Contact: William J. Harris, Department of English, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fred Moten poet, literary and cultural
theorist speaking at KU Feb. 24, 25
The poet and literary and cultural theorist Fred Moten will give a poetry
reading and a lecture on jazz at the University of Kansas.
On Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Moten will read from his own poetry in the Malott
Room of the Kansas Union. On Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Spooner Hall, as part
of the University Honors Program lecture series at The Commons on “Writing Jazz” he
will present, “Jurisgenerative Grammar: For Alto, For Black.” Both events are free and
open to the public.
Moten, who teaches English at Duke University, works at the intersection of creative
writing, black studies, performance studies and critical theory. He has published four
books of poems, most recently, B Jenkins, an elegy for his mother and an inquiry into
language, music and performance. His critical work includes the monograph, In the
Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition and articles in such journals as
PLMA, Social Text, The Drama Review, Callaloo, Hambone and Cambridge Opera
“Moten can be associated with post-Black Arts avant-gardists, such as Nathaniel
Mackey, C. S. Giscombe, Tracie Morris and Harryette Mullen, who are now coming into
their own. They are a very talented and inventive group,” William J. Harris, KU associate
professor of English, observes. “They are not post-black or post-political but they are
much more inclusive than the generation before them—more at home in a multi-racial
His lecture employs both Noam Chomsky's linguistic theory and Robert Cover's
legal theory to examine the jazz compositions of composer and multi-reedist
Moten’s appearance is sponsored by KU’s Honors Program in association with The Commons and the Departments of English and American Studies.