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Toni Morrison Day 2021

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Program Schedule

10:05 – 11:25 a.m.: Faculty Pedagogy Panel

Moderator: Abha Sood

  • Heide Estes: “Black English, Language Ideologies, and the Histories of the English Language.”
  • Walter Greason: “Interactive, Online Games: Sojourner’s Trail and the Future of Education.”
  • Beth Sara Swanson: “Teaching in a Time of Monsters: Using Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s Monster Theory to Reanimate and Rehumanize the General Education Literature Classroom”
  • Abha Sood & Anne Deepak: “Radical Mothering in Morrison’s Fiction.”

11:40 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Keynote Speaker Dr. Keisha N. Blain (12:00 – 1:00 p.m.)

Moderator: Alex Gilvarry

  • Welcome: Beth Sara Swanson
  • Award-winning historian Dr. Keshia N. Blain will deliver the keynote address, ‘“What the Black Woman Thinks”: The Fiery Pen of Toni Morrison’, at 12:00 p.m.
    University of Pennsylvania Press has extended a 30% discount on her book, Set the World on Fire, to Toni Morrison Day attendees. Use code MONMOUTH30-FM through February 21 to purchase from the University of Pennsylvania Press web site.

1:15 – 2:35 p.m. Faculty Scholarship Panel

Moderator: Beth Sara Swanson

  • Abha Sood: “Wounded Bodies, Wounded Souls: Toni Morrison’s Home”
  • Kerry Morgan: “Discriminatory Hiring Practices”
  • Anwar Uhuru: “Black Lives and the Imaginary Domain”
  • Megan Delaney: “Nature Is Free But Not Equal: Racial and Economic Inequities in Access to Nature in the United States”
  • Nancy Mezey, Chad Dell, & Michelle DeFossett: “The 369th: Together, We Rose”

2:50 – 4:10 p.m. Student Symposium

Moderator: Jennifer Mantle

4:30 – 5:50 p.m. Visiting Writer

Moderator: Mihaela Moscaliuc
Introduction: Monmouth Review (Melissa Lauria)

  • Tracy K. Smith (4:30 – 5:30 p.m.)
    The Monmouth Review Club is sponsoring a reading and Q & A with Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet & former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith at 4:30 p.m.
Photo of Toni Morrison Day event flyer: Click or tap to view and download program schedule
Click or tap to view and download Toni Morrison Day program schedule.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Keisha N. Blain

Photo of Dr. Keisha N. BlainDr. Keisha N. Blain is an award-winning historian of the 20th century United States with broad interests and specializations in African American History, the modern African Diaspora, and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh and the president of the African American Intellectual History Society. She is currently a 2020-2021 fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. She also serves as an editor for the Washington Post’s ‘Made by History’ section.

Blain has published extensively on race, gender, and politics in both national and global perspectives. She is the author of the multi-prize-winning book Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (2018) and co-editor of three books: To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism (University of Illinois Press, 2019); New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (Northwestern University Press, 2018); and Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence (University of Georgia Press, 2016).

Her latest books are Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, edited with Ibram X. Kendi (Penguin Random House/One World, February 2, 2021); and Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America (Beacon Press, October 5, 2021).

Follow her on Twitter @KeishaBlain and on Instagram @KeishaNBlain.

Visiting Writer: Tracy K. Smith
Photo of Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith, 2017-2019 Poet Laureate of the United States and author of four poetry collections, is the recipient of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize (for Life on Mars), the James Laughlin Award (for Duende), the Cave Canem Poetry Prize (for The Body’s Question), the Rona Jaffe Writers Award, and the Whiting Award. Her memoir, Ordinary Light, was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Nonfiction. Her most recent poetry collection, Wade in the Water, which received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, “unravels the knot of racism and denial as the central conundrum of America, and she forges a vocabulary of compassion as a possible route forward through our current strife.”Smith composed the libretto for the opera Castor and Patience and, with Changtai Bi, co-translated poetry by Chinese poet Yi Lei. During her laureateship, she edited American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time, and launched the podcast The Slowdown.Smith is the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University, and Chair of Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts.

To purchase the most recent books: