Author, critic Stanley Crouch to host W.E.B. Du Bois forums

Author, critic and commentator Stanley Crouch will host “A Reconsideration of W.E.B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk at its Centenary” at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Oct. 27.

Both hour-long sessions will take place in Graham Chapel and are sponsored by The Center for the Humanities and the Department of English, both in Arts & Sciences.

Stanley Crouch
Stanley Crouch

The core text for this year’s Freshman Writing and Argumentation Program, The Souls of Black Folk (1903) collects 14 influential essays by William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963) — the foremost African-American intellectual of his time — on conditions African-Americans faced in the years after emancipation.

At 11 a.m., Crouch will discuss the work’s continuing importance and his own responses to it, followed by questions from the floor. The session’s moderator will be Gerald L. Early, Ph.D., the Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters in Arts & Science and director of The Center for the Humanities.

At 2 p.m., Crouch will read from and comment on selected passages.

With Playthell Benjamin, Crouch co-authored Reconsidering the Souls of Black Folk, which explores such topics as Du Bois’ evocation of the “double consciousness” of African-Americans in a racist society; his advocacy of the African-American “talented tenth”; and his challenge to Booker T. Washington’s nonconfrontational program of downplaying African-American civil and political rights in favor of economic advancement.

Crouch’s other works include Notes of a Hanging Judge (1990), The All American Skins Game (1995) and Always in Pursuit (1998).

In February, he will return to the University for a conference on public intellectuals, part of the Arts & Sciences Conversations Series.

Crouch’s Oct. 27 sessions are open to the University community. For more information, call 935-5576.

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