Orange Alert

Ray Smith Symposium continues yearlong "dissent" theme

Upcoming events look at the impact of Grove Press and a former head of the U.S. Communist Party

Feb. 6, 2013, by Rob Enslin

Positions of Dissent banner image
Positions of Dissent banner image
The Ray Smith Symposium, sponsored by Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, continues its yearlong exploration of “Positions of Dissent” with various events devoted to the impact of Grove Press and the former head of the U.S. Communist Party, Earl Browder. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Lucy Mulroney, curator of the SU Library’s Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), at 315-443-8538.

The schedule includes a screening of “Dissent on Film,” featuring highlights from the Grove Press Film Division, on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Palace Theater (2384 James St.), followed by a public reading session, aptly titled “Reading Grove,” on Thursday, April 18, at 6 p.m. at XL Projects (307-313 South Clinton St.). The events are part of a groundbreaking exhibition in the SCRC titled “Strange Victories: Grove Press, 1951-1985.”

“Grove Press forever altered the American literary landscape and its relationship to social mores, equality, and freedom of expression,” says Sean Quimby, symposium organizer and senior director of the SCRC. “Until now, the Grove Press archive has remained largely hidden from scholarly view. This exhibition reveals the tremendous wealth of this newly available collection."


Laura Browder
Laura Browder
Central to “Positions of Dissent” is the Visiting Scholar Lecture Series, which continues with presentations by Laura Browder, the Tyler and Alice Haynes Professor of American Studies at the University of Richmond. Browder will deliver the keynote lecture “Hammer and Sickle, Stars and Stripes: The Odyssey of Earl Browder” on Thursday, March 7, at 6 p.m. in the library’s Peter Graham Scholarly Commons. At 10 a.m. the following day, she will participate in a Mini-Seminar in the SCRC's Lemke Seminar Room. To RSVP for the Mini-Seminar, contact or 315-443-9763.

Laura’s grandfather, Earl (1891-1973), was head of the U.S. Communist Party during the 1930s and ‘40s.

“Positions of Dissent” is organized and presented by the SCRC, as well as an interdisciplinary group of faculty from across campus. The symposium is co-sponsored by The SU Humanities Center, the School of Architecture, and departments of History and English.

Running concurrently with "Positions of Dissent" is another Ray Smith Symposium, "Moving Borders," which looks at issues of displacement among Latinas/os. 

The Ray Smith Symposium Series was established in 1989 as the result of a bequest from the estate of SU alumnus Ray W. Smith '21 to support symposia on topics in the humanities in SU's College of Arts and Sciences. The symposium is named for the Auburn, N.Y. native who, after graduating from SU in 1921, was a highly respected teacher and administrator.

Media Contact

Rob Enslin