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The Wendy Rosenthal Gellman Lecture on Modern Literature by Brent Hayes Edwards

March 19 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm


The Wendy Rosenthal Gellman Lecture on Modern Literature by Brent Hayes Edwards (Columbia University; Cornell University 2019-20 Invited Society Scholar, Society for the Humanities)
Black Radicalism and the Archive: Inventories of Fire
Thursday, March 19, 4:30 p.m.
Guerlac Room, A.D. White House

What would it mean to consider archiving (documentation, classification, preservation) not as passive and retrospective, but instead as interventionist and aspirational—an integral component of black radical practice? This lecture explores this question through the example of civil rights activist James Forman’s extensive research in the late 1960s for his unfinished biography of Frantz Fanon.

Brent Hayes Edwards is the Peng Family Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he is also affiliated with the Center for Jazz Studies. His publications include The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism (2003), the co-edited collection Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies (2004), and scholarly editions of classic works by W. E. B. Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, Joseph Conrad, and Claude McKay. His most recent books are his translation of Michel Leiris’s monumental 1934 Phantom Africa (2017) and Edwards’s own Epistrophies: Jazz and the Literary Imagination, which won the 2018 ASCAP Foundation Virgil Thomson Award for Outstanding Music Criticism as well as the 2019 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism. Edwards was a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow. He is a 2019-20 Invited Society Scholar for the Cornell University Society for the Humanities.

The Gellman Lecture, featuring a distinguished scholar of modern literature, was established by a generous gift from Wendy Rosenthal Gellman ‘81, who majored in English at Cornell.

Reception to follow in the Dining Room, A.D. White House

Free and open to the public

For more information, visit, email or call 607.255.7847.

The venues are wheelchair accessible. If you need accommodations to participate in this event, please contact us as soon as possible.

Worried about parking? TCAT bus route 10 (Commons-Cornell loop) leaves Seneca Street station every 12 minutes on Thursday afternoons until 5:58 p.m. and stops outside Klarman/Goldwin Smith Halls. After that, Route 10 runs every 24 minutes. Last trip from campus to downtown is at 7:30p.m. The cash fare for a single ride is $1.50. For short term parking options, visit or call Transportation Services at 607-255-4600.

This event is presented by the Department of English & the Society for Humanities


March 19
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
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A.D. White House
27 East Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850 United States
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