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Fred Moten

"Manic Depression: A Poetics of Hesitant Sociology"

Thursday, March 30, 2017
5:00 p.m.
Main Lecture Hall
Franklin Patterson Hall
Hampshire College

The talk is an engagement with poet Rita Dove’s rendering of David Walker’s Appeal and social theorist Jared Sexton’s deployment of that rendering. It investigates the particular set of aesthetic and social forces and desires that result in and emerge from the seemingly simple phenomenon of black people looking at each other. Is that phenomenon an action or an event? Does that looking presuppose or produce subjects and objects? What work does such looking do on or for or to or against the world? In addressing these questions, the talk also seeks to contribute to an analysis of class struggle in black studies.

Fred Moten is Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside, where he teaches courses and conducts research in black studies, performance studies, poetics and literary theory. He is the author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (University of Minnesota Press, 2003); Hughson's Tavern (Leon Works, 2009); B. Jenkins (Duke University Press, 2010); The Feel Trio (Letter Machine Editions, 2014), a finalist for the National Book Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the California Book Award for poetry; The Little Edges (Wesleyan University Press, 2015), a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; and The Service Porch (Letter Machine Editions, 2016).

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