Toni Morrison and the World of 'Beloved' with Dr. Keith Mitchell
In the view of most literary critics and the reading public, alike, Toni Morrison is considered one of the most important American writers of the twentieth century. Before her passing in 2019, her extraordinary career as an editor, teacher, cultural critic, public intellectual, and, of course, writer spanned over three decades, culminating in her winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993—the only woman of African descent to have garnered this distinction. Although all eleven of her novels mark a distinctive milestone in her career as a writer, most critics and readers regard her 1987 novel Beloved, based upon the tragic story of the fugitive slave Margaret Garner, as her crowning literary achievement. Among all her novels, Beloved is the one most often taught in high schools and universities not only here in the United States but around the world. It is a staple of the American literary canon. In tonight’s presentation, Dr. Mitchell will not only focus his talk on Toni Morrison’s extraordinary career and its many facets but will also contextualize the novel both as an historical artifact and as a literary phenomenon.
Dr. Mitchell joined the English Department at UMass Lowell in 2001 and is currently an associate professor. He received his B.A. from Emory University and his masters and doctoral degrees from The University of Chapel Hill at North Carolina. His research and teaching areas of expertise are African American literature, 19th and 20th century American literature, Ethnic American literature, and Caribbean literature. He has edited two collections of essays on the African American writer, Percival Everett, and numerous articles and book chapters on African American, American, and Caribbean literature. Currently, he is working on a book project titled “Standing on the Frontlines: The Vietnam War and Its Afterlives in African American Literature.”
- Thursday, June 17, 2021
- 7:00pm - 8:30pm
- Online - Zoom #2