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In Dialogue with Dr. Rasul Mowatt and Dr. Davarian Baldwin on the History and Import of Black Studies

Recorded on 03/08/2023
Posted in TIE Podcast

TIE Podcast · In Dialogue with Rasul Mowatt and Davarian Baldwin on the History and Import of Black Studies

Dr. Rasul Mowatt, head of the department of parks, recreation, and tourism management at North Carolina State University, and Dr. Davarian L. Baldwin, Trinity College’s Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies, join Toward Inclusive Excellence for the first “In Dialogue” discussion between two prominent scholars on timely topics. While TIE’s editor-in-chief Alexia Hudson-Ward had other ideas in mind for the “In Dialogue” session, media announcements came out about AP’s decision to strip its African American Studies curriculum shortly before the discussion. The topic shifted toward political encroachment into the academy and how librarians and faculty need to form more alliances to support academic freedom. Rasul and Davarian shared historical data points spanning nearly 60 years on why Black Studies exists and its importance within American history. The guests also discussed attacks on public libraries and archives, how to advocate for all on campus, and the power of community organizing.


About the guests:

Rasul Mowatt headshot. Rasul is wearing a dark blue collared shirt and light gray suit jacket. The background is gray.

Dr. Rasul Mowatt is Head of the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. He holds a PhD in Leisure Behavior, a Master of Science in Park and Natural Resource Management, and a Bachelor of Science in History – all from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 

Part of Dr. Mowatt’s research centers upon critical cultural geography, with an emphasis on the compelling concept of the geographies of race and how these geographies can and should intersect with social justice efforts. He is the president of the Academy of Leisure Sciences, the co-editor of Leisure Sciences, and the founding editor of Recreation, Parks and Tourism in Public Health.

Dr. Mowatt is also an editorial board member of the Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers and served on the Commission on Race and Gender Fairness for the Indiana Supreme Court. He recently published a book titled, The Geographies of Threat and the Production of Violence: The State and the City Between Us.

Davarian Baldwin headshot. Davarian is wearing a white turtleneck. The background is light and the photo is in sepia/black and white.

Davarian L. Baldwin is a leading urbanist, historian, and cultural critic. He currently serves as the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies and founding director of the Smart Cities Lab at Trinity College (CT). Baldwin is the author of several books, most recently In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower: How Universities are Plundering Our Cities (Bold Type Books). He also serves as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Studies, on the executive committee of Scholars for Social Justice, and on the national council of the American Association of University Professors. His opinions and commentaries have been featured in numerous outlets from NBC News, PBS, and The History Channel to USAToday, the Washington Post, and TIME.

Episode theme music: Black is the Night by Jeris (c) copyright 2014 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. Ft: DJ Vadim (djvadim), NiGiD


Watch the full video recording of the interview here:

Listen to Davarian’s episode on how universities exacerbate inequities in urban living.

Listen to Rasul’s episode on applying social justice principles to leisure studies.


Learn more about Toward Inclusive Excellence:

The ongoing TIE Podcast series will feature provocative, in-depth conversations with important figures in the higher education community to help administrators and academic leaders understand racism from new perspectives and to promote racial justice on their campuses. 

Check out the Toward Inclusive Excellence blog, which covers issues related to racial and social justice and provides actionable resources for those in higher education and beyond.

Be sure to sign up for alerts on the latest Toward Inclusive Excellence (TIE) content, whether it’s a new blog post, podcast episode, or webinar.

Interested in contributing to TIE? Send an email to Deb V. at Choice dvillavicencio@ala-choice.org with your topic idea.