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Paula Moya on Reading Race: From Ferguson, Missouri to Morrison's 'A Mercy' and Back Again

Time: Thursday, January 15 | 12-1:15pm

Venue: Terrace Room, 4th floor, Margaret Jacks Hall, Bldg. 460

Hosts: Stanford's Research Institute of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (RICSRE) and the Program in Modern Thought and Literature (MTL)

Speaker: Paula Moya, Associate Professor of English and Director of the Program in Modern Thought and Literature, Stanford University

Description: Americans do not just "see" race, we also "read" it, actively engaging in interpretive practices that draw upon widely available meanings attributable to particular bodies, behaviors, styles, and places. See, for example, when white police officer Darren Wilson described the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown to the grand jury as huge, threatening, and "demon"-like, ostensibly providing the jury with the alibi they needed to absolve him of responsibility. In this talk, Paula Moya discusses the phenomenon of racial illiteracies before exploring how literary representations by writers such as Toni Morrison and Junot Diaz work to both examine and reshape Americans' skewed racial schemas.

For more information, see this link.