Washington Independent Review of Books

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I. Augustus Durham in conversation with GerShun Avilez for “Stay Black and Die: On Melancholy and Genius”

Location 7014-A Westmoreland Ave. Takoma Park, MD 20912 United States
Date Friday, April 5, 2024 at 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Duration   1 hours
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On April 5th, I. Augustus Durham will be in conversation with GerShun Avilez at People's Book in Takoma Park, MD to discuss Durham's new book "Stay Black and Die: On Melancholy and Genius." Durham, an assistant professor of English at Lehman College, CUNY, examines how melancholy and genius have intersected in Black culture, literature, music, and media from the 19th century to today. Drawing on psychoanalysis, affect theory, and Black studies, Durham explores how the Black maternal figure has been both a "lost object" and a "found subject" in constituting a legacy of Black genius, as seen in the works of figures like Frederick Douglass, Marvin Gaye, and Kendrick Lamar. Avilez, an associate dean and professor at the University of Maryland, will engage Durham on his theorization of "racial melancholy" and the role of the feminine, especially the Black maternal, in the production of Black masculinist genius. This free, in-person event at People's Book is open to the public and will run from 6-7 pm.

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