Race, Poetics, Empire: What is a Black Poetic and Why Does it Matter?

March 3, 2016 - 4:00pm

To acknowledge the coexistence of race and poetics feels like a radical act. To be aware of the significance of the black radical imagination at work in contexts—institutional, discursive, and other—that suppress the very idea of that imagination (or set of imaginations), is crucial to a Humanities, writ large, whose refreshment seems dependent on this very enterprise. These are, of course, all contested, unsettled terms—race, blackness, poetics, empire, human. As Fred Moten points out, for example, “there are whole new forms and modes and ideas of personhood that occur as a function of the experience of a person being taken as an object.” But to air out these terms that appear familiar, knowable, and recognizable is to invite them into the laboratory, to highlight their contested natures, or to force them to transgress comfort zones and known borders might tell us more about being human than acts of definition and seclusion.   —Exerpt from Dawn Lundy Martin's opening remarks

Featuring Annie Seaton and Erica Hunt and moderated by Dawn Lundy Martin
Cosponsored by the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics

Audio from the event is coming soon.

Location and Address

501 Cathedral of Learning