Provost Holloway, alumnus Eig deliver keynotes at 2018 A Day With Northwestern

Northwestern Now: Summaries

EVANSTON – Northwestern University Provost Jonathan Holloway delivered the opening keynote for this year’s “A Day With Northwestern” Saturday, focusing on the formation of modern black identity by drawing on his research in African-American history.Watch the keynote sessionsFor more than 45 years, “A Day With Northwestern” has drawn hundreds of alumni, students, parents and friends for presentations and lectures on timely topics from prominent Northwestern faculty and alumni.In his keynote address, Holloway discussed his study of the modern black identity and what he learned about his own past while writing “Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940,” which won the 2014 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.“As a historian, I’m trained to go to an archive. But what if the archive is the memory, the imagination?” – Provost Jonathan HollowayThe Provost, who is also professor of history, recounted his trips to Ghana’s slave castles, emphasizing the role of memories and oral tradition in the construction of identity.“As a historian, I’m trained to go to an archive. But what if the archive is the memory, the imagination?” Holloway asked the crowd of about 350.Before joining Northwestern in July 2017, Holloway served as dean of Yale College and Edmund S. Morgan Professor of African American studies, History and American Studies.The day was capped by a lecture by Muhammad Ali’s biographer and University alumnus Jonathan Eig ’86, who discussed the life of the boxing legend.Eig explained how he dug beneath the surface of Ali’s mythology to gain a deep understanding of America’s strange relationship with the man known as “The Greatest.” Eig’s latest book, “Ali: A Life,” is based on interviews with more than 500 people, including many key figures in Ali’s life. Eig is currently working as a consulting producer with Ken Burns on a documentary about …

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