John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair of Southern Literature & Creative Writing, English and African-American Studies, University of South Carolina
Nikky Finney was born in South Carolina, within listening distance of the sea. A child of activists, she came of age during the civil rights and Black Arts Movements. At Talladega College, nurtured by Hale Woodruff's Amistad murals, Finney began to understand the powerful synergy between art and history. Finney has authored four books of poetry: Head Off & Split (2011); The World Is Round (2003); Rice (1995); and On Wings Made of Gauze (1985). The John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair in Southern Letters and Literature at the University of South Carolina, Finney also authored Heartwood (1997) edited The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007), and co- founded the Affrilachian Poets. Finney's fourth book of poetry, Head Off & Split was awarded the 2011 National Book Award for poetry.
TOPIC: "Hog Killing"
DATE: Monday March 24, 2014
Discussant: BRENT EDWARDS
Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University
B.A., Yale (1990); M.A., Columbia (1992); Ph.D., Columbia (1998). Professor Edwards is the author of The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism (Harvard UP, 2003), which was awarded the John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association, the Gilbert Chinard prize of the Society for French Historical Studies, and runner-up for the James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association. With Robert G. O'Meally and Farah Jasmine Griffin, he co-edited the collection Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies (Columbia UP, 2004). He has published essays and articles on topics including African American literature, Francophone literature, theories of the African diaspora, black radical intellectuals, cultural politics in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, surrealism, 20th-century poetics, and jazz. His translations include essays, poems, and fiction by authors including Edouard Glissant, Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard, Sony Labou Tansi, and Monchoachi. He is co-editor of the journal Social Text, and serves on the editorial boards of Transition and Callaloo. He is currently working on two book projects: a study of the interplay between jazz and literature in African American culture; and a cultural history of the jazz scene in New York in the 1970s.