short-term, project-based work. The university will represent Dr. Ventzislavov’s project, the Black Intellectual Groundworks, as an auxiliary resource tying teaching and learning to the rich tradition of Pan-African culture and scholarship. The Senior Fellows Program is fully funding the project.

The Groundworks project will be established as a topical library of materials that integrate the Pan-African tradition and will be organized by academic discipline. An example of this might be a section representing important Pan-African contributions to the history, practice and study of film. A faculty volunteer from the respective field, together with their university librarian liaison, will source and oversee each discipline-related section. Woodbury’s Black Student Association membership will be consulted in the process of vetting and sourcing of relevant materials (books, video recordings, periodicals etc.).

The second stage of the project’s growth will be its alignment with co-curricular events organized and/or hosted by the Black Student Association. This will create opportunities to invite guest speakers whose work is catalogued in the project and organize thematic events that activate the project’s  holdings through readings, screenings, etc. The third stage of the project’s growth will be to seek intentional curricular alignment between existing course offerings and the wealth of Pan-African thinking that pertains to their content. The existing Civic Engagement course certification model could be used to assign courses a Black Scholarship certification. The final stage will be to create a physical space—a section of the university library, a separate lounge etc.—that will permanently host the Black Intellectual Groundworks and the Black Student Association and will be open for use to the entire university community.


Last Updated on October 5, 2020.

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