Guest Lecture: Michael Chasar

Michael Chasar, Willamette University:  "From Baraka to Rihanna: Legacies of the Black Arts Movement"

Monday October 29th, 4pm, Knight Library Browsing Room


In this multimedia presentation and lecture, Chasar traces the significance of "SOS" as a keyword in African American poetry and music since the 1960s—from Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez to slam poet Patricia Smith, rap and hip hop artists including Rihanna, and Claudia Rankine. Along the way, his examinations of African American involvement in World War I, as well as personal ads in African American newspapers, reveal a racialized history of "SOS" that makes it more than just a radio distress call. This talk will be of interest to folks in English, creative writing, African American studies, popular culture studies, popular music studies, and media studies.

Michael Chasar is a 2016 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, a 2015 Library of Congress Kluge Fellow, and associate professor and Department Chair of English at Willamette University. He is the author of Everyday Reading: Poetry and Popular Culture (2012) and Beyond the Book? Poetry in the Age of New Media (forthcoming 2019) and co-editor of Poetry after Cultural Studies (2011). His next book will be O, Karaoke! On Pop Music and the Poetic Tradition.