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Black History Month: Essayisms Reading Group

Monday 12 October 2020, 4.30PM to 6.00pm

Please join us to mark Black History Month at the first meeting of the Essayisms Reading Group, part of CModS 'The Contemporary Essay' Research Strand. 
In this inaugural launch event we will consider and celebrate the work of groundbreaking black essayists who put the essay form to work in the service of both political and aesthetic innovation and persuasion. What is the radical potential of the essay as an aesthetic form? How does it make visible the relationship between personal experience, national and cultural identity, and wider political forces? What is the role of the essay in political activism past and present? And where is its place in black literary histories across the globe? 
This week we'll be discussing 
  • James Baldwin 'Notes of a Native Son' (1955) 
  • An extract from Margo Jefferson's Negroland (2015)
  • 'liminal spaces i' from Just Us (2020) by Claudia Rankine 
  • Fred Moten talk on 'The Poet's Essay' which can be watched here
We have included an additional review of Negroland for your interest. You can access the readings via this shared google folder. If you don't have a York institutional email address please contact Dr Lola Boorman ( for access. 

Please register your attendance via the link.



Location: Online by Zoom

Admission: All are welcome