Evie Shockley: "Black Graphics: Slavery and Black Women's Bodies (of Work)"

The Rutgers professor will share her current research
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Event Date & Time
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The Zabel Lectures series presents an online lecture by Evie Shockley, Zora Neale Hurston Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers University. This talk offers excerpts from Shockley's work-in-progress, a book of interlinked mini-essays tentatively titled Black Graphics: "Colorblindness" and the Survival of Black Being. The project investigates how Black cultural production between roughly 1990 and 2015 engaged, interrogated, or made use of the dominant racial logic of the period: the ideology of "colorblindness." Her research examines poetry and other artwork that situates itself at the intersection of text and image, or the verbal and the visual. This talk takes up work by Renee Gladman, Julie Patton, and Kamau Brathwaite, among others.

Free and open to the public. Register for this online event. Presented by the Department of English. For questions about accessibility services, please email sutt0063@umn.edu or call 612-626-1528. Professor Douglas Kearney will moderate the event. 

Shockley is the author of Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (U Iowa P, 2011) and six collections of poetry. Most recently, suddenly we (Wesleyan UP) was a 2023 finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry. Among her earlier books, the new black (Wesleyan UP) received the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; and semiautomatic (Wesleyan UP) received the same award in 2018, and was also a finalist that year for the LA Times Book Review Prize and the Pulitzer Prize. 

Articles related to Shockley's Black Graphics project have appeared in New Literary History, The Black Scholar, and Contemporary Literature. Other scholarly and teaching interests include 20th and 21st century African American and African Diaspora literatures, Black feminist thought, and contemporary poetry and poetics in the US and beyond. She has placed numerous essays on these subjects in academic journals, edited volumes, and broader audience publications, such as How We Do It: Black Writers on Craft, Practice, and Skill; Furious Flower: Seeding the Future; The New Emily Dickinson Studies; Harriet; The Fate of Difficulty in the Poetry of Our Time; LARB; Literary Hub; The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Poetry; and Boston Review, among others. Since 2021, she has served as Editor for Poetry (scholarship) at Contemporary Literature

Shockley's poetry has appeared in publications such as Kenyon Review, Obsidian, Poem-a-Day, The 1619 Project, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Adi, Lana Turner, Ploughshares, The Best American Poetry, The Paris Review, Torch Literary Arts, and Poetry Daily. Honors for the body of her poetry include the Poetry Society of America's Shelley Memorial Award, the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the Stephen Henderson Award, and the Holmes National Poetry Prize.

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