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65 5th Ave, Room 411
New York, NY, 10003
United States

Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography & Social Thought at the New School incubates advanced transdisciplinary research and practice at the intersection of social theory and design and fosters dialogue on related themes across the university.

Fred Moten


The GIDEST seminar is held on Fridays from 12-1:30pm. All seminars take place in the GIDEST Lab at 411, 63 Fifth Avenue.

Sessions are devoted to discussion of pre-circulated papers that can be downloaded one week in advance by clicking on the presentation title below.


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Fred Moten


Seating for this event is limited and advance registration is required. Registration will be available here from October 8.

“With insistence, music, and a measured softness, Fred Moten’s poems construct idiosyncratic, critical canons that invite our research and repay our close attention. Moten has spoken eloquently of the political and lyric importance of the “fugitive movement in and out of the frame, bar, or whatever externally imposed social logic — a movement of escape, the stealth of the stolen that can be said…” It is hard to make a poetry that shimmers on such an edge. Moten does so, and then some." Maggie Nelson

Acclaimed poet and cultural theorist Fred Moten conducts research in black studies, performance studies, poetics, and literary theory. Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside, he is the author of many books, including In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (Minnesota, 2003); Hughson’s Tavern (Leon Works, 2009); B. Jenkins (Duke, 2010); The Feel Trio (Letter Machine Editions, 2014)   a poetry finalist for the National Book Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and winner of the California Book Award for poetry; The Little Edges (Wesleyan, 2015)  a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; The Service Porch (Letter Machine Editions, 2016); A Poetics of the Undercommons (Sputnik and Fizzle, 2016); and a three volume collection of essays whose general title is consent not to be a single being (Duke, 2017, 2018). He is also co-author, with Stefano Harney, of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (Minor Compositions/Autonomedia, 2013); and, with Wu Tsang, of Who Touched Me? (If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want to be Part of Your Revolution, 2016).

In "Manic Depression/Mantic Disposition," Fred Moten begins to think through some issues that attend the complexities of black people looking at one another and how this translates into writing, particularly poetry. Some of the authors discussed are Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Jared Sexton, Phillis Wheatley, and Rita Dove. This work is part of a ongoing project called Hesitant Sociology: Blackness and Poetry.

Fred has served on the editorial boards of Callaloo, Discourse, American Quarterly and Social Text; as a member of the Critical Theory Institute at the University of California, Irvine; on the board of directors of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at CUNY; and on the advisory board of Issues in Critical Investigation at Vanderbilt. He has been the Whitney J. Oates Fellow in the Humanities Council and the Center for African American Studies at Princeton, the Sherry Memorial Visiting Poet at the University of Chicago, and a Visiting Artist at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College. He is also co-founder and co-publisher (with Joseph Donahue) of a small literary press called Three Count Pour.

In 2009, Fred Moten was recognized as one of ten “New American Poets” by the Poetry Society of America. In 2016, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Stephen E. Henderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry by the African American Literature and Culture Society.

Earlier Event: October 6
Sarah Oppenheimer
Later Event: November 3
Bill Morrison