Keynote Speaker

Keynote Luncheon Address 2021

Ama Bemma Adwetewa-Badu '15

2021 Keynote Speaker Ama Bemma

Ama Bemma Adwetewa-Badu (MCLA class of 2015) is a Ph.D. Candidate (ABD) in the Department of Literatures in English at Cornell University. While at Cornell, she has been a Digital Humanities Fellow (2019), the director and founder of the Global Poetics Project (2019- present), and the co-founder of the Comparative Black Studies Working Group (2018 to present). During the 2021-2022 academic year, she will begin her tenure as a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow.

Ama Bemma was born in Ghana but was brought up in Massachusetts; she currently lives in New York. She is a 2015 Newman Civic Fellow and MCLA’s 2018 Alumna of the year. She currently runs a month-long poetry series for residential students at Cornell University, which has been run successfully three times. Ama Bemma also works towards equity and access in higher education for immigrant youth, first-generation Americans, and inner-city students through workshops and talks hosted throughout New England. Prior to Cornell, Ama Bemma received a BA in English & Communications from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (2015) and an MA in English from Clark University (2017). She recently received an MA in English from Cornell University (2019).

Ama Bemma’s research is concerned with the interrelation of poetry and politics, post-1960s literary history, theories of world literature, the digital humanities, and comparative Black studies. She draws upon close readings, archival materials, and digital network modeling and mapping to enthuse her research. Her dissertation, Literary Intimacies: The Politics and Poetics of Global Anglophone Poetry, engages with a network of Afro-diasporic poets from the intertwined moments of the Cold War and decolonization to the present day, arguing for a reinterpretation of poetic practice as mediated by institutions and media forms beyond and alongside national and regional borders. Ama Bemma’s writing and reviews on contemporary poetry, Afro-diasporic literature and culture, and the digital humanities are published or forthcoming from Modernism/Modernity Print+, Comparative Literature Studies, and The Black Scholar.


URC Keynote Speakers from Recent Years

2020 Ama Bemma Adwetewa-Badu '15 - Canceled due to COVID19 pandemic

2019 Alexandra Nichipor '12

2018 James Chapman 15'

2017 Kaitlin Hallet '10

2016 Chloe McGrath '13

2015 Alicia Girgenti, Ph.D '07

2014 Victoria Welch '09

2013 Evan Hermann '07

2012 Jarrod Abbott-Washburn '08

2011 Brendan Gaesser '07

2010 Maura Mills '05

2009 Trisha Farco '04

2008 Gerol Petruzella '01

2007 Bonnie Beal '01