An event within the Intellectual Publics series, convened by Ken Wissoker

Monday, December 3, 2018  

William P. Kelly Skylight Room (9100)
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Even as feminism has become increasingly central to our ideas about institutions, relationships, and everyday life, the term used to diagnose the problem—“patriarchy”—is used so loosely that it has lost its meaning. In Vexy Thing Imani Perry resurrects patriarchy as a target of critique, recentering it to contemporary discussions of feminism through a social and literary analysis of cultural artifacts from the Enlightenment to the present. Drawing on a rich array of sources—from nineteenth-century slavery court cases and historical vignettes to writings by Toni Morrison and Audre Lorde and art by Kara Walker and Wangechi Mutu—Perry shows how the figure of the patriarch emerged as part and parcel of modernity, the nation-state, the Industrial Revolution, and globalization. She also outlines how digital media and technology, neoliberalism, and the security state continue to prop up patriarchy. By exploring the past and present of patriarchy in the world we have inherited and are building for the future, Perry exposes its mechanisms of domination as a necessary precursor to dismantling it. In their conversation Perry and Simone White will discuss these issues and more.Imani Perry is the author of Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant Life of Lorraine Hansberry (2018), May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem (2018), Vexy Thing: On Gender and Liberation (2018), More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States (2011), and Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop (2004).  Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and faculty associate in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton.

Simone White is the author of Dear Angel of Death (2018), Of Being Dispersed (2016), House of Envy of All the World (2010), and the chapbooks Unrest (2013) and Dolly (with Kim Thomas, 2008). Her poetry and prose have been featured in The New York Times Book Review, Harper’s Magazine, BOMB Magazine, Chicago Review, and Harriet: The Blog. In 2017, she received the Whiting Award for poetry. White is currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining the faculty at Penn, she was Program Director at The Poetry Project and visiting faculty at The New School, Eugene Lang College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Intellectual Publics provides a multi-faceted forum for cutting-edge scholarship across the humanities and social sciences as well as advice on how to best articulate and publish such work.  We present the ideas and approaches that engage the most visionary thinkers of our time through talks and conversations for an audience invested in the ideas themselves.

Intellectual Publics brings together an audience that includes faculty and students from CUNY and beyond, as well as artists, writers, and scholars from outside the academy.  While speakers include stellar theorists actively shaping their fields, the questions, ideas, and approaches are the main attraction.

Intellectual Publics brings that same creative focus to book publishing, a way of writing for an audience invested in the ideas and methodologies, not just the objects of study themselves.

Directed by Ken Wissoker, who is also Editorial Director at Duke University Press, Intellectual Publics offers the Graduate Center and CUNY guidance for scholars — from graduate students to senior faculty — on writing and publishing their work.

Both components of Intellectual Publics  assume there are thinkers, writers, and readers engaged in ideas beyond those limited to academic niches or to the larger media’s sense of what will appeal to the general public.  Intellectual Publics looks to reconstitute the intellectual landscape through promoting those alternatives.