AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF ARMENIA
The Past and Present of African American Literature and its Formative Role in American Culture
By Dr. Lauri Ramey
6:30 PM, Reception; 7:00 PM, Public Lecture
Akian Art Gallery, Paramaz Avedisian Building, American University of Armenia, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
ABOUT THE LECTURE
The American University of Armenia (AUA) is hosting a public lecture on the impact of African American literature on the culture of the United States. The talk will be delivered by Dr. Lauri Ramey, a specialist in African American Literature and Culture from California State University, Los Angeles. African American literature is a unique and distinctive body of writing with a 400-year history. From its roots in slave narratives and spirituals, these oral and written texts have found universal appeal.
African American literature also has been a major touchstone in the development of American heritage and culture. Yet African American writing has not received full recognition as a diverse, sophisticated and influential literary tradition. This presentation will discuss key texts and moments in African American literary history and criticism. The canon will be discussed, along with lesser known figures and styles. The variety and breadth of African American literature will be illuminated as expressions of a diasporic population. Scholars, students and the general public will learn about exciting authors and texts that will amply reward readers’ time and attention.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Lauri Ramey has written and lectured widely on current literature and culture. Her academic interests focus on the pedagogy of English and creative writing, lyric poetry, migration and transnationalism, African diasporic literature and culture, modern and contemporary British and American literature, and canon formation and marginalization.
She is Founding Director of the Presidentially Chartered Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, and Professor of Creative Writing, African American Literature and Culture, and American Studies in the Department of English at California State University, Los Angeles.
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