We invite scholars, luminaries, and public intellectuals to inspire our members. Together we dissect “citizenship,” while honing our skills in critical thinking, textual criticism, poetry translation, and creative writing. This series of lectures with luminaries and experts—often in collaboration with the Ludics Seminar at Mahindra Humanities Center—inspires our collective.
Claudia Rankine (Photograph courtesy of John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation).
Anne Carson (Photograph by Einar Falur Ingólfsson)
We are inspired by…
You take in things you don't want all the time. The second you hear some ordinary moment, all its intended targets, all the meanings behind the retreating seconds, as far as you are able to see, come into focus. Hold up, did you just hear, did you just say, did you just see, did you just do that? Then the voice in your head silently tells you to take your foot off your throat because just getting along shouldn't be an ambition.
- CLAUDIA RANKINE
We first create grassroots partnerships with nurseries, with academies, with schools. When we all sit down and we have to look at each other and be vulnerable we are creating a culture of citizenship.
- DORIS SOMMER
In Sappho’s poem, her addresses to gods are orderly, perfect poetic products, but the way—and this is the magic of fragments—the way that poem breaks off leads into a thought that can’t ever be apprehended. There is the space where a thought would be, but which you can’t get hold of. I love that space. It’s the reason I like to deal with fragments. Because no matter what the thought would be if it were fully worked out, it wouldn’t be as good as the suggestion of a thought that the space gives you. Nothing fully worked out could be so arresting, so spooky.
- ANNE CARSON
…it is precisely in these banalities that the unhomely stirs, as the violence of a racialized society falls most enduringly on the details of life: where you can sit, or not; how you can live, or not; what you can learn, or not; who you can love, or not.
- HOMI K. BHABHA
To be an intellectual really means to speak a truth that allows suffering to speak.
- CORNEL WEST
Make a difference about something other than yourselves.
- TONI MORRISON