Saidiya Hartman | Graces of the Unsung

This is an Archive of a Past Event

The 2022 Presidential Lecture in the Humanities and Arts presents Saidiya Hartman, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. 


The lecture is a serial portrait of Harlem leftists in the 1920s and '30s. It will examine the challenges in writing the lives of the anonymous and the unknown. Grace Lamb is a textual fiction and a placeholder for the aspirations of black radicalism. The talk will also address the affective character of the archival encounter and the failures of narration. A reception will follow the lecture.

Opening remarks by Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President of Stanford University

Saidiya Hartman is the author of Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social UpheavalScenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-making in Nineteenth Century America; and Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow, MacArthur Fellow, Cullman Fellow, and Fulbright Scholar. She has published articles in South Atlantic Quarterly, Brick, Small Axe, Callaloo, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review. She lives in New York.

Related Reading

Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval 

Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route 

From Arcade: "The Death of a Discipline," by Dan-el Padilla Peralta

About the Series

The Presidential Lectures bring distinguished scholars, artists, and critics to the Stanford University campus for lectures, seminars, panel discussions, and a variety of related interactions with faculty, students, and the community at large.

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