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Creative Maladjustment: Martin Luther King and the Poetics and Politics of Freedom

Presented by the College of Arts & Sciences

Date:        January 28, 2013

Time:        10:45 AM - 5:45 PM

LocationHarrison/Small Special Collections Library Auditorium


The one-day symposium, “Creative Maladjustment: The Poetics and Politics of Freedom,” brings together multidisciplinary scholars and artists for critical reflection on the artistry and politics of Dr. King, as well as his enduring influence in the world of music, literature, theology, philosophy, ethics, and of course, politics.   Since 2013 marks the fiftieth anniversary of three iconic texts in King’s body of work, namely “I Have a Dream Speech,” “Eulogy to the Martyred Children,”  and “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” this program engages the “soul sonic force” of King’s radical artistry.  The point here is not to simply meditate on King’s political legacy but to consider seriously how his political work and artistic vision can move us toward the creation of a truly beloved community.

All panels/events will take place in the auditorium of the Harrison/Small Special Collections Library.




"The Cry That Will Be Heard: The Black Freedom Struggle, American Democracy, and the Aesthetic Imagination"

10:45-11:45 AM


  • John E. Mason, Department of History, University of Virginia
  • Marlon B. Ross, Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies/Department of English, University of Virginia 
  • Scott Deveaux, Department of Music, University of Virginia


"From Civil Rights to Human Rights"

12:00-1:00 PM


  • James Loeffler, Department of History and Jewish Studies, University of Virginia
  • Corey D.B. Walker, Africana Studies, Brown University



"Arts in Action: Roundtable on the Making of Black Fire and the state of African American Art at UVA"

2:15-3:15 PM


  • Claudrena N. Harold, Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies and Department of History, University of Virginia
  • Brenton Mixon, UVA Alum
  • Allie Griffin, UVA Alum


A Conversation With Grammy Nominated Pianist Vijay Iyer

3:30-4:30 PM



The OmniChillun Lounge Presents TRC vs. AACM* (*that revolutionary chicken versus the association for the advancement of creative maladjustment)

5:00-5:45 PM

  • Greg Tate,  Africana Studies, Brown University
  • Meah Pace, Vocalist
  • Vijay Iyer, Pianist