CONVERSATION | Tuesday 1 December | 18:00 - 19:30 CET | Online
In this conversation, as part of the RCMC Thinking With series, Rich Blint discusses themes from his upcoming publication A Radical Interiority: James Baldwin and the Personified Self in Modern American Culture. As a leading scholar committed to the critical excavation of James Baldwin’s life and work, Blint elaborates on what he has dubbed a radical interiority, a response to Baldwin’s decades-long preoccupation with the violence of American categorization. In a special issue of African American Review on Baldwin, Blint asks that we “take seriously Baldwin’s consistent and insistent proposal that categories of difference represent an early misnaming, a dangerous and cowardly misrecognition of the moral imagination required to confront not only our mortality, but also the brutal legacies of our collective histories." Building on Baldwin’s notion of “new acts of creation,” Blint calls for the isolation and cultivation of expressions of a radical interiority in our mass culture, the liberatory pursuit of a kind of moral adulthood and necessary growing up that might reanimate the arrested career of American democracy, which remains fundamentally incommensurable with the dominant logic of white supremacy that continues to shape national life.
For this event, we are grateful to Lara Mazurski at Amsterdam University College for inviting us to participate in their Baldwin Series 2020-21.