Opening Reception — The Photography of Norman Spencer

Join us in celebrating the addition of Norman Spencer photography and films to the UC San Diego Library collection. The Library will be hosting an opening reception on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in Geisel’s Seuss Room.  The exhibit runs October 3 through November 1, 2017.

Courtesy of Norman Spencer

“Professor Spencer’s photographs captured the intimate moments of key players in Chinese alternative culture, especially queer cinema. The newly acquired collection of his photographs enhances the UC San Diego Library’s world-renowned reputation as the best place to study underground and independent Chinese cinema,” said Yingjin Zhang, Distinguished Professor of Modern Chinese Literature at UC San Diego.

Professor Zhang will give introductory remarks at the opening reception on October 10.

Norman A. Spencer, Ph.D. has taught at universities in Africa, China and the United States including Tianjin Foreign Cultures University in China and China Communications University in Beijing. He has written on African, West Indian, and African American culture and politics.

Professor Spencer was active in the Civil Rights  Movement in the American South during the early 1960s. He attended the Highlander Folk School where the famous song “We Shall Overcome” originated. He was a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) while he was a student at Sewanee: The University of the South which was racially segregated during this period. Later he fought in the Vietnam War as a seaman in the U.S. Navy but was active in the anti-war movement when he returned to the U.S. He did a M.A. at San Francisco State University when it was a center for the Black Arts Movement and later wrote a Ph.D. dissertation under the direction of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones, the radical African American writer, intellectual, and political activist, at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Professor Spencer currently lives in New York City and is a full time professor of English at State University of New York at Nassau. If you would like more information about the artist or this exhibit, contact Xi Chen at

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