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“We going to hold on to you”: James Baldwin, Jesmyn Ward, and the Potentialities of (Radical) Care

Guest Lecture by Dr. Alexandra Hartmann (Paderborn U)

June 25, (Tue.), 2-3.30 p.m. (Seminargebäude, Room S12)

James Baldwin and Jesmyn Ward frequently confront readers with conceptions of care that theorize kinship and African American masculinity in non-hegemonic ways. In their works, vulnerability and creativity go hand in hand in their attempts to secure sanity and futurity. In this talk, we will take a look at both their fictional and non-fictional writings.

Alexandra Hartmann holds a PhD in American Studies from Paderborn University where she teaches classes on US literature and culture. Her first book, The Black Humanist Tradition in Anti-Racist Literature: A Fragile Hope, came out with Palgrave Macmillan in 2023. She has published articles on anti-racist theorizing, complicity, and humanism in the Black Lives Matter movement. Research stays have led her to Washington University in St. Louis and Harvard University. Her second-book project deals with Progressive Era reform cultures’ engagement of the sonic and its impact on early twentieth century US cultural practices and aesthetics.