Pulp Fiction’s Uncanny Origins

In this episode of the AAS 21 Podcast, Professor Kinohi Nishikawa comes to the table with Professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr. to discuss black pulp fiction, and taking seriously “lower” forms of literature in the college classroom, and beyond. Nishikawa’s forthcoming book, Street Players: Black Pulp Fiction and the Making of a Literary Underground is expected out November 2018 (University of Chicago Press). In particular, the book traces the many titles published by Holloway House from the late 1960’s to the imprint’s close in 2008. This fascinating discussion is deep dive into questions about genre, different communities of readers, and how modern literature, and its handling of complex topics, touches other art forms. Professor Nishikawa and Professor Glaude also discuss Nishikawa’s other major work-in-progress, Blueprints for Black Writing: African American Literature and Book Design, which considers the important yet overlooked role book design (e.g., typography, paper quality, cover art) has played in shaping modern African American literature.

An Insistence on Not Being Discouraged

Modern, and contemporary criticism of African and African diasporic art is an area of inquiry that Professor Chika Okeke-Agulu insisted must exist. Professor Okeke-Agulu, along with others like Salah Hassan and Okwui Enwezor wrote into life a genre, and a lineage of artists who diagnose and critique African nation states and related projects. Okeke-Agulu is author of the recent Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria, which takes a broad view of the subject. His new work, Obiora Udechukwu: Line, Image, Text, takes a more narrow view, focusing on a former teacher who he names as the most influential Nigerian artist of the 20th century. Okeke-Agulu is currently at work on a book called Contemporary African Art in the Age of the Big Man, which tells the story of contemporary art after dictatorships, civil wars, IMS, and the devastation of African economies in the 1980s.

Reimagining Science and Technology

In this episode of the AAS 21 podcast, Professor Ruha Benjamin and Professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr. discuss science and technology, the allure of objectivity related to this category of work, and consider what it takes to proceed in a “third” way. Professor Benjamin is author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier (Stanford University Press 2013), Race After Technology, with Polity (forthcoming), and editor of Captivating Technology: Race, Technoscience, and the Carceral Imagination (Duke University Press, forthcoming), as well as numerous articles and book chapters.

Art by Manzel Bowman.

The Making of the Modern Black Diaspora

Professor Joshua Guild joins the conversation in this episode of the AAS 21 Podcast. Professor Guild is an associate professor of History and African American Studies at Princeton specializing in twentieth-century African American social and cultural history, urban history, and the making of the modern African diaspora. Professor Guild discussed two works, In the Shadows of the Metropolis: Cultural Politics and Black Communities in Postwar New York and London (Oxford University Press)and The City Lives in You: The Black Freedom Struggle and the Futures of New Orleans. This wide-ranging conversation tracks how black New York, black London, and black New Orleans came into being through a comparative, but relational analysis.

 

The Pulse of Black Life in the Long 19th Century

In this episode of the AAS 21 podcast, Professor Glaude speaks with new colleague Autumn Womack about several projects she has in the works. Womack joined the faculty at Princeton this year as an assistant professor in departments of African American Studies and English. Womack specializes in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century African American literature, with a particular research and teaching focus on the intersection of visual technology, race, and literary culture. Womack’s forthcoming book is called Reform Divisions: Race, Visuality and Literature in the Progressive Era.

 

Rethinking Empire and Democracy

The AAS 21 Podcast is back for the first podcast of the 2017-2018 academic year. Professor Glaude speaks to his colleague, Reena N. Goldthree, about her current research into nationalism, migration and gender in Latin America and the Caribbean. Professor Goldthree is the new specialist of Afro-Atlantic histories in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton. Goldthree’s forthcoming book is called Democracy Shall be no Empty Romance: War and the Politics of Empire in the Greater Caribbean.

 

The Formation of ‘Religio-Racial’ Identity

In this episode, Professor Glaude and Professor Judith Weisenfeld discuss the development of ‘religio–racial’ identity during the Great Migration. Weisenfeld is the Agate Brown and George L. Collord Professor of Religion at Princeton University. Her latest book, New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Migration is a historiography of twentieth-century black religious groups, including the Moorish Science Temple, the Nation of Islam, Father Divine’s Peace Mission Movement, and Ethiopian Hebrews. The two discuss the racial claims of these groups, the impact they had on the development of African American identity, and their interactions with government entities, other religious groups, and African American communities.  Weisenfeld also sheds light on her research process, which pulls from marriage and divorce certificates, immigration and naturalization records, and FBI files in order to create a multifaceted view of the practitioners.

 

What Was African American Marriage?

What was marriage under slavery? Professor Tera W. Hunter’s new book, Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century provides an intimate glimpse of the affections and complexities of black marriage in the United States from its origins. In an illuminating conversation, Professor Tera Hunter and Professor Eddie Glaude discuss major takeaways from the book, key language introduced by Hunter, and various new understandings about African American marriage and family life from 1800 to the present day. A common assumption shared by liberal and conservative commentators alike is that low marriage rates in African American communities are a byproduct of slavery. However, Hunter’s research shows that marriage among African Americans, respected by law or not, was widely embraced in earlier times. From slavery to reconstruction, a desire to marry and build lives together factored centrally in the hearts and minds of African American men and women. After marriage was legalized following emancipation, black marriage rates started to eclipse white Americans’ by the turn of the twentieth century. Hunter suggests current declining marriage rates may best be attributed to advantages offered to some Americans, and denied to other Americans at specific, consequential junctures, such as in the wake of World War II. Bound in Wedlock is a groundbreaking book which, through an extensive archive, dismantles pathologies as it fascinates.

 

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This podcast was recorded, edited, and published by the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.

Audio Engineer & Technical Specialist: Elio Lleo
Media Specialist: Allison Bland
Music: Courtney Bryan, composer, AAS Postdoctoral Fellow alum, assistant professor of music at Tulane University

Before Cornel West, After Cornel West

In episode six of AAS 21 podcast, Professor Glaude is joined by teacher and friend of 30 years, Dr. Cornel West. When it comes to habits of reading, West tells of staying in contact with the best of the past, feeling incomplete if he doesn’t accomplish his nightly three hours of study. West considers artists as the vanguard of the species, and more than enjoying great literature and writing as a spectator, West believes authors provide the blueprint a person needs to live their life as a work of art. Contemporary writers like Lorraine Hansberry, Toni Morrison, Susan Sontag, and Sheldon Wolin are only a sample of the ‘post-Du Bois’ intellectuals West knows can bring a world of depth to a person. But in many ways, with his consistent and constant embodiment of the three pillars of piety – remembrance, reverence, and resistance – the life of West is itself a new marker of time.

For more information on all things AAS 21 Podcast, please visit podcast.aas.princeton.edu.

A Through Line for African American Studies

African American Studies is a field that shows how ‘this connects to that.’ In this conversation, Professor Glaude interviews his colleague Professor Imani Perry about her expansive, pathbreaking archive. Perry discusses her forthcoming book projects, ideas about methodology, and habits of reading. One book, May We Forever Stand, a cultural history of the black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” tells a story about black institutional life, ritual and loss. Another book, Vexy Thing: A Book on Gender is an account of patriarchy, empire, conquest and – through a real commitment to feminist practice – liberation. Finally, Perry is at work about a book on the life of Lorraine Hansberry. Perry’s insight as a scholar trained in multiple disciplines reveals a valuable toolkit for those seeking to enter and make a difference in the academy. Glaude and Perry also discuss what they are reading and listening to today.

For more of the AAS 21 podcast, please visit podcast.aas.princeton.edu.