Signs of Race : Volume 5

Signs of Race : Volume 5

Eruptions of Funk

Make It Funky-- James Brown (1933-2006)

The English Department at The University of Alabama is pleased to welcome you to this year’s semi-annual symposium on African American culture. The featured speakers this year are Aldon Lynn Nielsen, Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Mark Anthony Neal, Cheryl Keyes, Kalamu ya Salaam, Tracie Morris, Rickey Vincent, and Thomas Sayers Ellis. Entitled “Eruptions of Funk,” the symposium is intended to provide a forum for cultural workers and enthusiasts of black culture to participate in dialogues about a wide range of artistic forms. In the process, we will engage the concepts implicit and explicit within Afro-vernacular culture, theorizing and historicizing some of the specific features and nuances of what many of us have come to identify as the funk. As suggested by the subtitle of Funkadelic’s 1978 recording of “Lunchmeataphobia (Think, It Ain’t Illegal Yet),” funkativity tends to resist either/or logic, instantiating kinesis as a discreet expression of (organic) intellectuality. The symposium, like African American cultural theory generally, recognizes no binary opposition between criticism and creativity, analysis and performativity. As such, we will attempt to propose an alternative to the one-dimensionality of many academic gatherings. So let’s Jam!!! And get down, knee-deep in the funk!

Schedule of Events