KU News Release


Feb. 16, 2010
Contact: William J. Harris, Department of English, (785) 864-2534

Poet Fred Moten to speak Feb 24-25 at KU

LAWRENCE — Poet and literary and cultural theorist Fred Moten will give a poetry reading and a lecture on jazz at the University of Kansas.

Moten will read from his own poetry at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24 at the Malott Room in the Kansas Union. As part of the University Honors Program lecture series “Writing Jazz,” he will present “Jurisgenerative Grammar: For Alto, For Black” at at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, in Spooner Hall. His lecture uses Noam Chomsky’s linguistic theory and Robert Cover’s legal theory to examine the jazz compositions of composer and multireedist Anthony Braxton. Both events are free and open to the public.

Moten, who teaches English at Duke University, works at the intersection of creative writing, black studies, performance studies and critical theory. He has published four books of poems, most recently, “B Jenkins,” an elegy for his mother and an inquiry into language, music and performance. His critical work includes the monograph “In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition” and articles in such journals as PLMA, Social Text, the Drama Review, Callaloo, Hambone and Cambridge Opera Journal.

“Moten can be associated with post-black arts avant-gardists, such as Nathaniel Mackey, C. S. Giscombe, Tracie Morris and Harryette Mullen, who are now coming into their own,” said William J. Harris, associate professor of English. “They are a very talented and inventive group. They are not post-black or post-political but they are much more inclusive than the generation before them — more at home in a multiracial world.”

Moten’s appearance is sponsored by the University Honors Program in association with the Commons, the American Studies Program and the Department of English.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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