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Tara Bynum at Prairie Lights

March 22, 2023 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Prairie Lights

Join us for a reading and discussion, co-sponsored by Prairie Lights, to celebrate Tara Bynum's book, Reading Pleasures. Bynum is assistant professor in the UI Departments of English and African American Studies and a scholar of early African American literary histories before 1800.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023
7 – 8:30 p.m.
Prairie Lights, 15 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

In the early United States, a Black person committed an act of resistance simply by reading and writing. Yet

we overlook that these activities also brought pleasure. Tara A. Bynum tells the compelling stories of four early American writers who expressed feeling good despite living while enslaved or only nominally free. The poet Phillis Wheatley delights in writing letters to a friend. Ministers John Marrant and James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw memorialize their love for God. David Walker’s pamphlets ask Black Americans to claim their victory over slavery. Together, their writings reflect the joyous, if messy, humanity inside each of them.

After the reading, Bynum will be joined by Ashley Howard, assistant professor in the UI Department of History, for a conversation and Q&A with the audience.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Leslie Revaux in advance at 319-335-2131.