We welcome University of Michigan professor Alexandra Minna Stern to discuss her new book, Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right is Warping the American Imagination, which Kirkus calls “An important study that extends the knowledge from other recent books that have demonstrated a stubbornly pervasive network of white nationalists.”
About the book: What is the alt-right? What do they believe, and how did they take center stage in the American social and political consciousness?
From a loose movement that lurked in the shadows in the early 2000s, the alt-right has achieved a level of visibility that has allowed it to expand significantly throughout America’s cultural, political, and digital landscapes. Racist, sexist, and homophobic beliefs that were previously unspeakable have become commonplace, normalized, and accepted—endangering American democracy and society as a whole. Yet in order to dismantle the destructive movement that has invaded our public consciousness, we must first understand the core beliefs that drive the alt-right.
To help guide us through the contemporary moment, historian Alexandra Minna Stern excavates the alt-right memes and tropes that have erupted online and explores the alt-right’s central texts, narratives, constructs, and insider language. She digs to the root of the alt-right’s motivations: their deep-seated fear of an oncoming “white genocide” that can only be remedied through swift and aggressive action to reclaim white power. As the group makes concerted efforts to cast off the vestiges of neo-Nazism and normalize their appearance and their beliefs, the alt-right and their ideas can be hard to recognize. Through careful analysis, Stern brings awareness to the underlying concepts that guide the alt-right and animate its overlapping forms of racism, xenophobia, transphobia, and anti-egalitarianism. She explains the key ideas of “red-pilling,” strategic trolling, gender essentialism, and the alt-right’s ultimate fantasy: a future where minorities have been removed and “cleansed” from the body politic and a white ethnostate is established in the United States. By unearthing the hidden mechanisms that power white nationalism, Stern reveals just how pervasive this movement truly is.
Professor Stern is the author of the prize-winning book Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America, (University of California Press, 2005) and Telling Genes: The Story of Genetic Counseling in America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012) is a Choice 2013 Outstanding Academic Title in Health Sciences.
We welcome University of Michigan Professor Susan J. Douglas in support of her new book, Celebrity: A History of Fame. Free and open to the public, book signing to follow.
About the book: Today, celebrity culture is an inescapable part of our media landscape and our everyday lives. This was not always the case. Over the past century, media technologies have increasingly expanded the production and proliferation of fame. Celebrity explores this revolution and its often under-estimated impact on American culture. Using numerous precedent-setting examples spanning more than one hundred years of media history, Douglas and McDonnell trace the dynamic relationship between celebrity and the technologies of mass communication that have shaped the nature of fame in the United States.
Susan J. Douglas is the Catherine Neafie Kellogg Professor of Communication Studies at The University of Michigan. She is the author of five books, including The Rise of Enlightened Sexism (2010), Listening In: Radio and the American Imagination (1999) and Where The Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media (1994).
Wayétu Moore’s debut novel She Would Be King reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years. It was named a best book of 2018 by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Entertainment Weekly & BuzzFeed.
Moore is the founder of One Moore Book, a non-profit organization that creates and distributes culturally relevant books for underrepresented readers. Her first bookstore opened in Monrovia, Liberia in 2015. Her writing can be found in The Paris Review, Frieze Magazine, Guernica, The Atlantic Magazine and other publications. She has been featured in The Economist Magazine, NPR, NBC, BET and ABC, among others, for her work in advocacy for diversity in children’s literature.
She is a graduate of Howard University, University of Southern California and Columbia University. Moore is a founding faculty member of Randolph College MFA program and a Distinguished Visiting Writer at Syracuse University.
This event is free and open to the public.
The Zell Visiting Writers Series brings outstanding writers to campus each semester. The Series is made possible through a generous gift from U-M alumna Helen Zell (BA ’64, LLDHon ’13). For more information, please visit the Zell Visiting Writers Program webpage: https://lsa.umich.edu/writers
For any questions about the event or to share accommodation needs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org– we are eager to help ensure that this event is inclusive to you. The building, event space, and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. A lactation room (Angell Hall #5209), reflection room (Haven Hall #1506), and gender-inclusive restroom (Angell Hall 5th floor) are available on site. ASL interpreters and CART services are available upon request; please email email@example.com at least two weeks prior to the event.
Please register your attendance here.
The University of Michigan School for Environtment, Sustainbale Food Systems Initiative and Literati Bookstore are thrilled to welcome Jonathan Safran Foer to Rackham Auditorium on the campus of the University of Michigan in support of his landmark book We are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast.
