Michael Lynch Lecture by La Marr Jurelle Bruce: How She Goes Mad without Losing Her Mind: A Portrait of the Artist as a Mad Black Woman


4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Join The Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto on November 24th 2022 from 4:30 – 6:00pm for our annual Michael Lynch Distinguished Lecturer Series with guest speaker La Marr Jurelle Bruce.

“How She Goes Mad without Losing Her Mind: A Portrait of the Artist as a Mad Black Woman” will take place in Room 728 of the Bissell Building (140 St. George St.) at the UofT St. George campus. While the Bonham Centre is committed to providing ASL interpretation for our events, we were unable to secure interpretation for this event. We will do our best to rectify this next time. Please email sexual.diversity@utoronto.ca with any other accessibility concerns.

Abstract: This lecture will be a meditation on madness in the works and worlds of Mamie Smith, Toni Morrison, Nina Simone, Ntozake Shange, Gayl Jones, and Lauryn Hill.

La Marr Jurelle Bruce (B.A. Columbia, Ph.D. Yale) is an interdisciplinary humanities scholar, cultural critic and theorist, Black/black studies devotee, first-generation college graduate, and Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. The recipient of fellowships and prizes from the Ford Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and Modern Language Association, Bruce studies black expressive cultures—especially literature, music, film, and the art and aesthetics of quotidian black life. His writings appear in such venues as American Quarterly, The Black Scholar, GLQ, Social Text, TDR, and African American Review, for which he won the Joe Weixlmann Prize for Best Essay. His debut book, How to Go Mad without Losing Your Mind: Madness and Black Radical Creativity, earned the Nicolás Cristóbal Guillén Batista Outstanding Book Award. Now he’s in the thick of a project on—and experiment in—convergences of love and madness. He sometimes calls it The Afromantic.


The University of Toronto does not currently mandate masks. “However, the use of a medical mask in high-density indoor spaces when physical distancing is not possible is strongly encouraged. The University is a mask-friendly environment, and we ask everyone to respect each other’s decisions, comfort levels, and health needs.” You can find more information about UofT’s COVID-19 Planning Updates here.


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