Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Brain and Literature

[via Dr. Jerry Ward, Jr.]

Dr. Ward writes:
David Gooblar's short article "Narrative in the Classroom" encourages us to think about what we are transmitting to our students when we teach stories. By following links in his article, I was able to discover the important neuroscience report on "Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain."   
I would like to know from my Chinese colleagues whether similar experiments have been conducted by Chinese scientists.

Asili Ya Nadhiri's Digital Poetry and Performance

After both reading and listening to Nadhiri's tonal drawing "wandering here in this dark where it eating up the light" (, I observed: 
This double-voiced rendering of the tonal drawing is an example of what might occur when a poem escapes the prison of print and page and becomes an item in digital poetry. In a traditional live reading, it would not be possible to have the overlay of sound without the help of some time-delay mechanism. This digital tonal drawing allows us to hear subtle differences in emphasis of inflections in voice 1 and voice 2 as well as echoing that produces a state of "rendered-ing" or "rendering-ed." Nadhiri's conceptualization sends us to performance theory to find language to discuss self-reflexive echoes.

Good models for such language abound in Black Performance Theory (Durham: Duke University Press, 2014), edited by Thomas F. DeFrantz and Anita Gonzalez.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Project on the History of Black Writing's 2015 Black Poetry After the Black Arts Movement Summer Institute

In a matter of days, Project HBW's Black Poetry After the Black Arts Movement NEH Summer Institute will kick off. Beginning Sunday, twenty-five scholars from around the country will join HBW for the two week long celebration of contemporary black poetry. While many of the sessions will be exclusive to the Summer Scholars, the institute will host a series of events open to the public throughout the institute.  See the flyer above for dates and times of the public events - we would hate for you to miss out! As these events are open to the public, please spread the word! We look forward to seeing you all soon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Celebrating the Lives of Norman Jordan and Samuel Allen

[by Matthew Broussard]
[editor's note: see bottom of post for press release of Norman Jordan's Memorial Service]

The world lost two great minds in the month of June: Norman Jordan and Samuel Allen (aka Paul Vesey).

Norman Jordan (1938- 2015)
Samuel Allen (1917-2015)

Norman Jordan was born in Ansted, West Virginia in 1938, but moved to Cleveland, Ohio as a youth to attend school. Unable to stay away, Jordan returned to Ansted in 1977, earning a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University in theater, and then later a master's degree in African American studies from Ohio State University.

Samuel Allen was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1917. He attended Fisk University where he studied with James Weldon Johnson. Allen went on to study law at Harvard, and had an extensive law career that followed, serving as Deputy Assistant District Attorney in New York City, a civilian attorney with the armed forces in Europe, working his own private practice, and then later working as a law professor at Texas Southern University.