How does one tell the story of a riot? What narrative method can best show the clash of ideologies and optics that took place on the streets of Charlottesville and the grounds of the University of Virginia without providing another platform for the alt-right? In her work in progress on the Unite the Right Rally of 2017, Deborah Baker looks at the role that academia and high modernism played in helping re-embed whiteness into the new American mainstream.
Deborah Baker has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Whiting Foundations in Creative Nonfiction. Her most recent book, “The Last Englishman: Love, War and the End of Empire,” was published by Graywolf Press in 2018 and was the winner of the Himalayan Club’s annual book prize. Previous works include “The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism,” which was a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award in Non-fiction and “In Extremis: The Life of Laura Riding,” shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography. She is currently working on a book about Charlottesville for which she has received funding from the Robert Silvers Foundation. She is married to the novelist Amitav Ghosh and lives in Brooklyn.
This talk is presented by the Humanities in the World Initiative as part of its “Race in a Global Frame” lecture series. These lectures showcase transnational perspectives on racialization, racial injustice, racial emancipation, antiracist intervention and critical race thinking. They will feature new work by emerging and established scholars, writers, artists, and cultural commentators across disciplines and locations.