Mary Cappello presents "Lecture," with Namwali Serpell

September 8, 2020, 7:30 PM

Mary Cappello joins us to present Lecture, in conversation with Namwali Serpell. This event will take place on Zoom. Register here: 

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An energetic and irreverent essay on the forgotten art of the lecture, part of Transit’s new Undelivered Lectures series.

In twenty-first century America, there is so much that holds or demands our attention without requiring it. Imagine the lecture as a radical opening.

Mary Cappello's Lecture is a song for the forgotten art of the lecture. Brimming with energy and erudition, it is an attempt to restore the lecture's capacity to wander, question, and excite. Cappello draws on examples from Virginia Woolf to Mary Ruefle, Ralph Waldo Emerson to James Baldwin, blending rigorous cultural criticism with personal history to explore the lecture in its many forms—from the aphorism to the note—and give new life to knowledge’s dramatic form.

MARY CAPPELLO’s six books of literary nonfiction include a detour on awkwardness; a breast-cancer anti-chronicle; a lyric biography; and the mood fantasia, Life Breaks In. A former Guggenheim and Berlin Prize Fellow, she is a professor of English and creative writing at the University of Rhode Island. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and Lucerne-in-Maine, Maine.

NAMWALI SERPELL is a Zambian writer and Professor of English at Harvard University. She’s a recipient of a 2020 Windham-Campbell Prize for fiction and the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing. Her first novel, The Old Drift (Hogarth, 2019), won the 2020 Anisfield-Wolf Book prize for fiction and the 2020 L.A. Times’ Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, and was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2019.