Leonard Hastings Schoff Memorial Lecture Series

ROBERT O’MEALLY

“FANCY STICKS”:
The Action-Art of Toni Morrison, Romare Bearden, and Jazz

Monday, November 14, 2016, 8 PM

I. “If the White Man Is Laughing at Me, at Least He’s Not
Shooting at Me”: Ralph Ellison and Jean-Michel Basquiat
on Louis Armstrong’s Intercontinental Comedy

Monday, November 21, 2016, 8 PM
II. The Open Corner—Space Is the Place: Romare Bearden,
Toni Morrison, Duke Ellington

Monday, November 28, 2016, 8 PM

III. Questions of Translation: Paris Blue—from Novel and
Movie to Collage

All lectures are held in Faculty House, 64 Morningside Drive | Lectures are free and open to the public


These three lectures take to heart Toni Morrison’s assertion that the spaces between the art forms “are not porous, they are liquid.” If so, what terms define the modern in the liquid spaces of American art? In African American art? These talks wonder about fiction, collage, and jazz music as forms that flow into one another and as bright prisms through which to read our lives as they ask: How does any art make a difference in a world of division enforced by violence? What can these fancy sticks—writing pens, painter’s brushes, or drumsticks—what can art do to draw us together?


Robert G. O’Meally is Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, and director of Columbia’s Center for Jazz Studies. His books include Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday, The Craft of Ralph Ellison, and Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey. He has edited or co-edited many volumes, including The Jazz Cadence of American Culture, History and Memory in African American Culture, and The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Several of his music projects have won awards; his co-produced Smithsonian box set, The Jazz Singers, was nominated for a Grammy.  In recent years, O’Meally has served as art curator for Jazz at Lincoln Center, and has curated many other exhibitions, one of which traveled for the Smithsonian Institution and others presented in New York, Paris, and Istanbul. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, and many other places, including Les Cahiers du Musée National D’Art Moderne and the catalogue for a current exhibition at the musée du quai Branly in Paris called The Color Line: The Art of Black America. O’Meally is an amateur saxophonist whose sons say Dad plays “for his own amazement!”

 


PAST LECTURES

2015
Robert E. Remez
Professor of Psychology, Program in Neuroscience and Behavior, Barnard College, Columbia University

2014
Annette Insdorf
Director of Undergraduate Film Studies; Professor in the Graduate Film Program of the School of the Arts

2013
Paige West
Tow Professor of Anthropology, Barnard College and Columbia University

2012
Herbert Terrace

Professor of Psychology, Columbia University

2011
Robert L. Belknap
Professor Emeritus of Russian, Director Emeritus of The University Seminars, Columbia University

2010
Jean Howard
George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities
Staging History; Imagining the Nation

2009
Philip Kitcher

John Dewey Professor of Philosophy
Deaths in Venice:
The Case(s) of Gustav (von) Aschenbach

2007
Douglas Chalmers

Professor Emeritus of Political Science
Representative Government Without Representatives: Seven Reasons to Think Beyond Electing Executives and Lawmakers

2006
Boris Gasparov

Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature
The Early Romantic Roots of Theoretical Linguistics: Friedrich Shchlegel, Novalis, and Ferdinand De Saussure on Sign and Meaning

2005
Robert W. Hanning

Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Serious Play: Crises of Desire and Authority in the Poetry of Ovid, Chaucer, and Ariosto

2004
Lesley A. Sharp

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociomedical Sciences
Bodies, Commodities, Biotechnologies

2003
George Rupp

President, International Rescue Committee
Globilization Challenged: Conviction, Conflict, Community

2002
David Rosand
Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History
The Invention of Painting in America

2001
Partha Chatterjee

Professor of Anthropology
The Politics of the Governed

2000
Lisa Anderson

Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs Professor of Political Science
The Scholar and the Practitioner: Perspectives
on Social Science and Public Policy

1999
Robert Pollack

Professor of Biological Sciences
The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith

1998
Carol Gluck
George Sansom Professor of History
Past Obsessions: War and Memory in the Twentieth Century

1997
Ira Katznelson

Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History Desolation and Enlightenment
Political Knowledge After the Holocaust, Totalitarianism, and Total War

1996
Kenneth T. Jackson
Jacques Barzun Professor of History and the Social Sciences
Gentleman’s Agreement: Political Balkanization and Social Inequality in America

1995
Saskia Sassen

Professor of Urban Planning
Losing Control? Sovereignty in an Age of Globalization

1994
Charles E. Larmore
Professor of Philosophy
The Romantic Legacy

1993
David N. Cannadine
Moore Collegiate Professor of History
The Rise and Fall of Class in Britain, 1700–2000