2020 Sojourner Truth Lecture

An Intersectional Mixtape: Lessons Learned from a Black Woman Scholar in the Academy

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 4:30 PM
Harris Theater

Please join Mason's African and African American Studies Program and Women and Gender Studies Program as we present the annual Sojourner Truth Lecture: "An Intersectional Mixtape: Lessons Learned from a Black Woman Scholar in the Academy."

This year, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Women and Gender Studies Program, we welcome Dr. Marilyn Mobley, founder of Mason's African and African Studies Program.

Dr. Mobley is a Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University. From 2009-18, she served as the university's inaugural Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, where she was responsible for strategic leadership of the university’s efforts to advance diversity and inclusive excellence for faculty, staff and students. She led the effort to develop CWRU’s first university-wide diversity strategic action plan and has received recognition for her work from the Commission on Economic Inclusion, the Women of Color Foundation, and Insight into Diversity. 

Dr. Mobley is the author of Folk Roots and Mythic Wings in Sarah Orne Jewett and Toni Morrison: The Cultural Function of Narrative and “Toni Morrison’s Beloved: The Scandal that Disturbed Domestic Tranquility” in Scandalous Fictions: The Twentieth-Century Novel in the Public Sphere. She has edited two books and published several essays. A Toni Morrison scholar and former president of the Toni Morrison Society, she currently serves as Vice Chair of the Toni Morrison Society Advisory Board.  

At Mason, Dr. Mobley served as associate provost of educational programs and tenured associate professor. She founded and served as the first director for the African American Studies program, as well as a member of the English department faculty, and as a member of the Diversity Research Group. She received the Margaret Howell Award for Diversity and the first Sojourner Truth Award for scholarship and leadership at the intersection of race and gender, as well as awards from the Virginia Council on the Arts, the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). She led a study tour to Kenya in 1993 and has presented her research and scholarship in the United States, Canada, Russia, France, England, and Austria. Prior to her appointment at CWRU, she served as provost at Bennett College for Women.

She is the mother of two sons, the grandmother of three grandsons and a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated. She serves on the board of trustees for the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation and Women of Hope, a non-profit devoted to assisting formerly incarcerated women with re-entry into their communities. Called to the ministry in 2001, Dr. Mobley began divinity studies at Howard University School of Divinity and currently serves as a lay minister at Arlington Church of God in her hometown of Akron, Ohio. 

The Sojourner Truth Lecture Series

Each year at Mason, Women and Gender Studies and African and African American Studies co-sponsor the Sojourner Truth Lecture Series during the spring in honor of Black/African Heritage and Women’s History months. In the past, our speakers have included Ntosake Shange, Donna Brazile, bell hooks, Anita Hill, Patricia Hill Collins, Dorothy Roberts, Nekima Levy-Pounds, Janet Mock, Sybrina Fulton, and other notable women.

The Sojourner Truth Lecture is one of the programs' signature events during the spring semester, designed to be a rich and varied experience. The programs construct the speaker's visit around the lecture and include a smaller event, such as a seminar with students or a conversation among women across racial/ethnic backgrounds. We hope you will join us as we welcome Dr. Mobley home to George Mason University!