Join us for online presentations featuring acclaimed literary critics, historians, and other scholars.
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Thursday, July 16, 2020
6:00 – 7:00 pm ET
Reading James Baldwin Now:
Darryl Pinckney on No Name in the Street
The prophetic power of James Baldwin’s explorations of race in America has never been more illuminating, his call to realize the nation’s unfulfilled promises never more urgent. Join novelist and cultural critic Darryl Pinckney for a close reading of Baldwin’s beautiful, blistering memoir of the events that forged his consciousness of race and identity: growing up in Harlem, the murders of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X, his long residence in France, his fateful decision to return to the American South.
“It has been vivid to me for many years that what we call a race problem here is not a race problem at all: to keep calling it that is a way of avoiding the problem. The problem is rooted in the question of how one treats one’s flesh and blood, especially one’s children.”
Presented in partnership with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics & Writers (ALSCW), and the American Writers Museum.
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
6:00 – 7:00 pm ET
Who Tells Your Story:
Joanne B. Freeman on Hamilton and History
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s revolutionary musical has had an extraordinary impact on the public’s perception of Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and America’s Founding Era. What does it get right about that history, and what does it ignore or get wrong? As Hamilton premieres on Disney+, Joanne B. Freeman, Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University and editor of the Library of America edition of Hamilton’s writing that helped to inspire Miranda, discusses the musical and what it tells us about how history is made and remade.
Presented in partnership with the National Council for History Education and the New-York Historical Society.
(All dates and times TBD; watch this page for updates.)
• African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song with Kevin Young, Poetry Editor for The New Yorker and Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
• Who Were the American Suffragists? with historian Susan Ware
• Lincoln on the Verge of Greatness with historian Ted Widmer
• Richard Hofstadter and the Paranoid Style in American Politics Today
• American Birds: A Literary Celebration
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Reading James Baldwin Now: Farah Jasmine Griffin on “Sonny’s Blues”
The prophetic power of James Baldwin’s explorations of race and America’s unfulfilled promise has never been more illuminating or more necessary. Farah Jasmine Griffin, chair of Columbia University’s Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, offers a close reading of Baldwin’s unforgettable story of a jazz pianist’s struggles with his art and his addiction. (1 hr., 1 min.)
Presented in partnership with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, the University of Houston, the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics & Writers (ALSCW), and the American Writers Museum.
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Harold Bloom and the American Canon from Emerson to Toni Morrison
A Conversation with David Mikics
What makes a book classic? How are great American writers shaped by those who came before? Harold Bloom explored these questions with passion and insight for fifty years. Literary scholar David Mikics, editor of the Library of America volume Harold Bloom: The American Canon: Literary Genius from Emerson to Pynchon, joins LOA’s John Kulka for an intimate conversation about how he wove several decades of Bloom’s writing—much of it hard to find and long unavailable—into a compelling portrait of American literary genius. LOA President and Publisher Max Rudin introduces the Zoom conversation. (1 hr., 2 min.)
Presented in partnership with Tablet, The Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers (ALSCW), and the University of Houston.
June 4, 2020
What Is American Conservatism?
A Conversation with Andrew J. Bacevich and Sean Wilentz
Andrew J. Bacevich, editor of Library of America’s American Conservatism: Reclaiming an Intellectual Tradition, and historian Sean Wilentz engage in an urgent and timely conversation about the past, present, and future of an often misunderstood tradition of American political thought. (1 hr., 1 min.)