Join New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) to learn how saving the planet begins on our breakfast plates. With a reading and discussion of his new book, We are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast, Safran Foer will highlight small behavioral changes that could help move the needle on climate change.
Literati Bookstore will be on-hand to sell copies of the book.
We welcome acclaimed poet Michael Dickman to the store for a reading from his most recent collection, Days & Days, as part of our ongoing Poetry at Literati series. Free and open to the public, signing to follow.
About the collection: Michael Dickman’s intuitive, agile verse captures us in its unusual pulse. Image-driven and shape-driven, the poems of Days & Days touch on parenthood, childhood, local natural habitats, graffiti culture, roses, and romantic love. Dickman considers both the internal and external vistas that open before him in the course of a day, the memories and the immediate quandaries. The long centerpiece poem, “Lakes Rivers Streams,” is a reverie that picks up the flotsam of parenting days on its current. Other poems account for hotel days, or days spent watching TV, taking prescription drugs, watching butterflies. Throughout, we feel the dazzling originality of Dickman’s awareness; he meets the brutality, banality, and strange beauty of the quotidian with a level gaze, and with an urgent musicality that carries us beyond these lines and pages.
Michael Dickman is the author of three books of poems, The End of the West (2009), Flies (2011, winner of the James Laughlin Award), and Green Migraine (2015), and coauthor, with his twin brother , of 50 American Plays (Poems) (2012), and Brother (2016). He lives in Princeton, New Jersey, where he is on the faculty at Princeton University.
All invited to listen to guild members swap stories or bring their own to tell, at the AASG monthly meeting.
Celebrating our common humanity uniting us all.
On September 22, 29, and October 6, 7:00 pm, the theatre company, Apollo’s Troupe, will stage the theatre adaptation of the critically-acclaimed epic poem, The Parliament of Poets, written by Michigan poet Frederick Glaysher and published in 2012 by Earthrise Press. Fresh from performing in May at Wayne State University’s Studio Theatre, this stage adaptation of Mr. Glaysher’s epic work in verse keeps intact much of the beautiful poetry that exemplifies this spectacular book while seeking to reach a new audience with its message of how poetry and artistry from all times and cultures can elevate the world and redefine our lives for the better.
Glaysher studied with Robert Hayden during the last year of his life, worked for him as a secretary, and editing his Collected Prose for the University of Michigan Press and his Collected Poems for Liveright. Glaysher holds two degrees from U of M, the latter a Master’s in English. When it came time for writing his epic poem, Glaysher knew he had to include Robert Hayden to try to honor his former teacher, mentor, and friend.
Taking place on the moon at the Apollo 11 landing site, a lone poet finds himself charged by Don Quixote and “The Parliament of Poets” to spread a new message of beauty, unity, and love to all nations of our fractured modern world. He is then sent to meet with the great poets, myths, and characters from history, East and West, to be mentored on his quest towards enlightenment and understanding.
The cast is comprised of the poet himself, as a persona, The Poet of the Moon, as well as five talented actors playing multiple roles including Don Quixote, Merlin the Magician, Jane Austen, Ann Arbor Poet Robert Hayden, Leo Tolstoy, the Biblical prophet-poet Job, the great Chinese poet Du Fu, the African Queen Sogolon, and many more. These actors are Dennis Kleinsmith as Don Quixote and Tolstoy (Theatre Nova, JET, Shakespeare in Detroit, etc.), Krystle Dellihue as Robert Hayden and Queen Sogolon from the Mali epic Sundiata (Shakespeare In Detroit, Matrix Theatre, Redbud, PTD), Alexander Sloan, also as Robert Hayden and Jorge Luis Borges (Open Book, Water Works, Hope College), Marley Boone, as the Fairy Queen and the Chinese Tang poet Du Fu (Williamston, St. Dunstan’s, several Philadelphia theatres), Patrick Grimes, as the African Flying Tortoise Mbeku, Merlin, Virgil, and William Blake (Redbud, Morris, Young People’s Theatre). The stage manager is Briana O’Neal, the new resident stage manager at Theatre Nova (Eastern MSU, Ann Arbor Civic Theatre).
In the canto with Robert Hayden, he invokes the passage from Stephen Vincent Benet’s John Brown’s Body about one day there would be an American black poet who would sing for his people. Hayden then calls forth the fairies and magical beings from around the world, throughout time, to carry him and his “charge,” the Poet of the Moon, heavenward to the Apollo 11 landing site.
Based on staging by Jeff Thomakos, of the Michigan Michael Chekhov Studio, the show is a unique blend of poetry reading, protest play, and performance art with a powerful message of peace, love, and humanity on the tiny, blue marble floating in space that we all share together.
