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The Pearl Blizek Lecture by Dr. Darren J. N. Middleton

Dr. Darren J. N. Middleton was recently invited to present The Pearl Blizek Lecture on Religion and Art to the Black Studies and Religious Studies programs at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

The lecture explored the aesthetic dimensions of black somebodiness in Rastafari religious art, using the music of Tarrus Riley, the paintings of Ras Terms, and the novels of Marlon James as well as Barbara Blake Hannah.

Dr. Middleton earned his Ph.D. in Literature and Theology at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and is now the John F. Weatherly Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at TCU. He also serves as the Director of the Masters of Liberal Arts Program for TCU’s AddRan College. His research focuses on Comparative Literature and Theology, Rastafari Studies, and Religion and the Arts.

The Black Studies program at the University of Nebraska Omaha offers an undergraduate major, minor, and concentration. Highlighted courses include “Music and the Black Experience” and “The Black Experience in American Politics.” The program annually hosts the “Malcolm X Festival” to “offer a comprehensive examination and observation of a world famous Black American born in Omaha’s Black community,” as is explained on the program’s website.

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