Dr. William Banfield, who holds St. Thomas’ Endowed Chair in Humanities and Fine Arts, is one of the presenters at Macalester College’s first African American Studies Conference, “The Politics of Representation,” Nov. 12-14 in the college’s Weyerhaeuser Memorial Chapel.

All sessions are free and open to the public at the conference, which this year examines questions of racial identity and the way African Americans have been depicted.

The conference opens with a keynote address, “African Americans and the New Millennium,” by Hortense Spillers, a leading scholar in African American literature, at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12. Spillers is the Frederick J. Whiton Chair in English at Cornell University.

Banfield’s presentation, “Authenticity, Image and Identity: Black Music as an American Cultural Study,” will be given from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Other presentations, to be given by professors from Twin Cities colleges and universities, include “Music and Memory in Toni Morrison’s Novels,” “In Adherence to Moderation and Decorum: The Shaping of Minnesota’s Black Agenda, 1869,” “Nella Larsen’s Re: Construction of the Modernist Autobiography” and more.

For conference details, call (651) 696-6203.