Lauren Kientz Anderson presented at the Organization of American Historians

Visiting Assistant Professor Lauren Kientz Anderson presented at the Organization of American Historians in San Francisco on April 13, 2013. She delivered her paper as part of the panel, "Black Women’s Internationalism: Contesting the Global Color Line," chaired by Tiffany Gill. Her co-panelists were Keisha Blain, Julia Erin Wood, and Grace Leslie.

Her paper, "Fellowship Among Many Races: Juliette Derricotte Contemplates Her Journey Around the World" examined the following:

In 1928, Juliette Derricotte traveled around the world as an official representative of the Young Women’s Christian Association and an unofficial representative of African Americans. Derricotte exemplified “Christian Internationalism,” which for her was embodied in her personal mantra, “There is so much more to know than I am accustomed to knowing, and there is so much more to love than I am accustomed to loving.” For Derricotte, Christianity was about the practice of love and internationalism was about growing in knowledge of foreign cultures. In this paper I will discuss in particular Derricotte’s response to beauty, other religions, and the malleability of her own identity during her two month stay in India in the midst of traveling around the world. Derricotte was both a Westerner and a person of color and she responded to India through both of those lenses. Sometimes her words echoed white colonialists who viewed India for the first time and sometimes she evoked the common cause with other people of color that Nico Slate terms “Colored Cosmopolitanism.” Through her letters to her family, which I am the first researcher to study, and her published words to the YWCA upon her return, Derricotte evidences a keen attention to the ways in which fellowship among many races could be developed and the way in which that fellowship could transform personal racism.

Lauren Kientz Anderson