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The Black Lives Matter Effect


  • The Center for Ballet and the Arts, 1st Floor 16 Cooper Square New York, NY, 10003 United States (map)

To listen to audio recordings of the panels in our archive, click here.


THE BLACK LIVES MATTER EFFECT
 

A conference on activism, culture, and politics
April 14–15
16 Cooper Square, New York University

Sponsored by the New York Institute for the Humanities, the Tisch School of the Arts, the Center for Ballet and the Arts, the Vice Provost for Faculty, Arts, Humanities, and Diversity, and the NYU Institute of African American Affairs.

Free and Open to the Public

To RSVP, please send an email to nyih.info@nyu.edu with the subject “RSVP BLACK LIVES MATTER.” In the body of the email, please include your first and last name and the titles of the events you will be attending.


After the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013 and a resurgence of African American political activism throughout the country, a host of issues around race and representation have assumed a new significance. Against this backdrop, this two-day conference assembles a number of distinguished scholars, writers, critics, and artists for a series of conversations over five panels exploring the reverberations of these issues in American politics, intellectual life, and the arts.

“Reflections on the New Jim Crow” examines the racial politics of crime and punishment and assesses the political trajectory of the issues of mass incarceration as well as the legacy of the war on drugs and local policing initiatives. The panel features James Forman, Jr., Clinical Professor of Law at Yale Law School; Elizabeth Hinton, associate professor of history and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University and author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America (Harvard University Press); and Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. The panel is moderated by author and journalist Eyal Press.

“From MLK to BLM: A Genealogy of Civil Rights Protest” assesses the origins of the Black Lives Matter movement and contextualizes its place—and uniqueness—in the history of civil-rights activism. The panel features Jelani Cobb, correspondent for The New Yorker and associate professor of history, University of Connecticut; N.B.D. Connolly, visiting associate professor of social and cultural analysis and history, NYU, and author of A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida; and Thomas Sugrue, professor of social and cultural analysis and history, NYU, and author of Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North.

“Writing Black Lives: The Politics and Poetics of the Black Memoir” considers the recent flourishing of African American autobiographical writing and places it in the context of the history of black letters. The panel features Chris Jackson, executive editor of Spiegel & GrauMargo Jefferson, critic and author of the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Negroland: A Memoir; and Clifford Thompson, author of Twin of Blackness: A Memoir. The panel is moderated by National Book Foundation executive director Lisa Lucas.

“The Choreography of Race: Dance, Identity, Inclusion” examines the worlds of dance—ballet, modern, and contemporary—to highlight how conversations on race and politics have affected a range of issues, from the creation of work to calls for diversity. The panel includes Ronald K. Brown, artistic director of Evidence, A Dance Company, Brooklyn; Virginia Johnson, artistic director, Dance Theatre of Harlem; Gia Kourlas, critic, New York Times; and Dean Moss, director of Gametophyte, Inc. dance company, New York. The panel is moderated by Danielle Goldman, assistant professor of dance at the New School.

“A New Renaissance? Art, Music, and Culture in the Wake of Black Lives Matter” gauges the historical significance of the moment across and between a range of artistic disciplines and reassesses how the ramifications of race and activism are registering in the work of contemporary artists and musicians. The panel includes Susan Cahan, art historian, associate dean and dean of the arts, Yale University, and author of Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black PowerGeorge Lewis, composer, Edwin H. Case Professor of Music, Columbia University, and author of A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental MusicRowan Ricardo Phillips, author of Heaven: Poems and When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness; and Greg Tate, author, critic, and leader of Burnt Sugar, the Arkestra Chamber. The panel is moderated by writer and London Review of Books editor Adam Shatz.


Schedule of Panels:

 

Thursday, April 14

3:30 PM
Reflections on the New Jim Crow
James Forman, Jr. (Yale University Law School)
Elizabeth Hinton (Harvard University)
Vincent Warren (Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights)
Moderated by Eyal Press, The Nation

5:00 PM
From MLK to BLM: A Genealogy of Civil Rights Protest
Jelani Cobb (University of Connecticut, New Yorker)
N.B.D. Connolly (New York University)
Thomas Sugrue (New York University)

 

Friday, April 15

2:00 PM
Writing Black Lives: The Politics and Poetics of Black Memoir
Chris Jackson (editor, Spiegel & Grau)
Margo Jefferson (author, Negroland: A Memoir)
Clifford Thompson (author, Twin of Blackness: A Memoir)
Moderated by Lisa Lucas, executive director, National Book Foundation

3:30 PM
The Choreography of Race: Dance, Identity, Inclusion
Ronald K. Brown (artistic director, Evidence)
Virginia Johnson (artistic director, Dance Theatre of Harlem)
Gia Kourlas (dance critic, New York Times)
Dean Moss (director, Gametophyte)
Moderated by Danielle Goldman, New School

5:00 PM
A New Renaissance? Art, Music, and Culture in the Wake of Black Lives Matter
Susan Cahan (Yale University)
George Lewis (composer, Columbia University)
Rowan Ricardo Philips (poet and critic, Heaven)
Greg Tate (writer and musician)
Moderated by Adam Shatz, London Review of Books

All panels are free and open to the public. To RSVP, please send an email to nyih.info@nyu.edu with the subject “RSVP BLACK LIVES MATTER.” In the body of the email, please include your first and last name and the titles of the events you will be attending.


To listen to audio recordings of the panels in our archive, click here.