Spring 2024 Lyceum Speaker Series

Theme: Unity in Celebration

February – Black History Month

“All About the Blues: A Historical Journey of America’s Musical Roots 

1pm – 2pm on Wednesday, February 21st (Hybrid Event)

In person gathering in CA 302 and use the link to register for this event to receive a confirmation email with zoom link to join the meeting virtually.

Speaker: Mr. Fruteland Jackson

In this presentation, Fruteland will discuss the origins of Blues music. Originating from the nation’s dark days of slavery, Blues music has evolved to embrace all races and ethnicities, becoming one of society’s first and most successful examples of diversity. Fruteland will also explore the positive impact it has had on American History.  “All About the Blues” is a journey and we invite you to come join us for our 2024- Black History Month Celebration to highlight his amazing work with “Blues in the Schools” to help keep the “Blues Alive!”

Bio: Mr. Fruteland Jackson is a transplant Chicagoan, born in Mississippi and raised on the blues while growing up in Chicago during the late 1960s and 1970s. He was surrounded by some of Chicago’s greatest blues pioneers, including Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and the incomparable legend, Mr. Buddy Guy. Naturally, this music became a significant influence on Fruteland’s musical education and career. He began teaching himself how to play instruments like the acoustic guitar, banjo, and other stringed instruments, with a focus on mastering the classic blues styles of great pioneers such as Robert Johnson, Big Bill Bronzy, Memphis Minnie, Elizabeth Cotten, ragtime, and countless others.

For more information: https://www.fruteland.com/

Moderator: Ms. Connie Robinson  ( Enrollment Management and Scheduling – Annandale Campus)

March – Women’s History Month

A Brief History of Women’s Education

1pm – 2pm in CA 302, Annandale Campus on Thursday, March 28th

Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Winters

Today, women make up the majority of students in higher education, but this was not always the case.  Only a few centuries ago, education for women was restricted to wealthy and elite households, and this learning largely focused on their future responsibilities as wives and mothers.  It was not until the nineteenth century when women matriculated to institutions of higher education, opening doors to professional, highly technical careers and encouraging discourse on a woman’s place in society.

In this presentation, Dr. Winters will explore historical conceptions and rationales that restricted women from educational opportunities, how women overcame these restrictions, and how education has been used as a tool to strive to achieve political, social, and economic equality.

Bio: Dr. Jennifer Winters received her BA in History and the combined program of Religion and Philosophy from James Madison University.  She earned her M.Litt. in Reformation Studies and Ph.D. in History from the University of St Andrews (UK).  Her current research interests are in the fields of book history and the history of education in early modern Britain.  Her papers and presentations include ‘Piracy and Print in Elizabethan England: John Wolfe, Roger Ward and the Struggle against Privilege’, ‘Female Book Ownership in Provincial England, 1580-1640’, and ‘Women’s Education and Literacy in Colonial America’.  She is currently working on an examination of school books and grammar schools in seventeenth-century Britain. Since 2013, she has worked on NOVA’s Annandale campus, teaching classes in Western, World, and Women’s history.

Moderator: Dr. Manori Nadesalingam, Physics


April- National Poetry Month 

“Dystopian Love Stories”

1pm – 2pm in CA 302, Annandale Campus, on Wednesday, April 17th

Speaker: Prof. Indigo Eriksen

In  “Dystopian Love Stories” Indigo Eriksen will share a selection of her published and unpublished poetry interspersed with storytelling. Indigo’s work blends the political and the personal from the perspective of a flawed narrator. Her recent work juxtaposes the on-going genocide in Gaza with anxieties surrounding land stewardship in the US. Previous work examines connections between land, conflict, and colonialism. Juxtaposed against these themes are Indigo’s dating poems, which is how she earned the nickname “T. Swift of the family.”

Bio: Raised in Colorado and Virginia, J. Indigo Eriksen earned her BA in Environmental Studies from Lewis & Clark College before moving to Guatemala and Mexico. She received her MFA from Mills College and MA in Comparative Literature from San Francisco State University. A doctoral candidate at George Mason University in Virginia, Indigo’s research looks at strategies for dismantling white supremacy in college composition. She is Professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College where her unofficial work includes leading hiking trips and teaching students and staff how to backpack. Indigo previously served on the TYCA-SE REC as the Membership Chair for 2016-2019. Her creative work has appeared in the Texas Review Press (forthcoming, 2022), District Fray (July 2020), The Northern Virginia Review, Scratching Against the Fabric, Endlessly Rocking, and TYCA-SE Journal.  She is a 2023 Writing the Land poet with the Piney Grove Preserve. Indigo was a 2021 The Inner Loop Writer-in-Residence at the Woodlawn Pope-Leighey House and recipient of the 2019 Mary Roberts Rinehart prize in nonfiction from GMU.

Moderator: Prof. Steven Lessner, English