Trethewey and Young (English & Creative Writing) Selected for MoMA Honor

tretheweywebpage2Nathasha Trethewey (Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing) and Kevin Young (Atticus Haygood Professor of English and Creative Writing) have been commissioned by the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to write poems inspired by the centennial of the Great Migration.

youngwebpageThese poems will be published online as part of MoMA’s current exhibit “One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North,” which includes materials on loan from Emory’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL). Trethewey and Young are among 10 poets selected for this honor.

More information is available here.

Source: Emory’s Center for Faculty Development and Excellence


Kevin Young Wins 2013 PEN Open Book Award

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Kevin Young, Atticus Haygood Professor of English and Curator, Raymond Danowski Poetry Collection, has been awarded the 2013 PEN Open Book Award for The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness (Graywolf Press). His book was also a finalist in criticism for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

The PEN Open Book Award was created by PEN American Center’s Open Book Committee, a group committed to racial and ethnic diversity within the literary and publishing communities. The award confers a $5,000 prize upon an author of color.

From the Judges’ Citation for The Grey Album

Like Duke Ellington’s fabled, Harlem-bound A Train, Kevin Young’s The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness propels us across a panorama of African American history, creativity and struggle with a lightning-brisk brilliance and purpose. Here’s what happens when an acclaimed poet makes his first foray into nonfiction: madcap manifesto and rhapsodic reportage create a formidable blend of scholarship and memoir that tackles cultural and personal history in one breath. Young goes far beyond just being a documentarian of American Black identity—he shows us how Black identity is indispensable to American culture. The Grey Album is an ambitious, exhilarating, impassioned work of Black literary and cultural criticism, unlike any other—an inspired, sweeping book that deserves to be savored and celebrated.

Read full news release

Related Media

Young reads from The Grey Album (Emory Report podcast)

Young talks about Aretha Franklin’s Version of Paul Simon’s Bridge Over Troubled Water

Memorable Workshop on Shakespeare

During his visit to Emory in fall 2012, Stephen Unwin, artistic director at the Rose Theatre Kingston, led a memorable Shakespearean acting workshop at The New American Shakespeare Tavern in Midtown (Nov. 14, 2012). In this series of videos, he discusses his approach to connecting with the inner reality of Shakespeare’s works, considers Shakespeare’s brilliant minor roles, and directs a scene from Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scene III.

During his 30 years of directing, Unwin has worked with a range of distinguished actors, including Alan Cumming, Tilda Swinton and Timothy West. He also has taught workshops at the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Court, the Traverse Theatre and several schools in the U.K. and the United States. A prolific author, his books include The Faber Pocket Guide to Shakespeare’s Plays, A Guide to the Plays of Bertolt Brecht, The Well Read Play and So You Want to Be a Theatre Director? He has been artistic director of the Rose Theatre since 2008

See video of entire workshop (1:37:50)

The workshop was sponsored by Emory’s World Shakespeare Project (WSP) and the Halle Institute for Global Learning. The WSP represents a new, interactive teaching and research model that links international faculty and students, creating educational dialogues on Shakespeare, performance, and cultural studies.

Why Shakespeare?

Why is Shakespeare still so relevant in the world today? What is it about his writing that transcends time and cultures? Emory students who have participated in Shakespeare classes, taught under the aegis of Emory’s World Shakespeare Project, share their thoughts on combining technology and cross-cultural dialogue to see the Bard of Avon in a whole new light. Students include Madeline Teissler 13C, Patrick Agrippina 13C, Riakeem Kelley 12C, Emma Calabrese 13C, Dongze Li 16C, and Emily Kleypas 13C.

The World Shakespeare Project (WSP) represents a new, interactive teaching and research model for twenty-first century higher education. The WSP is international, interdisciplinary, and socio-culturally varied in its approach. Combining the practical and pedagogical resources of its co-directors, Profs. Sheila Cavanagh and Kevin Quarmby, the WSP addresses the shifting nature of higher education through innovative technological experimentation. The WSP links electronically with Shakespearean faculty and students across the globe to create and sustain dialogues and educational opportunities in concert with student populations often excluded from such endeavors because of economic, cultural, or geographic limitation.

World Shakespeare Project Homepage

See Quadrangle article (Fall 2012)

Rudolph Byrd on Jean Toomer’s racial identity

In the latest Emory Report, Rudolph P. Byrd talks about the significance of Jean Toomer’s racial ambivalence in an audio recording.

Toomer, best known for his 1923 book Cane, focused on the African American experience, but Prof. Byrd, director of Emory’s James Weldon Johnson Institute of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, says that even though Toomer spent many years trying to pass as white, he was actually African American.

Byrd and Harvard University’s Henry Louis Gates Jr. are co-editors of a second edition of Cane (W. W. Norton, 2011). Included in the new edition are decades of correspondence, reviews and articles about the book.

College faculty featured in special Emory Report

The following College faculty are spotlighted in a special issue of Emory Report (Jan. 7, 2011) — representing just a few of the faculty helping the University achieve its level of excellence.

  • Carol Anderson, associate professor of African American Studies and author of the book Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African-American Struggle for Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2003) won the Gustavus Myers and Bernath Book awards. Her forthcoming book examines the NAACP’s role in revitalizing global freedom movements from 1941 to 1960.
  • Uriel Kitron, professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Studies, is now working with more than a dozen Emory undergraduate and graduate students on a large-scale, federally-funded project to help determine why cities like Chicago, Detroit and Denver have a much higher incidence of West Nile Virus than places like Atlanta, New Orleans and Miami.
  • English professor Laura Otis is on a Fulbright Research Fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, where she is completing a book on visual and verbal thinking.
  • Deboleena Roy, associate professor of women’s studies and neuroscience and behavioral biology, bridges the divide between feminist theory and the natural sciences.

<see full article>

Frances Smith Foster honored by MLA

Emory University professor Frances Smith Foster has been honored with a lifetime achievement award for significantly advancing the study of American literature. Foster, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Women’s Studies, will receive the 2010 Hubbell Medal in January from the American Literature Section of the Modern Language Association (MLA) during the MLA’s annual meeting.

Foster is the first African American woman to receive the award. The Jay B. Hubbell Medal, awarded since 1964, is named for one of the pioneers of American literary scholarship. The medal has been awarded to some of the most distinguished practitioners of the discipline.

Foster’s specialties include African American family life and American and African-American literature. She has edited or written more than a dozen books, including most recently, “’Til Death or Distance Do Us Part: Love and Marriage in African America.” The critically acclaimed book, a study of slave marriages that uncovers a rich legacy of love, struggle and commitment in the antebellum era, demolishes stereotypes of African Americans during an era when they were treated as chattel. Foster also is an editor of “The Norton Anthology of African American Literature.”

She was the recipient of Emory’s top faculty honor in 2006, the University Scholar-Teacher Award. Foster served as chair of Emory’s English department from 2005-2008 and is the former director of the Emory Institute of Women’s Studies. She currently is a fellow of Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion. Foster received the Association of Departments of English “Francis Andrew March Award” for exceptional service to the profession of English last year.


See full news release

Information on the Hubbell Medal

In this video, Professor Foster gives a talk about the domestic happiness many Afro-Protestant families of the Antebellum era experienced, despite the many obstacles they faced.