[By: Jerry W. Ward, Jr.] The death of Senator John McCain quickens our interest in how to deal with contemporary narratives of life history. McCain’s touchstone story pertains to American conservative values, the consequences of trauma, military and public service, violence, and a sense of honor. Barack Obama’s differently remarkable narratives direct attention to the absence of military service, class and caste violence, the audacity […]
[By: Dr. Maryemma Graham] Reginald Martin 1956-2018 Poet, novelist, professor, scholar, editor, mentor, musician, and boxing enthusiast, Reginald Martin became a household name early in his career, not because he played by the rules, but because he did not. Awarded tenure at 35, the youngest for anyone at the University of Memphis, Martin was among those younger scholars who elected to remain in his native South, […]
[By: Alysha Griffin] Dear Chancellor Girod, I write to expose a glaring contradiction with the agreement to remove Josephine Meckseper’s “Untitled (Flag 2)”—what Gov. Jeff Colyer calls a “desecrated American flag”– from the grounds of Spooner Hall. To be clear, I have no investment in the display of this particular piece. Also, I firmly believe that the American people gain nothing by conflating the sacrifices […]
[By: Dr. Maryemma Graham] Toni Morrison is the greatest novelist of our times, but more and more, I find myself drawn to the wisdom in her essays, like those in Playing in the Dark or earlier works like The Site of Memory and the brutal honesty revealed in “Unspeakable Things Unspoken.” The Origin of Others is her latest testament to the truth of our time, reaffirming her […]
[By: Jennifer M. Wilmot] Recently, KU became embroiled in a public debate over free speech and public art when Governor Jeff Colyer demanded an art installation at The Commons (Spooner Hall) be removed, which Chancellor Douglas Girod then complied. The piece “Untitled (Flag 2)” by German-born, New York-based artist Josephine Meckseper, was met with fierce and swift backlash from conservative politicians across the state. Proclaiming […]
Thanks to a Digital Extension Grant of $150,000 from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Project on the History of Black Writing is advancing our Black Book Interactive Project (BBIP) and making more Black novels digitally available. Read more here. Congratulations to the BBIP team!
[By: Christopher Peace] Lillvis, Kristen. Posthuman Blackness and the Black Female Imagination. University of Georgia Press, 2017. Kristen Lillvis’s Posthuman Blackness and the Black Female Imagination explores posthumanism’s fusion of the body, flesh, gender and race through the works of various neo-slave narratives and contemporary performance artists. This “assemblage of ideas, material, and beings” speculates the future and positionality of the Black female imagination. Lillivis […]