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Sept. 18: Rutgers African-American Scholar to Discuss Horrific Philadelphia Murder Case

The Bucknell Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender will present Kali Nicole Gross, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of History at Rutgers University, for the the first lecture in its 2019-20 speaker series on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Elaine Langone Center Forum. Gross will give a free, public lecture entitled “Deploying Violence, Performing Fragility: Hannah Mary Tabbs.”

Gross specializes in African-American and U.S. History and Women’s and Gender History. Her research interests focus on black women’s experiences in the United States criminal justice system in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her writing frequently explores how legacies of race, gender, and justice currently shape mass incarceration. She is the author of Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America. (Oxford University Press, 2016). She has co-authored a forthcoming book, with Daina Berry, titled A Black Women’s History of the United States (Beacon, 2020).

Her Wednesday presentation will concentrate on a murder and dismemberment case that shocked and horrified Philadelphians in 1887, and it focuses on the macabre maneuvers of the African-American woman at the heart of the story, Hannah Mary Tabbs. In doing so, it also seeks to find ways to discuss complicated figures in history, and it makes the case for studying all kinds of African-American women in history.

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