University of California Professor To Talk Class Struggle in Black Studies at 2017 Schocket Lecture

University of California English Professor Fred Moten, a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow and researcher of black studies, performance studies, poetics, and literary theory, will deliver his talk, “Manic Depression: A Poetics of Hesitant Sociology,” on Thursday, March 30, at 5:00 p.m. in Franklin Patterson’s Main Lecture Hall.

In his talk, Moten will investigate the seemingly simple act 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? Moten’s talk is an engagement with the poet Rita Dove’s rendering of David Walker’s Appeal and the social theorist Jared Sexton’s deployment of that rendering.

Moten has written numerous books and collections. The Feel Trio was a poetry finalist for the National Book Award and for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the winner of the California Book Award for poetry. He also wrote The Little Edges, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and The Service Porch.

He is the coauthor, with Stefano Harney, of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study, and, with Wu Tsang, of Who touched me? (If I Can’t Dance, I Don't Want to Be Part of Your Revolution, 2016). Among his current projects are two critical texts, consent not to be a single being (forthcoming from Duke University Press), and Hesitant Sociology: Blackness and Poetry, both of which extend his study of black art and social life.

About the Eric N. Schocket Memorial Lecture Series

For ten years, from 1996 until his death from leukemia in September 2006, Professor Eric Schocket was an active and much-loved member of the Hampshire College community. A nationally prominent scholar of American literature – his first book, Vanishing Moments: Class and American Literature, was published in 2006 – he wrote primarily on issues of class consciousness and social stratification in America, as seen through and changed by the powerful lens of literature.

In the Hampshire College community, Eric is remembered not only for the skill and insight of his published works, but also for the passion and humanity he brought to his work as a teacher, adviser, and colleague.

The lecture series was established to honor Eric's memory and to further the field to which he was so devoted.