30 Apr & 1 May: Caleb Smith–Lecture and Seminar

Hi all,

Please join us at the end of this month for a lecture and seminar presented by Caleb Smith, professor of English and American Studies at Yale University. The lecture will take place on Wednesday, April 30th at 6:30PM in rooms C201/202 at the CUNY Graduate Center. The seminar will be held the following day, Thursday May 1st in room 3309. There are several readings attached to the seminar, which you can access in this post below. Here is further information on both events. Hope to see you then!

Words of Fire 

The Incendiary Text and the Curse of Slavery

Caleb Smith

Professor of English and American Studies, Yale University

Wednesday, 30 April, 6:30PM

Room c201/c202

With the rise of radical abolitionism, and in the wake of the Southampton slave rebellion, the idea of the “incendiary” text began to preoccupy the nineteenth-century public sphere. This lecture explores the history of moral protest behind the fantasy that printed documents, including literary texts, could light the fires of insurrection. Drawn from my book, The Oracle and the Curse, the lecture shows how religion and print contributed to the making of the militant black Atlantic.

Please also join us for a seminar with Dr. Smith:

 A Living Tomb

Thursday, 1 May, Room 3309

 The seminar will revisit the origins of the U.S. penitentiary system and some early examples of prison literature, asking how the prison came to be imagined both as an instrument of disciplinary subject-formation and as a scene of dehumanizing abjection.

Caleb Smith is professor of English and American Studies at Yale University and the author of The Oracle and the Curse (2013) and The Prison and the American Imagination (2009). He is working on an edition of “The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict,” an 1858 narrative by Austin Reed, an African American inmate of New York’s Auburn State Prison, which will be published by Random House in 2016. His writing on contemporary media and the arts appears in BombThe Los Angeles Review of Books, Paper Monument, Yale Review, and Avidly.

Caleb Smith–from The Prison and the American Imagination

Dayan, Joan–Legal Slaves and Civil Bodies

Foucault, from Discipline and Punish

Smith, Caleb–Harry Hawser’s Fate [Optional]

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  1. Pingback: Upcoming Events: May 2014 | Frances Tran

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