February 5, 2007
Black and gold graphic bar
 Feb. 5, 2007

Sean Kearns
Media Relations Director
(323) 343-3050
Margie Yu
Public Affairs Specialist
(323) 343-3047



Cal State L.A. 
Office of Public Affairs 
(323) 343-3050 
Fax: (323) 343-6405

Media Advisory: Wednesday, Feb. 7, 9:30 a.m.-noon, Cal State L.A.

"‘Cultural Trauma" 200 years after
UK slave trade abolished

Trans-Atlantic video symposium to link U. of London, Cal State L.A.

Note to editors and news directors: Two hundred years ago, the slave trade was abolished in the United Kingdom. Two days from now a live trans-Atlantic video symposium—titled “The Cultural Trauma of Slavery”—will link about 10 professors and students from Cal State L.A. with 10 counterparts from the University of London to yield British and American perspectives on the slave trade’s relevance to each country’s history and condition.

Reporters are welcome to cover the symposium from the Cal State L.A. end (in King Hall Room C-172).

Among the key tangents of discussion:

—The 1781 “Zong” massacre, in which 132 slaves were drowned, ordered tossed overboard by the British captain of the slave ship “Zong”—and the captain’s subsequent claim for salvage insurance.

—“The Black Atlantic,” a 1992 book that illuminates how Black subcultures are linked to specific nations, and also how a larger shared culture transcends political boundaries and extends around the Atlantic basin.

The symposium also commemorates Black History Month. Funded by the British Council and sponsored by University of London and Cal State L.A.’s Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, it will launch a series of similar exchanges between the universities. Cal State L.A. English Professor Lauri Ramey—the symposium’s co-organizer and the poetry center’s director—calls it “the beginning of an ongoing and fertile creative-research exchange to facilitate trans-Atlantic understanding and dialogue.”

“The Cultural Trauma of Slavery,” a live trans-Atlantic video symposium linking Cal State L.A. and the University of London.

9:30 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007.
(5:30 to 8 p.m. in London):
9:30 -- Welcome/introductions
9:40 -- Lead paper from London
10:00 -- Response from Cal State L.A.
10:15-10:50 -- Offline discussions
10:50-11:40 -- Open discussions between both sides (probably the most “visual” opportunity)
11:40-noon -- Conclusion and evaluation
Noon -- Lauri Ramey, others available for interviews

King Hall, Room C-172, Cal State L.A. (and at a University of London site simultaneously)

About 20 students and scholars, evenly split between Cal State L.A. and University of London.

Symposium contact:
Cal State L.A. Professor Lauri Ramey, (323) 343-4165 or

Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 190,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, to be housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center now under construction.


# # #