After a two-year break from Knox, Professor Fred Hord is back teaching courses and plans on being a part of a genealogy project next term. Hord said people of all races can learn a lot about their heritage by researching into the past, using both historic and scientific evidence.
“A lot of interesting things are going on with DNA,” said Hord.
Hord said he hopes to incorporate looking at DNA through mouth-swab analysis to gather biological lineage information. Another part of the project enlists the participants to talk with their parents and grandparents about their ancestry. Hord said some of his former students have found several different cultures represented in their family tree, which they had been unaware of before.
“[The project] is a chance to see not only how we are different, because that is important, but also how we’re connected,” said Hord. “People will find out things that make them more tolerant and understanding of other groups.”
While researching family history, Hord said the participants would also build health into the discussion to investigate congenital diseases.
“It will be nice for Knox to be in front of the process,” said Hord. “That movement is going to swell.”
Hord also said the Black Studies department plans on offering new and more courses in the future. Hord said, at one point, Knox was the number two liberal arts college in the number of courses offered in Black Studies.
“There are going to be some new things I hope students will enjoy,” said Hord.
Next term there will be a course on Black Film, Black Psychology, and Social Construction of Race.
Hord said future courses might include Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement and Hip Hop Culture and Music. Hord also hopes to integrate black studies into traditional courses.
“Education should have a more immediate and direct effect on students’ lives,” said Hord, “my primary interest is really the students.”