Poetics: A RaceB4Race Symposium

Arizona State University | January 27-28, 2023 

In person and livestreamed

This symposium will invite scholars and poets to examine the ways race can, should, and/or does function within poetic paradigms. Along with one of our distinguished speakers, Fred Moten, we ponder "the question of how we can read the poem is redoubled now. now, how can we read this poem?"

Invited speakers

  • Brandi K. Adams (Arizona State University)
  • Tanvir Ahmed (Austrian Academy of Science)
  • Suzanne Coley (Independent artist)
  • Reginald Jackson (University of Michigan)
  • Promise Li (Princeton University)
  • Jackie Murray (University of Kentucky)
  • Susie Phillips (Northwestern University)
  • Debapriya Sarkar (University of Connecticut)
  • Reginald Wilburn (University of New Hampshire)


Download the program


An evening with Fred Moten and Jericho Brown

January 27, 2023 | Keynote conversation

Fred Moten is a cultural theorist and poet creating new conceptual spaces that accommodate emergent forms of Black cultural production, aesthetics, and social life. In his theoretical and critical writing on visual culture, poetics, music, and performance, Moten seeks to move beyond normative categories of analysis, grounded in Western philosophical traditions, that do not account for the Black experience. He is developing a new mode of aesthetic inquiry wherein the conditions of being Black play a central role.

Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of the collection The Tradition (2019), which was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and the winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies. He is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.


Livestream information

This event will be livestreamed by ASU Live. The recording will be available to watch on the ACMRS YouTube channel afterwards. If you would like to be reminded of the ASU Live link at the time of the event, please register with the online only option.

Travel information

For information regarding lodging near the ASU Tempe Campus, please visit the Travel Information for ASU visitors page.

This event will take place in Carson Ballroom in Old Main. The closest parking garage to the venue is the Fulton Center parking structure. Learn more about parking rates here.



Friday, January 27, 2023

All sessions will take place in the Carson Ballroom of Old Main

9:00 am - 9:45 am

Coffee and registration

9:45 am - 10:00 am

Welcome remarks

10:00 am - 10:45 am

The Arts of English Poesie: Making Worlds and Making Race | Debapriya Sarkar

11:00 am - 11:45 am

‘Mongol’ as a Religiopolitical Concept in Early Modern Pashto Poetics | Tanvir Ahmed

11:45 am - 1:30 pm

Lunch break

1:30 pm - 2:15 pm

The Monstrous Female: Racing Homer’s Women | Jackie Murray

2:30 pm - 3:15 pm

The Blackness of Early Modern English Poetic (Text)iles | Brandi K. Adams

3:30 pm - 4:15 pm

Coloring Shakespeare: Book Arts, Wedding Gowns, and Poetry | Suzanne Coley

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Keynote: A Conversation with Fred Moten and Jericho Brown

Saturday, January 28, 2023

All sessions will take place in the Carson Ballroom in Old Main

9:00 am - 10:00 am

Coffee and registration

10:00 am - 10:45 am

On James Weldon Johnson's Milton and A Sinful Poetics of Anti-lynching (Re)form | Reginald Wilburn

11:00 am - 11:45 am

Global Gra​mmars of White Ignorance: Evangelical Poetics and Racist Worlding in Jesuit Japan | Reginald Jackson

11:45 am - 1:30 pm

Lunch break 

1:30 pm - 2:15 pm

Stableboys and Schoolmasters: Blackness in the Virtual Classroom (c. 1590) | Susie Phillips

2:30 pm - 3:15 pm

Containing the world: Poetics as Racialization in Love's Labour's Lost | Promise Li

3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

Closing remarks followed by a champagne toast | Dean Jeffrey J. Cohen