Looking for Language in the Ruins

Organized by the The Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (CAAPP) at the University of Pittsburgh, this talk is part of a week-long intensive study which brought together composer, performer, and writer JJJJJerome Ellis, award-winning author and cultural historian Saidiya Hartman, and poet-scholar Erica Hunt. Collectively, these panelists discuss how they each engage with the archive during current social upheaval and political uncertainty.

When speaking on the idea of ‘language in the ruins’, Erica Hunt has this to say:

“This is what the record says and it’s mute on us. It’s always silenced about us. But the rereading and the reading into and the imagining . . . is what is actually ours, is what fuels us . . Somehow we are able to extract something completely vital.”