I. Augustus Durham
I. Augustus Durham is the 2018-20 President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in English at the University of Maryland, College Park. His current book project takes up black studies through literature, history, and culture in order to examine melancholy and genius. Working primarily through Sigmund Freud’s 1917 essay “Mourning and Melancholia”, he seeks to undo the logic that melancholy is a precursor for mania, especially when applied to black thought and its thinkers. Instead, working with the notion that melancholy instantiates itself through the lost object, that being the mother, he examines the excesses of melancholy to assert that the affect is actually a catalyst for genius. Thus, in its multiple variations, the “mother” manifests in performances of excellence by the child, namely the “son”; and becomes a subject found rather than an object lost. Durham has published work in CAA Reviews, Black Camera: An International Film Journal, Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International, and Journal of Religion and Health; and has forthcoming work in an edited collection on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s expressive art, namely the film Moonlight, and a review of Christina Sharpe's grammars in In the Wake: On Blackness and Being.
President’s Postdoctoral Fellow
2018-20 President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in English at the University of Maryland, College Park.
“Interview Series: Andrew Flory, I Hear a Symphony”
Andrew Flory (Carleton College) examines the central role of Motown in the development of crossover R&B music in his 2017 book I Hear a Symphony: Motown and Crossover R&B.
“Samuel Daly: How African History Helped Shape the Modern World”
Historically, some have viewed soldiers deserting the battlefield during war as an extreme act of cowardice, dishonor and shame. Samuel Fury Childs Daly, the newest member of Duke’s Department of African & African American Studies, takes a different view.
“U, (New) Black(?) Maybe: Nostalgia and Amnesia in Dope”
In March 2014, for an article in GQ magazine, Pharrell Williams invoked the term “the new black”; he further elaborated on the phrase’s definition in an interview with Oprah Winfrey for her show Oprah Prime.
Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction
Depending on the context of its usage, the Spanish term género is definable as either “gender” or “genre.”
“A Loving Reclamation of the Unutterable: Patricia Hill Collins, Hortense J. Spillers, and Nina Simone as Excellent Performers of Nomenclature”
From Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International.