26th Annual Robert Smalls Lecture "Troubling the Public During Troubling Times" by Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom
Thursday, March 23rd
Judge Karen J Williams Courtoom at USC School of Law
The Department of African American Studies is pleased to announce award-winning writer, sociologist, cultural critic, professor with the Center for Information, Technology and Public Life at UNC Chapel Hill and MacArthur Fellow, Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom as our keynote speaker for the annual Robert Smalls Lecture on Thursday, March 23, 2023.
In addition to holding the prestigious MacArthur Fellow, Dr. McMillan Cottom is a New York Times Opinion Columnist, and author of the award-winning book, Thick: And Other Essays. McMillan Cottom is celebrated for her profound yet personal ideas and the dynamic accessibility of her analyses. Dr. McMillan Cottom’s first book, Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy, led to appearances on The Daily Show, NPR’s Marketplace and Fresh Air, and has been name-checked by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and activists like The Debt Strike Collective. Since the release of her second book, Thick: And Other Essays, Dr. McMillan Cottom’s career has skyrocketed. Thick became a Finalist for the 2019 National Book Award, and the following year Tressie received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship – known as the “genius grant.” Her work is prolific – beyond her books and celebrated New York Times opinion column, she has written a Substack newsletter, “Essaying,” co-hosted the Black feminist podcast Hear to Slay with Roxane Gay, and has sat in as a guest host for The Ezra Klein Show. Her books have become modern classics, and her commentary is in demand on a wide range of topics like inclusive marketing, creating policy narratives, technology, the future of democracy, and the cultural zeitgeist.
Co-sponsored by: the Humanities Collaborative; the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; the Center for Civil Rights History and Research, Department of Women's and Gender Studies; Department of Sociology