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The English Department at AUK Hosts the African American Read-in Event


Black History Month is celebrated in February each year in the United States in recognition of the accomplishments of African-Americans whose contributions have influenced society in a positive way. Many American academic institutions and professional organizations around the world regard this month as an opportunity to promote literacy. This year, the American University of Kuwait (AUK) was invited by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the Black Caucus of NCTE to hold its first African-American read-in.

The event was sponsored by the English Department and was organized by Dr. Inas Mahfouz, Assistant Professor of English. It was held at the University's Multi-purpose room, where the (Visiting Associate Professor of English and Communications, Dr. Souad Ali, commenced the event by giving a brief overview of Black History Month and its significance, and introduced the attendees to prominent African-American poets and authors.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the book by the acclaimed African-American author Maya Angelou, was selected as the main work of literature for the event, from which attendees took turns to read excerpts from the book to each other. They also made time to read excerpts from the works of other authors, such as Langston Hughes and Malcolm X.

In keeping with the American University of Kuwait's liberal arts tradition, the English department provides students with the ability to use the English language effectively, think critically, and reach their full potential as creative individuals, engaged citizens, and lifelong learners. Through its emphasis on developing cultural awareness, rhetorical flexibility, information literacy, and appreciation for literary traditions, the department prepares students for the increasingly complex challenges of the 21st century.  

Dr. Souad T. Ali while giving her presentation


Dr. James Lambert of the English Department

The audience

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 8th March 2015

Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2015

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