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Jacob Livingston
KU Humanities Program

'Maya Angelou's Mosaic of Life Writing' will reflect on renowned poet's controversial commercial partnership

Mon, 03/08/2021

LAWRENCE — In 2000, Maya Angelou collaborated with Hallmark on the Life Mosaic collection, a commercial partnership that generated criticism given Angelou's success and acclaim as a poet and memoirist. 

Photo montage with Professor Ayesha Hardison and "And still I rise sign" in crowdThat partnership will be the topic of the 33rd annual Seaver Lecture at the University of Kansas, presented by Ayesha Hardison, associate professor of English and women, gender & sexuality studies.

Hardison will present "Maya Angelou's Mosaic of Life Writing" at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 10. The online lecture is co-sponsored by the KU Humanities Program and the Hall Center for the Humanities. Individuals may register online to receive instructions on how to join the event. 

Hardison will consider the context of this partnership, including why Angelou took the enterprise. The talk will also explore the Life Mosaic collection's relationship to Angelou's published writing and what her body of work suggests about a culture of sentiment. 

Hardison is a literary and cultural critic of Black writing and representation. She engages questions of race, gender, genre, social politics and historical memory in her research and teaching. She is also the author of "Writing through Jane Crow" and editor of the journal Women, Gender, and Families of Color. In 2021, she will co-direct a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute on Zora Neale Hurston.



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