Morris is an interdisciplinary poet and sound artist. Her recent poetry collections include handholding: 5 kinds (2016) and Rhyme Scheme (2012). Her work is featured in numerous anthologies, including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind (2015), The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (2015), and An Exaltation of Forms: Contemporary Poets Celebrate the Diversity of Their Art (2002). With Charles Bernstein, she coedited Best American Experimental Writing (2016). In her poetry, Morris transforms and complicates her subjects of abuse, power, and the body through repetition and accretive adjustments or substitutions. Her sound installations have been presented at the Whitney Biennial, MoMA, the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, and other sites. She has received numerous honors, including grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Creative Capital, and the Asian Cultural Council and residencies at Yaddo and the Millay and MacDowell colonies. Morris is a professor in humanities and media studies at Pratt Institute in New York.

Tracie Morris will give a poetry reading on Oct. 26 as part of the Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series. The time and location will be finalized in the fall.

From riots spanning Baltimore, London, Paris, and Oakland, forms of protest have become increasingly common in the twenty-first century. How are we to understand the prevalence of riots today? How do riots today relate to those of the 1970s and, reaching further back, to the strikes of the nineteenth century during the Industrial Revolution? And what are the possibilities and limitations of collective action in our increasingly polarized and divided political climate? To address these questions, Professor Joshua Clover will speak on “Community in the Age of Riots” on Thursday, October 19th at 5 pm.

A professor of Literature and Critical Theory at University of California Davis, Professor Clover is the author of Riot. Strike. Riot.: The New Era of Uprisings (Verso, 2016). He is also an award-winning poet and author of Red Epic (Commune Editions, 2015) and 1989: Bob Dylan Didn’t Have This to Sing About (UC Press, 2010).

Shannon Winnubst will speak on “Mind-Blowing Racism: The Challenge of Decoloniality” on Tuesday, October 3rd at 4:30 in DeTamble Auditorium. Winnubst is the Chair of the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Ohio State University. She is the author of Way Too Cool: Selling Out Race & Ethics (Columbia UP: 2015) and Queering Freedom (Indiana UP: 2006), and editor for Reading Bataille Now (Indiana UP: 2006).

Speaker Shannon Winnubst


Hubert McNeill Poteat Lecture

Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 4:00 pm
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Auditorium, Room 404
Dr. Claudia Kairoff
Professor of English and Recipient of the
MacDonough Family Faculty Fellowship
will lecture on  “Raising Her Voice: A Critical Edition of The Works of Anne Finch,
Countess of Winchilsea”

Reception following the lecture


Gabriel Blackwell

The Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series Presents: Gabriel Blackwell.

Gabriel Blackwell is the author of four books, the most recent of which is Madeleine E., a commonplace book that arranges passages from critics considering Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, along with fragments of memoir and fiction.  The Fanzine has called the book “creative criticism of the highest order,” while 3 A.M. hailed it as “a genuinely mind-bending and dryly hilarious hall of mirrors that combines metafiction with criticism, film theory, and philosophy.”  The book was named as one of the year’s best by The Believer, Vice, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn.  Blackwell’s shorter fictions and essays have appeared in many issues of Conjunctions, in Tin House, DIAGRAM, Post Road, the Kenyon Review, and elsewhere.  He is the editor of The Collagist, and he teaches creative writing at the University of West Florida.

Donna F. Edwards was an English major at Wake Forest, and will be speaking in President Hatch’s Leadership Project series. This event is free and open to the public, and will be in Broyhill Auditorium in Farrell Hall.


“Hieroglyphs of Blackness: Egypt, Fantasy, and the American Imaginary” examines representations of Egypt to reconceptualize the meanings and limits of transnational affinity relative to discourses about the black diaspora. Covering a long historical arc from the 18th century to the present, with particular attention to the aesthetic practices of iconography, this talk analyzes how cultural producers have imagined Egypt in various representations from classical civilization to anti-colonial polity to animate “blackness” both as a critique of the nation and the embodiment of a transnational political currency.

The Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series Presents: Chris Abani. Chris Abani’s books of fiction include The Secret History of Las Vegas, Song For Night, The Virgin of Flames, Becoming Abigail, Graceland, and Masters of the Board. His poetry collections are Sanctificum, There Are No Names for Red, Feed Me The Sun: Collected Long Poems, Hands Washing Water, Dog Woman, Daphne’s Lot, and Kalakuta Republic. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Hemingway Award, the PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the Hurston Wright Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship, among many honors. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, German, Swedish, Romanian, Hebrew, Macedonian, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Dutch, Bosnian, and Serbian.

The Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program invites you to a day-long Chaucer workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 28th in Tribble Hall C1 10:00am-noon, and 2:00-4:00pm. The workshop will focus on Chaucer’s well-known tale of Patient Griselda, his “Clerk’s Tale,” and will include the Portrait of the Çlerk from the “General Prologue,” the “Prologue to the Clerk’s Tale” and the tale itself. Texts either in Modern or Middle English will
be available

Two experts will lead our workshop: Carl David Benson, beloved Professor Emeritus of the University of Connecticut, author of nine important books on Chaucer and Middle English literature, especially Piers Plowman, along with ninety-odd book chapters and journal articles — scholarship that encompasses the wide body of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Middle English literature. The Chaucer Review dedicated its first double issue to his essential work.

Jamie Fumo is a professor at Florida State, and has written two highly regarded books and edited two others on Chaucer and Middle English Literature in addition to numerous articles. Her work is rigorous, original and witty, “a triumph of wide-ranging scholarship and literary interpretation.”

In Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, Giorgio Agamben famously defines sacred life as a life that can be killed but not sacrificed. Insofar as the sacredness of life consists in being the originary form of the inclusion of bare life (or natural, biological life as such) in the juridical order, it is taken as the expression of a set of topological relations implicit within the structure of sovereignty. The body of the sovereign and the body of homo sacer are endlessly exchangeable in a topological process. Especially in his later work, Lacan’s hypotheses concerning the Borromean structure (R,S,I) and its knotting demonstrate the strict equivalence between topology and structure. To speak of structure is, according to him, to constitute a topology. But what is finally called topology, how does it envisage space, and what topology is valid for a body? What do recent developments in topology allow us to posit? By focusing on Lacan’s play with the Borromean knot and Agamben’s concept of homo sacer, I will reveal and challenge the subject inherently valued by the structure of sovereignty that continues to inscribe itself in philosophical and psychoanalytic discourse alike.

Brief Bio: Jennifer Yusin is an associate professor in the Department of English and Philosophy at Drexel University. She is the author of The Future Life of Trauma, which is forthcoming spring 2017 from Fordham University Press. Her writings may be found in Textual Practice, Culture, Theory, and Critique, and The Journal of Contemporary Literature, among others. Currently, she is working on a critique of the category of the symbolic, especially as it appears in the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jacques Lacan.

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