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First Fridays

Emory College and the James Weldon Johnson Institute present: First Fridays at 4: Emory Faculty Scholarship on Race. Emory professors will share their latest research on topics related to race, difference and equity.

Schedule of Events

APRIL 1, 2022: LITERATURE OF Liminal America

April’s speaker is Dr. Tiphanie Yanique, Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing. She will discuss the topic, Literature of Liminal America: Virgin Islands Literature and Expanding the Borders of US Identity.

 Dr. Yanique will read from her book Monster in the Middlefollowed by a conversation between Dr. Yanique and Professor Michelle Gordon, Senior Lecturer in the department of African American Studies, on the relationship between American literature and Caribbean literature and how literature of the US Virgin Islands sits between and on the outside of both.


MARCH 5TH - Dispossession: the Price of "Progress" (EVENT HAS PASSED)

This new monthly series kicks off on March 5 with Dr. Tayari Jones, Professor, English and Creative Writing.


OCTOBER 1ST -ASCO: Disgust and the Struggle Against Racism (EVENT HAS PASSED)

What’s the place of disgust in the struggle against racism? Disgust, hatred, and the range of negative affects are frequently – and efficiently – used in racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic portraits of oppressed subjects. It seems provocative, then, that the young, founding members of the Chicanx art collective known as ASCO would not only choose the term “disgust” to name their collective and characterize their work, but that they would use disgust in their fight against discrimination, against racial profiling, and against racism more generally. This talk engages the works produced by the ASCO collective in the 1970s and 1980s to consider a volatile possibility, one  formulated by D. M. Kahan: the possibility of a progressive appropriation of disgust. It explores the role of strong, negative feelings (feelings like revulsion and disgust) as necessary instruments for both undoing the worlds of violence and oppression we live in, and also for the construction of the life-affirming, nurturing, desire-driven worlds we want to live in.  

APRIL 2ND - On Debt: Neoliberal Coloniality in the Colony of Puerto Rico (EVENT HAS PASSED)

Our April 2 talk with Dr. Rocio Zambrana, Associate Professor of Philosophy will discuss debt functions as a form of coloniality in the colony of Puerto Rico. It operates not only as an apparatus of capture and predation, intensifying a neoliberalism reconfigured by the financial crisis. It also operates as a form of coloniality, actualizing a race/gender norm installed and updated throughout an ongoing colonial history. Placing in conversation Marxist approximations to financial neoliberal capitalism, decolonial thought, and decolonial feminism in Puerto Rico, this talk considers the work of debt in updating modalities of gender and racial, particularly antiblack, violence.


MAY 7TH - Do Our Votes Count? Race and Political Inequality in American Democracy (EVENT HAS PASSED)

Dr. Bernard L. Fraga, Associate Professor of Political Science, will discuss the causes and consequences of racial/ethnic disparities in who turns out to vote. Drawing on research from his recent book The Turnout Gap: Race, Ethnicity, and Political Inequality in a Diversifying America, the talk will explain the persistence of large disparities in rates of political participation between whites and non-whites in contemporary elections. The talk will also demonstrate the power of Black, Latinx, and Asian American voters to shape election outcomes when mobilized and empowered to do so, both nationwide and in Georgia specifically


Check out our Youtube page for archived First Fridays programming.