A Day on the Mississippi Writers Trail

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[By: Maryemma Graham] Margaret Walker (1915-1998) would have turned 104 this past July 7, 2019.  The poet, novelist, educator and cultural critic was part of a distinct tradition of writing that is too easily forgotten.  A tradition of truth-telling that makes us see and understand ourselves and our relationship to others differently. Walker’s history may not be as well known to some, but she was […]

In Memoriam: Toni Morrison

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  The Project on the History of Black Writing mourns the death of the incomparable Toni Morrison. A literary icon and our friend, we have long admired her brilliance, literary genius, and love of our culture. There are simply no words to describe the impact Toni Morrison has made on all of us as readers, writers, and researchers. Equally there are no words to fully capture […]

Counterpublics, Public Intellectuals, and Exodusters: An Interview with Frank Farmer (Part II)

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By: Christopher Peace We are pleased to conclude our two-part interview with Frank Farmer, a leading figure in Composition Studies and Rhetoric who recently retired from KU after joining the English faculty in 2000. Among many topics covered in this conversation, Farmer discusses public intellectuals, Nicodemus, KS, and what’s in store for him next. This interview has been edited for length and clarity, but you may […]

Counterpublics, Public Intellectuals, and Exodusters: An Interview with Frank Farmer (Part I)

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By: Christopher Peace We are pleased to present this two-part interview with Frank Farmer, a leading figure in Composition Studies and Rhetoric who recently retired from KU after joining the English faculty in 2000. Among many topics covered in this conversation, Farmer discusses one of his most influential books, After the Public Turn: Composition, Counterpublics and the Citizen Bricoleur (2013), and the idea of “counterpublics” in depth. This interview has […]

Implacable Violence, Part One

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[By: Jerry W. Ward, Jr.] The death of Senator John McCain quickens our  interest in how to deal with contemporary  narratives of life history.  McCain’s touchstone story pertains to American conservative values, the consequences of trauma,  military and public service, violence, and  a sense of honor.  Barack Obama’s differently remarkable narratives direct attention to the absence of military service, class and caste violence, the audacity […]

Keeping the Faith: A Tribute Reginald Martin

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[By: Dr. Maryemma Graham] Reginald Martin 1956-2018 Poet, novelist, professor, scholar, editor, mentor, musician, and boxing enthusiast, Reginald Martin became a household name early in his career, not because he played by the rules, but because he did not. Awarded tenure at 35, the youngest for anyone at the University of Memphis, Martin was among those younger scholars who elected to remain in his native South, […]

An Open Letter to Chancellor Girod

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[By: Alysha Griffin] Dear Chancellor Girod, I write to expose a glaring contradiction with the agreement to remove Josephine Meckseper’s “Untitled (Flag 2)”—what Gov. Jeff Colyer calls a “desecrated American flag”– from the grounds of Spooner Hall. To be clear, I have no investment in the display of this particular piece. Also, I firmly believe that the American people gain nothing by conflating the sacrifices […]