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Author Kevin Quashie to Give Annual Shannon-Clark Lecture at W&L Quashie’s lecture on March 30, titled “Sentences and (Black) Beauty,” is free and open to the public.

quashie-brown-2018-scaled-600x400 Author Kevin Quashie to Give Annual Shannon-Clark Lecture at W&LKevin Quashie

Kevin Quashie, professor of English at Brown University, will give the annual Shannon-Clark Lecture in English at Washington and Lee University on March 30 at 6 p.m. in Northen Auditorium in the Leyburn Library.

His talk, “Sentences and (Black) Beauty,” is free and open to the public.

Quashie teaches cultural and literary studies with a focus on black feminism, queer studies, and aesthetics, especially poetics. He is the author or editor of four books, most recently “The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture” (2012) and “Black Aliveness, or A Poetics of Being” (2021). “Black Aliveness” has been awarded the James Russel Lowell Prize from the Modern Language Association and the Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism from the Poetry Foundation. Quashie’s current work explores literary criticism as a form of estrangement and consolation and examines the workings and potency of black sentences.

“Quashie’s scholarship remains central to those of us working in the related fields of literary studies and African American studies, and his work has been crucial to my own ongoing research,” said Diego Millan, assistant professor of English at W&L. “His most recent work, “Black Aliveness,” urges us to once again sit with the aliveness of Blackness in itself and not simply in the shadow of anti-Black violence. He is a remarkable, careful reader of poetry and an engaging presenter [and] we are truly fortunate to have him join us later this month.”

As part of his visit to W&L, Quashie will also lead a retreat with English majors and faculty on March 31 and discuss texts such as Zadie Smith’s 2009 essay “Their Eyes Were Watching God: What Does Soulful Mean?” and Toni Morrison’s 1993 Nobel Lecture and 1998 essay “Strangers.”

The Shannon-Clark Lectures in English, established by a gift from a Washington and Lee alumnus who wishes to remain anonymous, honor the memories of Edgar Finley Shannon, chairman of Washington and Lee’s Department of English from 1914 until he died in 1938, and Harriet Mabel Fishburn Clark, a grandmother of the donor and a woman vitally interested in liberal arts education.