LACUNY Institute 2023

Keynote/Plenary Speakers

Professor Sarah Aponte

Professor Sarah Aponte is the Chief Librarian of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute and Professor atProfessor Sarah Aponet is woman of color wearing a white shirt The City College of New York Libraries. She founded the Dominican Library in 1994 with donations of books by the Council of Dominican Educators and she is the first Dominican librarian solely dedicated to Dominican studies in the United States. She assists scholars and students undertaking research on Dominican issues and conducts educational workshops using archival and library resources. Prof. Aponte is the author of Dominican Blackness and Dominican Diaspora (Oxford Bibliographies, 2021, 2017); La presencia dominicana en el periódico Las Novedades, 1876-1918: De breve mención a propietarios en la ciudad de Nueva York (Biblioteca Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña and CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, 2022), Autores dominicanos de la diáspora: apuntes bio-bibliográficos (1902-2012) (Biblioteca Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña, 2013) winner of the “José Toribio Medina Award” SALALM (2014) co-authored with Franklin Gutiérrez; among others. Prof. Aponte holds an M.L.S. in Library and Information Sciences from Queens College; an M.S.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Baruch College; a B.A. in International Studies from the City College of New York; and an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Hostos Community College.

Dr. Brenda M. Greene

Dr. Brenda Greene is woman of color wearing a green, blue, yellow, and red shirt

Photo Credit Aria Rivera

Dr. Brenda M. Greene who has committed her life to teaching, learning, and scholarship, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Black Literature, Director of the National Black Writers Conference, and  Professor of English at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York.  Professor Greene’s research and scholarly work include composition, African American literature, and multicultural literature. She is the editor of The African Presence and Influence on the Cultures of the Americas, co-editor of  Resistance and Transformation: Conversations with Black Writers, Morton Books (2010),  Meditations and Ascensions: Black Writers on Writing, Redefining Ourselves, Black Writers in the Nineties, and Rethinking American Literature, National Council of Teachers of English, (1997).  Dr. Greene has extensive essays, grants, book reviews, and presentations in English Studies and literature.

Dr. Greene’s educational leadership and professional accomplishments span over 40 years. Before coming to Medgar Evers College in 1980, she taught at the Board of Education and was Director of the Right to Read Program at Malcolm King College Harlem Extension.  Her expertise and leadership positioned her to serve on many college committees and to serve as director of literacy and writing programs at the College.

As a scholar and literary activist in English Studies and African Diaspora literature, Dr. Greene has led literary and writing seminars. Dr. Greene has also continued the tradition of directing and hosting the National Black Writers Conferences (NBWCs) that have been given at Medgar Evers College since 1986. She also hosts a weekly radio program, Writers on Writing, which features writers from the African diaspora discussing their novels, poems, plays, nonfiction and their lives over the airwaves of WNYE, 91.5 F.M. She has received many literary, educational and cultural arts awards.

The proud mother of two sons, Talib Kweli Greene, an internationally known hip hop artist and Jamal K. Greene, Professor of Constitutional Law at Columbia University and the grandmother of Amani, Diani, Riya, Ayan, Kian,  and Justice, Dr. Greene attributes the success of her sons to the importance that she and their father stressed about realizing, identifying, and pursuing one’s passion.

Dr. Christina Katopodis

Christina Katopodis, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Associate and the Associate Director ofDr. Christina Katopodis is white woman wearing a black shirt Transformative Learning in the Humanities, a three-year initiative at the City University of New York (CUNY) supported by the Mellon Foundation. She is the winner of the 2019 Diana Colbert Innovative Teaching Prize and the 2018 Dewey Digital Teaching Award. She has authored or co-authored articles published in ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and CultureISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, MLA’s Profession, Hybrid Pedagogy, Inside Higher Ed, and Times Higher Ed.

With Cathy N. Davidson, Katopodis is author of The New College Classroom (Harvard University Press, 2022), a book that, in effect, draws from bell hooks, Audre Lorde, and Paolo Freire to offer practical examples and extensive research on how to actually do active, equitable, inclusive teaching in any classroom, any discipline, at any kind of university, in both introductory and specialized classes.