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Clark (VèVè A.) papers
BANC MSS 2009/102  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The VèVè A. Clark papers document her research, teaching, and professional career. The collection is divided into nine series: Photographic Materials; Audiovisual Materials; Teaching and Course Materials; Administrative Materials; Correspondence and Personalia; Katherine Dunham; Maya Deren; Writings; and Professional Activities.
Background
VèVè Amasasa Clark (December 14, 1944-December 1, 2007) was a scholar, author, and expert in African and Caribbean literature. She helped create the nation's first doctoral program in African Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Clark was raised in Queens, New York and received her B.A. and M.A. from Queens College. She completed her Ph.D. in French and ethnology at UC Berkeley in 1983. After earning tenure at Tufts University, Clark returned to Berkeley as an associate professor in the Department of African American Studies. She was a faculty member for 16 years, serving as a mentor to and champion of Black undergraduate and graduate students across all disciplines. Clark focused on retaining and supporting Black students in her department, as well as those who specialized in African American, African and Caribbean studies. Clark was fluent in French, Spanish, and Creole, and conversant in Wolof. Trained in literary theory and anthropology, her approach was interdisciplinary, and she sought to foster social justice through the academy. Some of Clark's areas of expertise included African and Caribbean literatures, Afro-Caribbean folklore, African diasporic theater, African American dance history, and critical pedagogy. Clark taught some of her department's most popular classes, including Marasa: Caribbean Literatures by Women, The Negritude Movement in French African/Caribbean Literatures, African Women Writers, and Introduction to the University (AAS 39B), a course that helped prepare students for academic and extracurricular life at UC Berkeley. Clark coined the term "diaspora literacy" in one of her best known essays, and helped define African Diaspora Studies. She was also widely recognized for her research and publications on African American dancer, anthropologist, and social activist Katherine Dunham and avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren.
Extent
8 linear feet (6 cartons, 1 card file box)
Restrictions
Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted to The Bancroft Library. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html
Availability
Collection is open for research.