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Black Poetics and Environmental Memory: A Reading and Conversation featuring Ed Roberson and Tiana Clark

Memorializing Dialogue graphic

When: Thursday, October 31, 2019
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM CT

Where: University Hall, #201, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free and public welcome.

Contact: Jill Mannor   (847) 467-3970

Group: Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities

Co-Sponsor: American Studies Program
English Department
SOC - Department of Performance Studies
History Department
Philosophy Co-Sponsored Events
Religious Studies Department
Critical Theory

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Black Poetics and Environmental Memory: A Reading and Conversation featuring Ed Roberson and Tiana Clark

Modern environmentalism has often struggled to account for histories of racialized dispossession. However, many Black poets have taken up environmental concerns, as illustrated by the landmark anthology Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry. Environmental poetics continues to be a prominent theme in much contemporary Black poetry. For example, Tiana Clark's recent collection I Can't Talk About the Trees Without the Blood draws our attention to the predicament of Black poets facing a pastoral landscape whose image has been marred by the memory of bloodshed. "Black Poetics and Environmental Memory" will feature a reading and conversation between Tiana Clark and Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize-winner Ed Roberson. These celebrated contemporary Black poets will discuss their relationship to environmental thought as inflected through and/or contesting histories and memories of racialized violence. This event asks: Is it possible to find beauty in such landscapes knowing what has occurred there, and how might memorialization itself be an environmental act?

Co-presented by the Poetry and Poetics Colloquium, African American Studies, American Cultures Colloquium, American Studies, Black Arts Initiative, Black Poetics Collective, Program in Critical Theory, Environmental Humanities Research Workshop, Environmental Policy and Culture, The Graduate School, History, Litowitz Creative Writing Program, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Kaplan Humanities Institute.


The 2019-2020 Humanities Dialogue: MEMORIALIZING

A year-long public conversation about commemorating, contesting, and claiming from humanistic perspectives.

What stories do monuments tell?
When is remembrance also a repression?
How does memorializing shape the present?
How do we negotiate collective and disputed memories?

Presented in partnership with multiple Northwestern departments and programs, the Memorializing Dialogue will include talks by distinguished scholars and artists from different disciplinary perspectives.

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