Previously at the ICA - Events

Courtsey Celeste Bateman & Associates, LLC

Amiri Baraka: Conference & Performance

12 Apr 2014

The start of 2014 saw the death of Amiri Baraka, one of the most influential, controversial and galvanising cultural figures of the twentieth century. As poet, novelist, playwright, music critic, editor, and cultural organiser, Baraka extended the possibilities of modern writing. This conference, a retrospective of Baraka’s entire career, will seek to analyse how from his early work as LeRoi Jones through to his agitational verse since the 1970s, Baraka interrogated the relationship between art and political action, speech and act, writer and society, tradition and power, race and class, poet and nation, in the process reimagining and enacting a radical politics that has forever marked the US social landscape.

This conference, culminating in a keynote address by Paul Gilroy, will assess the scope of nearly 65 years of work, considering the importance, paradoxes and potentialities of Baraka’s career across a range of disciplines. It will be followed in the evening by a performance commemorating the late poet’s life and work, with readings by poets including Linton Kwesi Johnson, Sean Bonney, Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze and Michael Zand.

The Conference ticket includes entry to the Performance at 7pm.

10am -10.30am Registration & Coffee

10.30am - 12pm Parallel Panels:

African Americas (Cinema 1)

- David Crawford Jones, Albany, ‘Who Will Survive America? The Black Nationalist and Afro-Futurist Visions of Amiri Baraka and Sun Ra’
- Ian Evans, Nottingham, ‘“Bad Mouth”: Baraka and the Restructuring of the American Literary Canon’
- La Donna L. Forsgren, Oregon, ‘Black Foils and Female Guides: A Spiritual Search for Black Manhood in Baraka’s Madheart’

Poetry (ICA Studio)

- Kat Peddie, Kent, ‘Baraka’s Re-visions and The New American Poetry’
- David Grundy, Cambridge, ‘“Towards the songs’ pretended sea’: Sea, Song and History in the Poetry of Baraka and Charles Olson’
- Ian Brinton, independent scholar, ‘Loosening the Fixture: from Yugen to The Floating Bear

12pm - 1.30pm Parallel Panels:

Community (Cinema 1)

- Graeme Abernathy, independent scholar, ‘Poems, Plays and Screenplays that Kill: Baraka’s Malcolm X’
- Amor Kohli, DePaul, ‘Move It or Lose It: the Kinetic Collectivity in Baraka’
- Lytton Smith, Hertfordshire, ‘Ellington was a ‘citizen’: Lyric Community Beyond Citizenship in Baraka’s Poetry of the 60s and 70s’

Narrative (ICA Studio)

- Doug Kern, York, ‘Killing Capitalism: Amiri Baraka and Marxist Drama’
- William Rowe, Birkbeck, ‘Disorder of the Senses: Baraka’s Prose Fiction’
- Samy Azouz, ‘Amiri Baraka’s Interactional Theatre: Audience Participation and the Transmutation of Theatrical Performance’

1.30pm - 2.30pm Lunch

2.30pm - 4pm Parallel Panels:

Power (Cinema 1)

- Sean Bonney, Birkbeck, ‘The Destruction of America: Poetry and the Newark Rebellion’
- Daniel Matlin, King’s College, London, “Pryamids Will Rise Again in Newark”: Baraka and the Black Power Movement’
- Lisa Veroni-Paccher, Bourdeaux, ‘Nation Time?
- Baraka and the 1972 Gary Black Political Convention’

Music (ICA Studio)

- Aldon Lynn Nielsen, Penn State, ‘The Inside Songs of Amiri Baraka’
- Matthew Carbery, Kent, ‘Your Oom Boom Ba Boom: Wise, Why’s, Y’s and Avant-Garde Jazz’
- Jean-Phillipe Marcoux, Université Laval, ‘Say it Loud!: Musical Voice, Performance of Ideophones, and Free Jazz Vocalisms in Baraka’s Poetry’

4pm - 4.15pm Coffee

4.15pm - 5.30pm Keynote (Cinema 1)

Paul Gilroy

7pm - 8.30pm Reading (Cinema 1)

In partnership with Tilt, featuring:

Linton Kwesi Johnson, Kayo Chingonyi, Sean Bonney, Michael Zand, Melanie Abrahams, Psykhomantus, Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, Yvette Heyliger.

Amiri Baraka Conference and Performance (joint ticket)
10am - 8.30pm
£15 / £12 Concessions / £10 ICA Members / £5 ICA Student Members

Amiri Baraka Performance Only
7pm - 8.30pm
£10 / £8 Concessions / £7 ICA Members / £5 ICA Student Members

In partnership with

  • Tilt logo
  • University of Kent School of English logo


E.g., 15-08-2018
E.g., 15-08-2018