The Jazz Atlantic: Modern Music in the Age of African Liberation
Robin Kelley

October 7, 4 - 6PM
CSEB 0011 Computer Science and Engineering Building
York University, Toronto ON Canada

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Lecture Abstract

Robin D. G. Kelley is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Much of his work focuses on social movements in the U.S. and the African Diaspora, and he has written widely on music, visual culture, and arts more broadly.

He has just published the definitive biography of arguably America’s most important jazz pianist/composer, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (forthcoming Free Press, 2009), and is the author of the prize-winning books Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression (1990); Race Rebels: Culture Politics and the Black Working Class (1994); Yo’ Mama’s DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America (1997), which was selected one of the top ten books of 1998 by the Village Voice; Three Strikes: Miners, Musicians, Salesgirls, and the Fighting Spirit of Labor’s Last Century, written collaboratively with Dana Frank and Howard Zinn (2001); and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination (2002).

He also edited (with Earl Lewis), To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans (Oxford University Press, 2000), a Choice Outstanding Academic Title and a History Book Club Selection. To Make Our World Anew was an outgrowth of an earlier collaboration with Lewis, the eleven volume Young Oxford History of African Americans (Oxford University Press, 1995-1998), of which he authored volume 10, titled Into the Fire: African Americans Since 1970 (1996). Kelley also co-edited (with Sidney J. Lemelle) Imagining Home: Class, Culture, and Nationalism in the African Diaspora (Verso, 1994).

He is currently completing “Africa Speaks, America Answers”: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (Harvard University Press, forthcoming), and a general survey of African American history co-authored with Tera Hunter and Earl Lewis to be published by Norton.

His essays have appeared in several anthologies and journals, including The Nation, Monthly Review, The Voice Literary Supplement, New York Times (Arts and Leisure), New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Color Lines, Code Magazine, Utne Reader, Lenox Avenue, African Studies Review, Black Music Research Journal, Callaloo, New Politics, Black Renaissance/ Renaissance Noir, One World, Social Text, Metropolis, American Visions, Boston Review, Fashion Theory, American Historical Review, Journal of American History, New Labor Forum, Souls, Metropolis, and frieze: contemporary art and culture, to name a few.