Claude McKay og harlemrenessansen 1

Claude McKay and the Harlem Renaissance


Lecture by Nadifa Mohamed

Saturday 1. September 2018, 15:00 until 16:00

Venue: Kjelleren - The Basement

Host: Litteraturhuset

Entrance: Free entry

Claude McKay was central in the cultural, intellectual and political boom in 1920s New York, which has been dubbed the Harlem Renaissance. His writing about Black awakening and the precariousness of Black bodies has made its mark in other writers; James Baldwin is among those who cite McKay among their main inspirations.

Recently, McKay’s until now unpublished novel Amiable With Big Teeth: A Novel of the Love Affair Between the Communists and the Poor Black Sheep of Harlem was published, more than seventy years after it was written. Here, McKay portrays the Black nationalism of 1920s US and the communists’ attempt at getting Black Americans as their allies.

As a police officer, communist, journalist and poet, McKay played both with identity and language. His writing also included poetry, essays and autobiographical texts, and other parts are also being made available along with this newfound novel.

British-American Nadifa Mohamed appeared on Granta’s list of best young British writers in 2013, and has written two novels that both springs out of recent Somali history. This Saturday, she will give a lecture about her encounter with Claude McKay’s Black America.


Our World


Lecture by Gayatri Spivak

Sunday 16. November 2014, 18:00

Venue: Wergeland

Host: Litteraturhuset

Entrance: Free entry

When we seem to have won or lost in terms of certainties, we must, as literature teachers in the classroom, remember such warnings—let literature teach us that there are no certainties,that the process is open, and that it may be altogether salutary that it is so. (Gayatri Spivak)

How do we understand the term «development» if we movebeyond the play of capital and colony? What happens if one,when interpreting our world, rather than the trivially true linear accounts, tries to see the immensely diversified persistent structures that construct ones knowledge of the world? What strategies and solutions to these problems are offered by intellectuals across the political spectrum?

Indian Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is a philosopher and Professor of literature at Columbia University in New York. Her works within critical theory are highly regarded internationally, and she is considered one of the pioneers within postcolonial thinking. Spivak is particularly well known for her application of a wide spectre of critical theories to politicise and problemize the West’s understanding of itself and the legacy of colonialism. She challenges the idea that the West is more democratic, civilized and developed than the rest of the world, and has focused her research on groups who are marginalized by this dominant Western culture, such as immigrants, labour class and women. Spivak won great reckognition for her seminar essay «Can the Subaltern Speak?» (1988), and amongst her recent works are Nationalism and the Imagination (2010) and An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (2012).