A Question of Africa
Keith Obadike, Mendi Obadike, Greg Tate
Focusing on the work of writers of the African diaspora, “A Question of Africa” will bring together contemporary writers and artists to read and discuss their work and its contemporary contexts. As disparate members of a far-reaching African diaspora, each artist is invited to consider the ways in which the African continent, its countries and cities, its geographies and spatial imaginaries, its peoples—citizens and cast-offs, its histories, its sonic or visual figurations enter or inform their work and their creative process.
Cosponsored by the Center for the Humanities.
Keith Obadike is an Associate Professor at William Patterson University, specializing in Integrated Media Art and Sound Design/Sound Studies. He received his M.F.A. from Yale University, and has been awarded the Rockefeller New Media Fellowship and the Connecticut Critics' Circle Award for Sound Design. Commissions from the Whitney Museum of American Art, Whitechapel Gallery of London, Yale University, New York African Film Festival, and Electronic Arts Intermix. Music and sound art recordings released by Bridge Records and Free 103.9 Transmission Arts.
Mendi Lewis Obadike is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at Pratt Institute, and an intermedia artist and scholar. She is the author of Armor and Flesh (Lotus Press), and the forthcoming books Big House / Disclosure and Four Electric Ghosts (1913 Press). Recent installations of her collaborative work include Big House / Disclosure, American Cypher (currently exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem), and African Metropole. Mendi has been awarded a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship and a postdoctoral fellowship in Race and Ethnicity from Princeton University, as well as fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation for Poetry and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Mendi is a poetry editor at Fence Magazine, an artist-in residence at the Tribeca Performing Art Center, and an Assistant Professor in Humanities and Media Studies at Pratt Institute. She earned a BA in English from Spelman College and a PhD in literature from Duke University.
Greg Tate is an African-American writer, musician, and producer. The focus of his writing has been African-American music and culture. He is a founding member of the Black Rock Coalition and the leader of Burnt Sugar. Tate was a staff writer for The Village Voice from 1987- 2005. His work has also been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Artforum, Down Beat, Essence, JazzTimes, Rolling Stone, and VIBE. Tate has been a visiting professor of Africana studies at Brown University and the Louis Armstrong Visiting Professor at Columbia University's Center for Jazz Studies.