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Upcoming Events

February 23-25, 2022

Qiana Whitted, Professor of English & Chair of African American Studies at University of South Carolina. Author of "A God of Justice?" The Problem of Evil in 20th Century Black Literature (University of Virginia Press, 2009). Since then, Qiana has focused on race and social protest in graphic novels, science fiction, comic books. Her public talk will be in Roger's Chapel on the evening of Thursday, Feb 24.

March 7-9, 2022

Brit Bennett as the 2022 Zale-Kimmerling writer-in-residence. Public reading and interview will be on March 7. We will likely be offering course development grants in the fall to faculty interested in incorporating her work into a class and having her do a class visit while she is here. More info to come.

Past events

November 17, 2021

Simeon Marsalis, New York writer who earned his MFA in 2019 from Rutgers University-Newark. His first novel, As Lie Is to Grin, was published by Catapult in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Center for Fiction's first novel prize. His short story, "The Exterminator," appears in the Fall 2021 Founders' Issue of Lampblack, a magazine and literary organization that he helped to co-found. Marsalis is working on his second novel, End Times, and is currently a part-time lecturer in the English Department at Rutgers University-Newark.

Public reading, conversation with Professor Lazar, and a Q&A portion, 11/17 at 7:00pm, Stone Auditorium.

For more information, call the English Department at 504-865-5160.

November 7-8, 2021

Khadijah Queen as the Arons visiting poet. A public reading on the evening of November 8 and a small workshop for students on November 7. Khadijah is the author of seven books; her most recent is Anodyne (Tin House Books, 2020).

September 21, 2021

Yaa Gyasi: Transcendent Kingdom – Reading Project Selection. Public talk Tuesday 9 /21 5:30 Dixon Hall

March 4, 2021

Tyrone Palmer, post-doctoral fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities, Columbia University. Guest speaker for ENLS 7780-01 Contemporary African American Literature and Black Critical Theory, Selamawit Terrefe.

Talk titled "Feeling-as-Capture".

This talk considers Dionne Brand’s 2001 experimental memoir A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes to Belonging, arguing that the text theorizes the gulf between Blackness and the World as rooted in the question of affective experience. I read Brand’s deployment of the concept-metaphor of “the Door” and its attendant “tear in the world” as indexing the chasm from which Black feeling outside of and against “the World” as relational container irrupts. Brand’s text reveals that rather than offering an escape from meaning-as-capture, when considered from the position of Blackness, feeling is capture, and it is this seemingly paradoxical state of things that renders Black affect aporetic.

March 17, 2021

Lisa Woolfork, Associate Professor of English and Co-Chair of the Center for Liberal Arts, University of Virginia. Guest speaker for ENLS 7720-01 Black Women Writer Long 19th Century, Kate Adams. Discussion of Embodying Slavery

April 7, 2021

Irvin J. Hunt, Assistant Professor of English, African American Studies, and Interpretive Theory at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Guest speaker for ENLS 7720-02 Black Women Writer Long 19th Century, Kate Adams. Discussion of “Planned Failure”.

April 19, 2021

Zoë Henry, Ph.D. candidate, Indiana University Bloomington. Guest speaker for ENLS 7760-01 Modern American Literature: Living the Apocalypse, Erin Kappeler. The talk is titled “‘I am Speaking’: A Reappraisal of Critique in Times of Crisis.”

April 13, 2021

Ava Kim, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Pennsylvania: " Trans/Nation: Death, Democracy, and Transnormativity" for ENLS 7140, Cheryl Naruse.

April 13, 2021

Sayan Bhattarcharya, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Minnesota: " Memory as an Act of Care: Towards a Decolonial Politics of Queerness" for ENLS 7140, Cheryl Naruse.

April 29, 2021

Joy James, Ebenezer Fitch Professor of the Humanities, Williams College. Guest Speaker for Selamawit D. Terrefe's ENLS 7780-01, Contemporary African American Literature & Black Critical Theory. Title of talk: '"What is to be Done?": A Query for the "Beloved Community."'

May 4, 2021

Aiko Yamashiro, Director for Hawai'i Humanities Council: "Indigenous and Postcolonial Theories: Origins, Actions, and How we Feel in the Doing" for ENLS 7140, Cheryl Naruse.