Northwestern Events Calendar


Leon Forrest Lecture featuring Professor Farah Jasmine Griffin

When: Wednesday, May 3, 2023
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM CT

Where: Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 Evanston map it

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

Contact: Tyla Landry   (847) 491-5122

Group: African American Studies Department

Category: Academic


Farah Jasmine Griffin is the William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature at African American Studies at Columbia University where she also served as the inaugural Chair of the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department. Professor Griffin received her B.A. from Harvard and her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale. She is the author or editor of eight books including Who Set You Flowin?: The African American Migration Narrative (Oxford, 1995), If You Can’t Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday (Free Press, 2001), Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever (with Salim Washington, Thomas Dunne Press, 2008), and Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists and Progressive Politics During World War II (Basic Books, 2013). Her most recent book, the critically acclaimed Read Until You Understand: The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature, was published by W.W. Norton in September, 2021. Her collected essays, In Search of a Beautiful Freedom: New and Selected Essays, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton.
She collaborated with composer, pianist, Geri Allen and director, actor S. Epatha Merkerson on two theatrical projects, for which she wrote the book: The first, “Geri Allen and Friends Celebrate the Great Jazz Women of the Apollo,” with Lizz Wright, Dianne Reeves, Teri Lyne Carrington and others, premiered on the main stage of the Apollo Theater in May of 2013. The second, “A Conversation with Mary Lou” featuring vocalist Carmen Lundy, premiered at Harlem Stage in March 2014 and was performed at The John F. Kennedy Center in May of 2016.

Griffin was 2021 Guggenheim Fellow and Mellon Foundation Fellow in Residence.

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