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Autumn Womack and the curatorial team for "Toni Morrison: Sites of Memory" give a behind the scenes account of the three years of research and work that went into the creation of the exhibit.
This is a hybrid event, offered both in-person and virtually at this link on the library's YouTube channel. No registration is required to attend in person.
About the Event:
In 2016, Princeton University announced the opening of the Toni Morrison Papers. Comprised of manuscript drafts, editorial notes, correspondence, speeches, photographs, and research material, the collection registers the importance of the archive within Morrison’s decades-long career. In her writing practice, she gathered archival objects like popular photographs, advertisements, newspaper clippings, and historical documents as source material for her novels, essays, and speeches. These were the sites from which she began to “reconstruct the worlds” that her characters dwelled in, worlds that the dominant historical record had neglected or obscured. In this archive we can glimpse her own writing practice, professional interests, and changing creative investments. In its breadth, the collection invites us to consider how history, memory, and the literary imagination relate to one another anew.
Taking inspiration from her 1986 essay “The Site of Memory,” this exhibition brings together select objects from the Toni Morrison Papers—materials that illuminate how her creative process was a deeply archival one, and that reveal aspects of her writing life and practice. Members of the curatorial team will give a behind the scenes look at the research and work that went into making this special exhibition.
Autumn Womack, Lead Curator, is an Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of The Matter of Black Living: The Aesthetic Experiment of Racial Data, 1880-1930 (University of Chicago Press, 2023) and the editor of the Norton Library Edition of Charles Chesnutt’s 1901 The Marrow of Tradition.
René Boatman is an Administrative Assistant in Special Collections at the Princeton University Library where she assists in collection development in the promotion of holdings on the subject of African American history and culture. She was Toni Morrison’s assistant from 1992-2019.
Jennifer Garcon is the Librarian for Modern and Contemporary Special Collections at Princeton University Library, where she is responsible for the collection, curation, and care of twentieth- and twenty-first-century rare books, manuscripts, and born-digital collections, including the Toni Morrison Papers. She is also a steering member of Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia, an activist-archivist group working with BIPOC communities and organizations in the Mid-Atlantic to save, document, and preserve their historical archives and records.
Andrew Schlager is a writer and a PhD candidate in the Department of English at Princeton University.
Presented with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this programming do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
|Mon, Jun 05||9:00AM to 9:00PM|
|Tue, Jun 06||9:00AM to 9:00PM|
|Wed, Jun 07||9:00AM to 9:00PM|
|Thu, Jun 08||9:00AM to 9:00PM|
|Fri, Jun 09||9:00AM to 6:00PM|
|Sat, Jun 10||9:00AM to 6:00PM|
|Sun, Jun 11||12:00PM to 6:00PM|