The Department of English in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University will host the Eberly Family Distinguished Lecture at noon on April 16 in E. Moore Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Speaker Saidiya Hartman is a professor of English, comparative literature and women and gender studies at Columbia University. She will discuss her research in African American and American literature and cultural history, slavery, law and literature and performance studies in a lecture entitled “Wayward Lives and the Motion of History.”

The talk is based on her works “Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-making in Nineteenth Century America,” which explores the intersections of enslavement, gender, desire and the making of liberal reason in the United States, and “Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route,” which evokes the non-spaces of black experience through which the African captive became a slave, became a non-person and became alienated from personhood.

In addition to teaching, Hartman is currently on the editorial board of Callaloo, the premiere literary and cultural journal of the African Diaspora.

She has also published essays on photography, film and feminism, and is beginning a new project on photography and ethics.

Previously, Hartman taught at the University of California at Berkeley. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in 1984 and a doctoral degree from Yale University in 1992. Additionally, she has been a Fulbright, Rockefeller, Whitney Oates, and University of California President’s fellow.

For more information, contact John Ernest, Eberly Family Distinguished Professor, at 304-293-9714 or



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