Conversation about race and society between two distinguished scholars of African American Studies, Britt Rusert, Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst, and Ruha Benjamin, Assistant Professor in the Department African American Studies at Princeton. They will be discussing the influential work of a group of black artists to confront and refute scientific racism.

Far from rejecting science, these figures were careful readers of antebellum science who linked diverse fields—from astronomy to physiology—to both on-the-ground activism and more speculative forms of knowledge creation. Routinely excluded from institutions of scientific learning and training, they transformed cultural spaces like the page, the stage, the parlor, and even the pulpit into laboratories of knowledge and experimentation. ‘Fugitive Science’ makes natural science central to how we understand the origins and development of African American literature and culture.

Labyrinth Books, 122 Nassau Street, Wednesday, May 3, 6-7:30 p.m.