The Institute for Advanced Study and Office of the President Present

No Weapon Formed Against Me: The Black Intermezzi of a Vigilante State

(In)Justice Series
Past event
Apr 11, 2024
Historical image of a crowd of cheering black men. Two men are raised above the crowd.

An interdisciplinary humanist and multigenre writer, Dr. Shana L. Redmond (Columbia University) thinks and creates at the intersection of music, identity, and power. She has written extensively about the Black anthems that serve as both a repository for collective memory and mobilizing agent for social and political change, as well as about the iconic people who compose those soundtracks. She is currently at work on a project titled Dark Prelude: Black Life Before Mourning, a speculative account of Black listening before state violence.

Join for a reception following the event, hosted by the Department of American Studies and the David Noble Lecture.

Image credit: New York Public Library via Unsplash. Singer James Brown being greeted by fans upon his arrival at Kaduna Airport, 1970.

The (In)Justice Series presented by the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota brings together scholars, artists, activists, and community leaders to discuss different visions for what justice might look like. This event is presented in partnership with the Department of American Studies as the 2024 David Noble Lecture.

About the Presenters

Dr. Shana L. Redmond is professor of English and Comparative Literature at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University. She is the author of Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora (NYU Press, 2014) and Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson (Duke University Press, 2020), which received a 2021 American Book Award as well as other honors. She has written album liner notes, essays, and reviews for labels such as Verve and Sony, and for popular media, including NPR, BBC, and Mother Jones. She is a 2023-2024 Guggenheim Fellow and past-president of the American Studies Association (2023-2024).

Elliott Powell is Beverly and Richard Fink Professor in Liberal Arts, associate professor of American Studies and Asian American Studies, and affiliate faculty in the Department of African American and African Studies and the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Sounds from the Other Side: Afro-South Asian Collaborations in Black Popular Music (University of Minnesota Press), and at work on two projects, tentatively titled Prince, Porn, and Public Sex, which explores the politics of sex(uality) and music in Minneapolis during the 1980s, and Illegitimate Sounds, which explores the queer potentiality of recordings like demos that do not conform to commercial audio legibility.

About the David Noble Lecture

David Noble was an American studies professor at the University of Minnesota who retired in 2009 after over 50 years of teaching. Noble has made substantial contributions to American studies. Each spring, the Department of American Studies presents the annual David Noble Lecture in his honor, which features a groundbreaking scholar of American studies who offers fresh perspectives on our history and culture.

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Event Information

  • In-person Seating: General Admission
  • Doors: 5:30 pm
  • Event Begins: 6:30 pm CT
  • Online Access: You will receive an automatic email reminder one day and one hour prior to the event including the Zoom link and instructions for those who wish to attend in person.
  • Accessibility: 
    All Institute for Advanced Study (In)Justice Series events are professionally captioned and are available either online or in person at the Best Buy Theater at Northrop. Some accommodation requests may take us time to arrange, so please make requests for this event by Thu, Mar 28, 2024. If you are registering after this date, please reach out to us so we can explore available options. Questions/requests, contact Carolina Maranon-Cobos,