Monument Lab

There’s a Spirit in Everything” with Scholars Salamishah Tillet and Grace Sanders Johnson Live from the Free Library of Philadelphia

Episode Summary

This episode features two brilliant scholar-artist-activists Salamishah Tillet and Grace Sanders Johnson. It was recorded live from the Free Library of Philadelphia as a part of the 2019 One Book One Philadelphia festival. Tillet and Sanders Johnson have been friends of Monument Lab since the beginning, actually before the beginning. Tillet as a mentor, Sanders Johnson as a graduate school classmate and writing partner of host Paul Farber. Together, they spoke about how they approach memory in their works, what kind of archives and artworks haunt and/or inspire them, and how history lives in the present.

Episode Notes

This episode features two brilliant scholar-artist-activists Salamishah Tillet and Grace Sanders Johnson. It was recorded live from the Free Library of Philadelphia as a part of the 2019 One Book One Philadelphia festival. Tillet and Sanders Johnson have been friends of Monument Lab since the beginning, actually before the beginning. Tillet as a mentor, Sanders Johnson as a graduate school classmate and writing partner of host Paul Farber.

Together, they spoke about how they approach memory in their works, what kind of archives and artworks haunt and/or inspire them, and how history lives in the present.

Tillet is Professor of African American and African Studies and Creative Writing, as well as Associate Director of the Clement Price Institute at Rutgers University–Newark. She is also the Founding Faculty Director of the New Arts Justice Initiative at Express Newark and Co-Founder of A Long Walk Home. Tillet regularly publishes as a critic in the New York Times. She is the author of Sites of Slavery: Citizenship and Racial Democracy in the Post–Civil Rights Imagination, and two forthcoming books on Nina Simone and the Color Purple.

Sanders Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently completing her first book manuscript entitled, White Gloves, Black Nation: Women, Citizenship, and the Archive in Early Twentieth Century Haiti. In addition to her study of gender and politics in Haiti, she is the founder of “Harriet’s Hike,” an ecological literacy program for girls and elder women in North Philadelphia.

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