Winton Chair in the Liberal Arts

The Winton Chair in the Liberal Arts was established in October 1987 to encourage “innovative, distinctive research in the liberal arts” with the special directive that the chair be held by individuals whose research or creative work “questions established patterns of thought.”

The benefactors, David Michael Winton and Penny Rand Winton, expressed interest in supporting individuals whose work challenges cultural paradigms and represents important breaks from dominant patterns of thought.

A photo of the Winton Chair's 2018 Cornerstone speaker, Queen Quet.

The Winton Chair Committee is pleased to announce our first Cornerstone Visitor of 2018. Queen Quet, Chieftess, and Head of State of the Gullah/Geechee nation will join us April 24th-April 26th, 2018, for a series of public engagements about Gullah/Geechee cultural continuity and sustainability in the face of climate change and rising seas.

Queen Quet is an internationally recognized representative and advocate for the Gullah/Geechee nation. She has not only provided “histo-musical presentations” throughout the world but was also the first Gullah/Geechee person to speak on behalf of her people before the United Nations in Genevé, Switzerland.

Find out more and RSVP for Cornerstone events.

Current Winton Chair

Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Hosts: Theatre Arts and Dance

headshot of Alexis Pauline Gumbs

CLA is pleased to announce the appointment of Alexis Pauline Gumbs as the new Winton Chair in the Liberal Arts, to be in residence in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance for the upcoming two academic years, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

The author of Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity (Duke University Press, 2016), and M Archive: At the End of the World (Duke University Press, forthcoming), Dr. Gumbs has been hailed as an innovative public intellectual whose work challenges “the boundaries of artmaking and scholarship”. She is a practicing poet, artist, educator, and scholar, and the first person to do archival research in the papers of Audre Lorde, June Jordan, and Lucille Clifton, conducted while achieving her PhD in English, Africana Studies, and Women’s Studies at Duke University. In 2002, at the age of nineteen, Dr. Gumbs founded BrokenBeautiful Press a grassroots publishing initiative inspired by Kitchen Table Press, which has published several poetry collections, educational zines, transformative workbooks, and online projects. She is also the founder of the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind, a transmedia-enabled community school and lending library based in Durham, North Carolina, and co-creator of the Mobile Homecoming Project, a national experiential archive amplifying generations of black LGBTQ brilliance. In 2012, Alexis founded Brilliance Remastered, a multifaceted educational project to support visionary underrepresented graduate students and emerging community-accountable scholars in staying connected to their purpose and their communities.

While at Minnesota, Dr. Gumbs will be facilitating immersive embodied intensives for and with graduate students, undergraduate students, faculty, staff, and community members while also initiating a practice of broader community engagement at the University and in the Twin Cities. In all instances, Dr. Gumbs will extend her characteristic practice of purposeful presence, challenging audiences to become collaborators in the work of listening, receiving, and remaking. During her residency, Dr. Gumbs will also continue her ongoing creative partnership with the writer, artist, preacher, and filmmaker, Sangodare (also known as Julia Roxanne Wallace). This collaboration has been made possible by the Department of Art, which is pleased to announce that Sangodare will be artist-in-residence during 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.

There are nearly 20 past Winton Chair Holders & Visiting Scholars dating back to 1993.