MSU College of Arts & Letters Signature Lecture Series
Poet, essayist, playwright, and the editor of several anthologies. She is the author of five volumes of poetry, two plays, and various essays.
Her book of poetry, Citizen: An American Lyric, won the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Award, the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry (the first book in the award’s history to be nominated in both poetry and criticism), the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Collection, the 2015 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry, the 2015 NAACP Image Award in poetry, the 2015 PEN Open Book Award, the 2015 PEN American Center USA Literary Award, the 2015 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Literary Award, and the 2015 VIDA Literary Award. Citizen was also a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award and the 2015 T.S. Eliot Prize. It is the only poetry book to be a New York Times bestseller in the nonfiction category.
The Lecture will begin at 7 pm, however doors open at 6 pm. The lecture will be livecast on the web and overflow rooms for visitors may be provided. A reception will immediately follow. A pop-up Book Sale table will be available to purchase works by Claudia Rankine.
About the Signature Lecture Series
Originally founded as the Celebrity Lecture Series in 1998 by the College of Arts & Letters and the Dean’s Community Council, the series was later renamed the Signature Lecture Series in 2007 and allows notable public figures to interact and engage with the faculty, students, and greater community of Michigan State University through conversations and discussions.
Support for this series has come from sponsors both within the University community and the community at large. Their generosity has been critical in attracting the best and most qualified individuals to conduct an informed and wide ranging discussion of contemporary ideas and creative achievements in the arts and humanities.
The popularity of this series has attracted some of the most illustrious scholars, critics, novelists, poets, film producers, and creative artists of our time, including Soledad O’Brien, Ken Burns, Oliver Stone, Richard Ford, and Maya Angelou, just to name a few.
This event is being held in collaboration with
MSU Broad Art Museum Artist’s Project Series
“John Lucas and Claudia Rankine: Situations” Exhibition
Opening reception February 7, 2020 6-8 pm
Exhibition February 8-May 31, 2020
The MSU Broad presents, for the first time in a solo exhibition, the entire series of Situation videos collaboratively produced by documentary filmmaker John Lucas and poet Claudia Rankine since 2008. The videos address the vexed notion of a post-racial United States (a term coined in the Obama era to assert that the election of an African American president indicated the achievement of racial equality) by foregrounding the public and private experiences of black Americans. They combine still and moving images culled from archival, televised, and surveilled sources to address both explicit acts of racism—racially motivated murders and police violence against black Americans—and the insidious racist aggressions that are built into institutional structures and everyday life. In the words of Lucas and Rankine: “These are multi-genre responses to contemporary America. The videos exist around public experiences in individual lives. These experiences turn into situations that resonate with us not only as people, but as citizens.” The Situation works both emerge from and dialogue with Rankine’s 2014 hybrid prose-poetry book Citizen: An American Lyric, which likewise amplifies the micro and macro racist aggressions that occur throughout the social and political fabric of the United States.
John Lucas and Claudia Rankine: Situations is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University as part of the Artist Project Series, and curated by Georgia Erger, Assistant Curator. Support for this series is provided by the MSU Federal Credit Union.