Joseph Lewis Presents 'When Can We Cry' at Tuesday Lunch
On March 5, 2019, visiting English instructor and Consortium for Faculty Diversity (CFD) Fellow, Joseph Lewis presented “When Can We Cry?: The Rhetoric of Embodied Student Protest in the #Rhodesmustfall Movement at the University of Capetown” as part of the Tuesday Faculty Lunch Series. The #Rhodesmust Fall Movement began in 2015 when University of Cape Town Student Chumani Maxwele hurled human feces onto a statue at the center of campus commemorating Cecil Rhodes. The talk rhetorically analyzed four key student responses in the dialogues between students, administration, and faculty addressing racism on UCT’s campus, raising questions about the role of civic engagement within academic institutions.
Since the #Rhodesmust Fall Movement, students around the world have increasingly protested the presence of statues in an attempt to end racial injustice. Lewis argues that these protest movements demonstrate the potential of student civic engagement at Denison and beyond to radically change the way we conceptualize social and material relationships in places of higher learning.
Professor Lewis teaches courses in English and Black Studies. In addition to student activism in higher education, scholarly interests include rhetorical theory, African American rhetorics and literature, multiculturalism, anti-racist pedagogies, and Film and popular culture. He has introduced a new seminar to Denison entitled: Hauntings of Race and Gender in which he utilizes the horror film genre to teach multiculturalism to undergraduates.
The Tuesday Lunch Series is open to all members of the General and Emeritus Faculty as well as Support Operating Staff. Lunches take place every Tuesday from 12:30-1:20 pm in Knobel Hall.