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I Am Not Your Meme: Social Media and the Resurrection of James Baldwin

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The Historic Barn House at the Clemmons Family Farm

2122 Greenbush Road

Charlotte, VT 05445

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The Clemmons Family Farm is honored to present Dr. Brian Murphy as our next guest speaker in our Humanities Speaker Series, "To Sing of Common Things: Exploring Love, Family, Identity, Politics and Daily Life in African and African American Literature, Music and Performance”.

In his presentation, "I Am Not Your Meme: Social Media and the Resurrection of James Baldwin", Dr. Murphy will share insights on the famous author's important contributions to work beyond the topics of race and racism.

Thirty years after his death, James Baldwin's essays and novels have become quite popular again. His words prophetically and poetically illuminate current events, from Ferguson and the rise of Black Lives Matter, to the election of Donald Trump and the recasting of white supremacy as the "alt-right." Memes and tweets quoting his work circulate constantly on social media, especially in the wake of police shootings and other tragic events. But what do we miss when we look at Baldwin’s art and thought only through social media and solely on his works on race, tyranny, and violence? What of his meditations on love, the challenge of freedom, the illusions of safety and security, and the fatal power of shame? Ultimately, Baldwin’s vision looked beyond racial oppression and the conflicts of our era to consider universal, timeless struggles. Even his most incisive writing on race is haunted by larger questions: if we ever manage to achieve our freedom, what will we do with it? If we survive this oppression, how will we then choose to live?



ABOUT OUR GUEST SPEAKER, DR. BRIAN MURPHY

Dr. Brian Michael Murphy is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Champlain College, an Instructor in the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop, and a blogger for the Kenyon Review. His poems and essays have been published or are forthcoming in Waxwing, Media-N, Birmingham Poetry Review, Ácoma, and elsewhere. As a hip hop/spoken word artist, he released the albums Manifest Destiny and Black Fire. Currently, he is writing a nonfiction book called We the Dead: Preserving American Culture at the End of the World.


MORE ABOUT THE CLEMMONS FAMILY FARM'S HUMANITIES SPEAKER SERIES

To Sing of Common Things: Exploring Love, Family, Identity, Politics and Daily Life in African and African American Literature, Music and Performance features guest speakers whose presentations highlight the contributions of selected African American and African authors, musicians and performers to the exploration of love, identity, politics and daily life through the humanities. Held between June and October 2017, the speakers' series theme is inspired by the poem “Common Things” by Paul Laurence Dunbar. The speakers series is funded in part by a grant from the Vermont Humanities Council with the support of the Peace and Justice Center.

FAQ

Where do I park?

The Barn House address is 2122 Greenbush Road, Charlotte Vermont 05445. Please park in the barnyard located across the street from the Barn House. You will see an "Event Parking" sign indicating the area where you can park.

What do I do if I cannot walk down and up the hill to the Barn House?

Please contact us at clemmonsfamilyfarm@gmail.com or call (802) 310-0097 so that we can arrange for a car to drive you down (and up) the hill. Also, the Barn House has an access ramp for those who may have difficulty using the stairs at the main entrance.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please contact us if you have any questions about the event. You can reach us at clemmonsfamilyfarm@gmail.com or call 802-310-0097

Where can I learn more about the Clemmons Family Farm?

Check out our website and fan us on Facebook!

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Date and Time

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The Historic Barn House at the Clemmons Family Farm

2122 Greenbush Road

Charlotte, VT 05445

View Map

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