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Dawn Skorczewski will deliver this lecture as part of "Baldwin Series 2020-2021: The intersection of Race, Gender, Class, and the Nation" taking place at AUC.

Event details of [Online] Stranger in the Village by Dawn Skorczewski
Date 25 November 2020
Time 18:00 -19:30
Whos in Town James Baldwin
James Baldwin
Abstract: “This world is white no longer, and it will never be white again.” This statement, from James Baldwin’s 1953 essay Stranger in the Village, summarises Baldwin’s conclusions about having been the object of naïve racism when he was the only black resident of the remote Alpine village of Leukerbad, Switzerland in 1951. Baldwin recounts how the citizens of Leukerbad responded to the first black man they had ever met or seen, asking his readers to consider what their reactions can teach us about African Americans in the United States, who can never be strangers to white Americans. He considers the lessons of what he calls “European innocence” concluding that “people are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” This presentation will analyse Baldwin’s lyrical essay and ask the audience to consider what lessons it offers us today.

Dawn Skorczewski is a Research Professor of English Emerita at Brandeis University and Clue+Fellow at VU Amsterdam. She studies Literature in an old-fashioned way, one slow sentence at a time. Her most recent books and articles consider psychoanalytic approaches to poetry, art and Holocaust testimony.


Dr.  Shannon McBriar teaches Modernism and Postmodernism in Theory and Fiction, Introduction to Poetry and Narrative, and Literature and Science at AUC. Having studied English literature at Boston College (1996), she completed both her MPhil (1998) and DPhil (2006) at Oxford University, where she taught late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century literature.

Zoom link: Access the lecture.
Meeting ID: 899 102 6403
Zoom password: BaldwinAUC
Convenor:  Dr. Lara Mazurski