Tag: Freedom of Expression

Erasure of Black Thought: A Conversation about Critical Race Theory with Black Academics and Writers

“Erasure of Black Thought” will be a conversation among Black academics that unpacks the current challenges to freedom of expression in schools, colleges, and the public sphere in regards to racism, history, and diversity (i.e. critical race theory). The event will offer a clear-eyed view of the current slate of censorious threats, while also providing concrete action items to push back against them.

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PANELISTS

Dr. Blair LM Kelley headshotDr. Blair LM Kelley is assistant dean for Interdisciplinary Studies and International Programs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and associate professor of History at North Carolina State University. Kelley is currently at work on a new book, Black Folk: The Promise of the Black Working Class, for Liveright/W. W. Norton and Company, which was awarded a 2020 Creative Nonfiction Grant by the Whiting Foundation. Her first book, Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship, won the Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize for best book from the Association of Black Women Historians. Active inside the academy and out, Kelley has produced and hosted her own podcast and has been a guest on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, MSNBC’s All In and Melissa Harris-Perry show, NPR’s Here & Now, and WUNC’s The State of Things. She has written for The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe RootTheGrioEbonySalon, and Jet magazine. Highlighted as one of the top-tweeting historians by History News Network, Kelley was among the first generation of historians active on Twitter. She has been tweeting as @profblmkelley for more than 12 years, and she has over 43,000 followers. Kelley received her BA from the University of Virginia in history and African and African American studies. She earned her MA and Ph.D. in history, and graduate certificates in African and African American studies and women’s studies at Duke University.

Jennifer Christine Nash headshotJennifer Christine Nash is the Jean Fox O’Barr Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University. She earned her Ph.D. in African American studies at Harvard University and her J.D. at Harvard Law School. She is the author of three books: The Black Body in Ecstasy: Reading RaceReading Pornography (awarded the Alan Bray Memorial Book Award by the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Language Association), Black Feminism Reimagined (awarded the Gloria Anzaldúa Book Prize by the National Women’s Studies Association), and Birthing Black Mothers. She is also the editor of Gender: Love (Macmillan Reference USA, 2016). Her research has been supported by the ACLS/Burkhardt Residential Fellowships, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation’s Career Enhancement Fellowship Program.

MODERATOR

Danielle Purifoy headshotDanielle Purifoy is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Purifoy completed a Ph.D. in environmental politics and African American studies at Duke University. Purifoy earned a BA in English and political science from Vassar College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Purifoy’s current research traces the roots of contemporary environmental conditions in the U.S. South, specifically in Black towns dating back to the postbellum era. Purifoy has also written about the legal dimensions of environmental justice and equity in food systems. Purifoy is the former Race & Place editor at Scalawag, a magazine devoted to Southern politics and culture, and the current board chair of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network.

Poetry in Protest

Meet poets at the frontlines of protest movements fighting for the right to speak freely and without fear of persecution.

Poetry is frequently used as a tool in protest movements to inspire, unite, and mobilise support. From Black Lives Matter and women’s liberation to protest movements in Myanmar and Afghanistan, poetry holds the power to gather crowds during a rally, or grab attention online. Poets can offer support and guidance in the most challenging, tragic or dangerous situations. Join Myanmarese-British poet ko ko thett and poet and scholar Dr Choman Hardi for a live poetry reading and conversation about the power of poetry in protest movements. The event will be chaired by Index on Censorship deputy chair Kate Maltby.

In celebration of Banned Books Week 2021 with the theme “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us,” Index on Censorship and the British Library invite you to explore the role of poetry in protest. What role does poetry play in protest movements? And can poetry be a form of protest in its own right?

Kate Maltby is the Deputy Chair of the Index on Censorship Board of Trustees. She is a critic, columnist, and scholar. She is currently working towards the complesion of a PhD which examines the intellectual life of Elizabeth I, through the prism of her accomplished translations of Latin poetry, her own poems and recently attributed letters, and her representation as a learned queen by writers such as Shakespeare, Spenser and Sidney.

ko ko thett started publishing poems in samizdat format at Yangon Institute of Technology in the early 1990s. After a brush with the authorities in the December 1996 protests, he left Burma, led an itinerant life in Asia, Europe and North America and moved back to Myanmar in 2017. He has published several collections of poems and translations in Burmese and English. His poems have been translated into a dozen languages and are widely anthologised. He now lives in Norwich, UK.

Dr Choman Hardi is an educator, poet, and scholar known for pioneering work on issues of gender and education in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and beyond. After 26 years of exile, she returned home in 2014 to teach English and initiate gender studies at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), where she also served as English department chair in 2015-16. She is the author of critically acclaimed books in the fields of poetry, academia, and translation. Since 2010, poems from her first English collection, Life for Us (Bloodaxe, 2004) have been studied by secondary school students in the UK as part of their English curriculum. Her second collection, Considering the Women (Bloodaxe, 2015), was given a Recommendation by the Poetry Book Society and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. Her translation of Sherko Bekas’ Butterfly Valley (ARC, 2018) won a PEN Translates Award.