Keynote Speaker Jeff Chang Social Historian, Institute for Diversity in the Arts, Stanford University
Jeff Chang has written extensively on the intersection of race, art, and civil rights, and the socio-political forces that guided the hip-hop generation. As a speaker, he brings fresh energy and sweep to the essential American story, offering an invaluable interpretation at a time when race defines the national conversation. His latest book, We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation, questions why we keep talking about diversity even as American society is resegregating, both racially and economically.
Other confirmed speakers include: Zaheer Ali (Brooklyn Historical Society), Daphne Brooks (Yale University), LaMonda Horton-Stallings (University of Maryland), Andrea Swensson (The Current), Greg Tate (author), and Alexander Weheliye (Northwestern University). One panel session will consist of Paisley Park collaborators associated with the PRN Alumni Foundation, including Mayte Garcia. Further speakers include local activists, artists, and journalists.
Zaheer Aliis a historian and scholar of 20th century United States and African-American history. He has presented his scholarship on Prince at the EMP Pop Conference (2012), Yale University’s “Black Star Rising & the Purple Reign” David Bowie-Prince Conference (2017), and the University of Salford’s “Purple Reign: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Life and Legacy of Prince” (2017). He is currently Oral Historian at Brooklyn Historical Society and a lecturer at New York University, where he taught “Prince: Sign of the Times,” one of the first college courses dedicated wholly to the study of Prince’s life and legacy in American history and culture. Follow with @zaheerali
Alexander Ghedi Weheliye is professor of African American Studies at Northwestern University where he teaches black literature and culture, critical theory, social technologies, and popular culture. He is the author of Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity (2005) and Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human (2014). Currently, he is working on two projects. The first, Feenin: R&B’s Technologies of Humanity, offers a critical history of the intimate relationship between R&B music and technology since the late 1970’s. The second, Black Life/SchwarzSein, situates Blackness as an ungendered ontology of unbelonging.
L. H. Stallings is Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland-College Park. She is the author of Mutha is Half a Word!: Intersections of Folklore, Vernacular, Myth, and Queerness in Black Female Culture (2007) and Funk the Erotic: Transaesthetics and Black Sexual Cultures (2015). She is also co-editor w/ Greg Thomas of Word Hustle: Critical Essays and Reflections on the Works of Donald Goines (2011).