Skip to main content
Events Calendar

Rhaisa Williams, “Screaming to Dream: Toni Morrison, Emmett Till, and Black Maternal Grief”

Friday, October 25 at 11:00am to 12:30pm

Gerlinger Hall, Alumni Lounge
1468 University Street, Eugene, OR 97403

Lorwin Lectureship on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Rhaisa Kameela Williams is assistant professor of Theater and Performance Studies in the Performing Arts Department at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research uses mixed-archive methods—spanning across literature, family history, archives, and public policy—to focus on the intersections of blackness, motherhood, affect, and disquieting modes of freedom. Her book-in-progress, Mama, Don’t You Weep: Motherhood, Blackness, and Performances of Grief, traces the intimate relationship between grief and black motherhood from the civil rights movement to the present. Offering discontinuous readings of grief, the book asserts that black women, no matter their personal relationship to offspring or othermothering, have specifically mobilized grief inherent to black motherhood as a tactic to perform, remake, and critique forms of citizenship.