William Maxwell

HRC Speaker Series: William J. Maxwell

October 13, 2015

“F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature”

On October 13, William J. Maxwell (Professor of English and of African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis) will speak about his new book, F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature. Drawing on nearly 14,000 pages of recently released FBI files, this provocative book exposes and examines the FBI’s policing of African American poems, plays, essays, and novels over five decades in a bid to anticipate black protest. The agency sought to prevent these authors from traveling abroad and laid contingency plans for the arrest of many of these authors in the event of national emergency. It shows that the FBI’s fear of black protest was fueled in large part by its recognition of the power of African American literature.

October 13
4.00 pm
Richmond Salons III-IV