Speaker John Edwin Mason teaches African history and the history of photography at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He has written extensively on early nineteenth-century South African history, expecially the history of slavery, South African popular culture, expecially the Cape Town New Year's Carnival and jazz, and the history of photography. His research now conerns Afraican- American and South Afraican photography. He working on "Gordon Parks and American Democracy," a book about the ways in which Parks' Life magazine photo-essay on poverty and the black liberation struggle and the books that he published during the civil rights era made him one of the era's most siginificant interpreters of the black experience. Mason is also a documentary photographer with a long-term interest in exploring race and gender in motor sports.