WCSU lecture to explore James Baldwin’s views on American law
Baldwin scholar Quentin Miller to deliver Steven Neuwirth Lecture on April 17

DANBURY, CONN. Dr. D. Quentin Miller, author of several works about the 20th century African-American writer James Baldwin , will explore Baldwin’s shifting understanding of American law over the course of his literary career when he delivers the annual Steven D. Neuwirth Lecture on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, at Western Connecticut State University.

Miller’s lecture, “Journey of Enfranchisement: James Baldwin and American Law,” will be at 6 p.m. in Room 125 of the Science Building on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Admission will be free and the public is invited; a reception with light refreshments will follow in the Science Building Atrium.

Miller is a professor of English at Suffolk University in Boston, and has written or edited seven books as well as numerous articles in academic journals and other publications. He is the author of “A Criminal Power: James Baldwin and the Law,” published in 2012, and he served as editor of the 2000 collection of essays, “Re-Viewing James Baldwin: Things Not Seen.”

Miller’s comprehensive examination of Baldwin’s novels, plays and essays in “A Criminal Power” provides new perspectives on the acclaimed author’s portrayals of the workings and abuses of the American legal, judicial and penal systems. Richard Schur, associate professor of English at Drury University, described Miller as “an outstanding interpreter of James Baldwin” whose book provides “a brilliant analysis of this under-researched area of Baldwin studies.”

In “Re-Viewing James Baldwin,” Miller edited a collection of critical essays focusing on Baldwin’s experimental writing and the literary value of his lesser-known works published over a career spanning four decades until his death in 1987. “What has been lost,” Miller wrote in the introduction to the collection, “is a complete portrait of Baldwin’s tremendously rich intellectual journey that illustrates the direction of African-American thought and culture in the late 20th century.”

Miller’s current projects include an article that explores Baldwin’s unpublicized involvement in the film “Malcolm X” directed by Spike Lee, research on Baldwin’s years in Provence, and an introduction to African-American literature commissioned as part of a new American literature series slated for publication by the Routledge group.

Miller is also the author of “John Updike and the Cold War: Drawing the Iron Curtain” and the editor of “Pros and Cons: Essays on Prison Literature in the United States.” Recipient of a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut, he teaches courses on African-American literature, American literature and fiction writing and directs the seminar for freshmen at Suffolk University. In 2012 he served as site director for the John Updike Society conference held at Suffolk.

The Neuwirth Lecture series commemorates the legacy of Dr. Steven Neuwirth, a longtime WCSU professor of English and specialist in Early American literature and history who died in February 2004. Neuwirth helped to establish the university’s Honors Program and served as its first director. He also contributed significantly to the organization of a multi-disciplinary American Studies curriculum at Western.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.


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