“I am very honored to try to bring this critically-acclaimed work, from one of Michigan’s most talented poets to life. I think it will be a unique and moving experience,” says Mr. Thomakos.
The show will be a Guest Production at Theatre Nova, 410 West Huron Street. Performances will take place 7:00 – 9:00 pm on Sunday evenings September 22, 29, and October 6. Tickets are at the door and online under Guest Productions, https://www.theatrenova.org/guest-productions $22 general, $15 students. Go to TheatreNova.org or EarthrisePress.Net for more information. Or call 248-453-4220. The Parliament of Poets can be purchased at Crazy Wisdom Bookstore.
We welcome J. Ryan Stradal back to Literati for a reading in support of his latest, widely acclaimed novel, The Lager Queen of Minnesota, as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati series. Free and open to the public, book signing to follow.
About the book: A novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate and the secrets of making a world-class beer, from the bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest.
“[The Lager Queen of Minnesota has] complex female characters, sudden tragedies, culinary descriptions that awaken all your senses.” –Entertainment Weekly
J. Ryan Stradal is a contributing editor at TASTE Magazine. His bestselling debut, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, won the 2016 American Booksellers Association Indie’s Choice Award for Adult Debut Book of the Year and also the 2016 Midwest Booksellers Choice Award for debut fiction. Born and raised in Minnesota, he now lives in Los Angeles.
Skazat! is back, and have we got a season lined up for you! Join us at Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea Washington St. on September 24 to celebrate with fabulous poetry and tasty treats. Whether you’re a page poet, slammer, performance artist or refuse a label, we want to hear your new stuff on our open mic. We look forward to sharing great poetry (and great coffee) with you and invite you to join this free open mic and monthly reading series!
Sign up! 7:00 p.m.
7:15 p.m. – Open mic
8:00 p.m. – Featured Reader
This month’s feature: NATASHA T MILLER
Natasha T Miller is a Detroit, MI native, Kresge Artist Fellow, performance poet, LGBTQ activist, film producer, and founder of the “Artists Inn Detroit”. Natasha has been a member of four national slam teams, starred in a national sprite commercial, a Shinola CNN ad, and she is a Women of the World Poetry Slam 3-time- top five finalist. She has awed audiences across the world at more than a hundred universities, and venues, performing in stadiums for as many as thirty thousand people. She has been featured in magazines such as Vogue, Elle, entrepreneur magazine, and many more. She’s had poems featured on sites like The Shaderoom, the offing magazine, afterellen and many more. Just recently she opened up for the famous band Mumford and Sons in front of the first sold out crowd at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Natasha currently tours the world using her words to enlighten, create equality, and most importantly spread truth, and forgiveness in the tradition of so many great leaders before her.
NEXT MONTH: BRYAN THAO WORRA!
We welcome Peg Alford Pursell to the store to read from her collection of hybrid stories and fables, A Girl Goes Into the Forest, as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati series. Following a reading, she’ll be in conversation with fellow author Polly Rosenwaike (Look How Happy I’m Making You). Free and open to the public, book signing to follow.
About the book: Following her acclaimed debut, Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow, award-winning author Peg Alford Pursell explores and illuminates love and loss in 78 hybrid stories and fables. A Girl Goes into the Forest immerses readers in the complex desires, contradictions, and sorrows of daughters, wives, and husbands, artists, siblings, and mothers.
In forests literal and metaphorical, the characters try, fail, and try again to see the world, to hear each other, and to speak the truth of their longings. Powerful, lyrical, and precise, Pursell’s stories call up a world at once mysterious and recognizable.
A Girl Goes into the Forest invites fans of Lydia Davis and Helen Oyeyemi into a world where “no one can deter a person from her mistakes.”
Peg Alford Pursell is the author of is the author of Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow, a collection of hybrid with praise from Peter Orner, Joan Silber, Antonya Nelson, Glen David Gold, and others, and featured by Poets & Writers magazine’s second annual 5 over 50, December 2017. Her work has appeared in Permafrost, the Los Angeles Review, Joyland Magazine, and other journals and anthologies. She is the founder and director of the national reading series Why There Are Words and of WTAW Press. She lives in Northern California.
Polly Rosenwaike has published stories, essays, and reviews in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2013, The New York Times Book Review, Glimmer Train, New England Review, The Millions, and the San Francisco Chronicle. The fiction editor for Michigan Quarterly Review, she lives in Ann Arbor with the poet Cody Walker and their two daughters.