Professor, scholar and artist Ashon Crawley, Occidental College’s 2023 Stafford Ellison Wright Black Alumni Scholar-in-Residence, will deliver a public lecture as part of his residency.
There will be a 6pm reception preceding the talk.
There is a related arts workshop with Crawley on Feb. 17.
In this lecture, Ashon Crawley asks, what can we do about unkindness? How can Black Study grapple with this messy, borderless concept, which has influenced so much of our post-1492 era? This lecture addresses unkindness by examining performances of Black church musicians, singers and choir directors, and listening carefully to their use of the Hammond organ in Black social life between 1935-2005. In doing so, Crawley meditates on the ways that unkindness expresses internalized governmental, institutional, and familial abandonments of communities, social practices. But also, how listening to musicianship can pose possibilities for imagining and materializing otherwise possibility.
An Associate Professor of Religious Studies and African American and African Studies at University of Virginia, Professor Crawley’s work is deeply interdisciplinary, touching on Black Studies, Performance Theory and Sound Studies, Philosophy and Theology, and Black Feminist and Queer Theory. In addition to being a practicing artist, he is an award-winning scholar working on several new book projects including a memoir and one about the Black Church, the Hammond Organ, and sexuality. Read more about Crawley.
Created by Occidental’s Black Alumni Organization (BAO), the Stafford Ellison Wright Endowment enables distinguished Black scholars from a variety of fields, artists, elected officials and others to spend time in residence at Occidental each year. BAO members believe that a student’s educational experience will be enriched by in-depth contact with individuals who serve as symbols of excellence.