2024 Festival:
October 21–27

31. Blackness as a Portal, Blackness as the Frame

31. Blackness as a Portal, Blackness as the Frame

Each of these writers analyze their relationship to Blackness from different vantage points and from different ends. In what promises to be a fascinating, powerful discussion, they will share why they write about Black experience, whether through memoir, historical analysis, or cultural criticism, and their relationship to Blackness. The panel includes three of the most exciting literary minds today, brought together by our Guest Curator, Elamin Abdelmahmoud. Aisha Harris (Wannabe) is “one of our smartest, most entertaining modern cultural critics” (ELLE). Suzette Mayr won the Giller Prize and many others for her astonishingly creative, enveloping The Sleeping Car Porter. And Christina Sharpe (Ordinary Notes) is regularly hailed as inventive, dazzling, and intellectually expansive in her work. Moderated by Jasmine Sealy.

ASL Interpretation will be provided at this event.

Presented in partnership with Hogan’s Alley Society.

Event Participants:

Aisha Harris

AISHA HARRIS is a cohost and reporter for the hit NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour. She previously held editorial positions at Slate and the New York Times. Aisha earned her bachelor’s degree in theatre from Northwestern University and her master’s degree in cinema studies from NYU.

Suzette Mayr

SUZETTE MAYR is the author of the novels Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall, Monoceros, Moon Honey, The Widows, Venous Hum and The Sleeping Car Porter, which won the 2022 Giller Prize.

Jasmine Sealy

JASMINE SEALY is a Barbadian-Canadian writer. Her debut novel, The Island of Forgetting, was published in 2022. It was shortlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and the Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, and it won the Amazon Canada First Novel Award. She lives in Vancouver.

Christina Sharpe

CHRISTINA SHARPE is a writer, professor, and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities at York University. She is the author of Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects and In the Wake: On Blackness and Being which was named a best book of 2016 by the Guardian and The Walrus.