Dr. Myisha Priest (NYU) to speak at Pitt about Black Childhood

March 24, 2016 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Dr. Myisha Priest, author of the book African American Children in American Political Life: The Literature and Politics of the Impossible (forthcoming April 2016), will give a talk at Pitt on March 24 at 4:00 in Posvar 1700. Dr. Priest is an Associate Professor at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study whose work focuses on African American literature, children's literature, and material culture. She has published articles mining this fruitful intersection in The Crisis, Meridians, American Quarterly, Children's Literature Association Quarterly, and Emmett Till in Literary Memory and Imagination. Her forthcoming book is an interdisciplinary project connecting childhood studies, cultural studies, and literary studies that considers how figures of children and children’s literature impact African American writing. In it, Priest "examines how competing claims over the meaning of the lives, the bare lives, and often the deaths of Black children shape the fraught and contested terrain of rights, citizenship, and justice." Juxtaposing works written about and for children during the antebellum era and the Civil Rights movmeent, she "makes the claim that writing for children, and writing through the figure of the child, are connected impulses that characterize African American writing as early as the slave narrative" and "considers how the history of imperiled figures of children work to theorize black political subjectivity, and in so doing, to reimagine foreclosed political horizons."