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  • Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm

FBH Graduate Lounge

<Abstract: "He was an outcast of the Black Arts movement in the late 1960s. Yet his works from that period are now recognized as touchstones of black experimental literature. How did William Melvin Kelley turn alienation from the Black Aesthetic into the impetus for a new kind of writing? This paper examines the “graphesis” of Kelley’s writing practice—his use of visual, and especially typographic, signs to denaturalize the way readers apprehend speech, subjectivity, and race. In his typographic art, Kelley figures blackness not as something “out there” to be represented faithfully by language but as a constitutive aspect of readers' perceptual capacities—that is, their ability to read it, or not."

This event is co-sponsored by the Black Cultural Studies Collective and Material Texts. Email Kiana Murphy at for pre-circulated reading or more information.>