James Baldwin's America
Reading, discussion, and workshop
Sponsored by Humanities New York
Facilitated by Marwa Helal
April 1-May 24, 2019
Mondays, 7-9pm (dates below)
Capacity: 15 participants
Registration cost: $15
Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Preference will be given to participants who can attend all sessions. Dates below:
April 1, 8, 15, 22 (skipping 29), May 6
May 20: Final discussion and presentation
Participants will be led through close readings and discussion of James Baldwin's collected essays, novels, and short stories, over the course of five-weeks. Discussions will center on (but not be limited to) the following works: "The Creative Process"; "A Talk To Teachers"; "The American Dream and the American Negro"; "Negroes Are Not Anti-Semitic Because..."; "Previous Condition"; Another Country; and more. We will think through the map Baldwin has left us as writers, educators, citizens of this complicated country. How relevant his words remain and why? Each workshop will include generative writing exercises based on our readings and discussion. Students will have the opportunity to share their own works in a culminating presentation during the sixth session.
Books are available for loan upon request (a $15/book deposit is required).
Marwa Helal is the author of I AM MADE TO LEAVE I AM MADE TO RETURN (No, Dear/Small Anchor Press, 2017) and Invasive species (Nightboat Books, 2019). Helal is the winner of BOMB Magazine’s Biennial 2016 Poetry Contest and has been awarded fellowships from Poets House, Brooklyn Poets, and Cave Canem. She has presented her work at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Studio Museum in Harlem and Brooklyn Museum. Born in Al Mansurah, Egypt, Helal currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA in creative nonfiction from The New School and her BA in journalism and international studies from Ohio Wesleyan University.
James Baldwin's America is sponsored by Humanities New York, a private, non-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, receiving federal, state, city, and private funding. It provides leadership and support across the state’s intellectual and cultural sectors through grants, programs, networking, and advocacy, in order to encourage critical thinking and cultural understanding in the public arena. www.humanitiesny.org