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Tuesday, February 23 • 7:00pm - 8:30pm
In a Strange Country: The Challenge of American Inclusion

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This seminar will discuss Ralph Ellison’s (very) short story, “In a Strange Country” (1944). A precursor to the author’s instant classic, Invisible Man (1952), the short story depicts a black serviceman on shore leave in Wales during World War II. After he gets mugged by white servicemen, a Welshman comes to his aid and invites him to a private singing club. The story traces the inward musings of the “black Yank” (as he is called by the Welshman), who comes to appreciate the Welsh. His experiences that evening and back home move him to reflect upon his ambiguous status as a black American fighting for a country that has yet to accept him as an equal citizen. The story provokes important and timely questions about how to close the gap between American principles and practices and thereby promote greater inclusion of all members of the American citizenry.

PRE-READING:  Please read the short story and additional texts below in advance of the session in order to get the most out of the experience.


Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:00pm - 8:30pm EST