JNT Dialogue: Speaker Series

The JNT Dialogue is JNT’s annual speaker series. Each year, the JNT Dialogue invites keynote speakers to present on topics at the forefront of discourse about narrative theory. Previous Dialogue topics include “Detroit as a Narrative Space,” “Environmental Futures,” and “‘Stand Whose Ground?’ Indigeneity, Migrancy and Sovereignty.”

Desiree Cooper presents her Detroit-based flash nonfiction at the virtual 2021 JNT Dialogue.

"Detroit as a Narrative Space"

The 2021 JNT Dialogue centered on the theme of Detroit, taking a look at how the city serves as a site that inspires narrative and gives rise to literary, artistic, and activist communities that shape its story. JNT was delighted to host a conversation with Detroit-based authors Desiree Cooper and kim d. hunter, discussing how their creative and activist work is shaped by their hometown.

Desiree Cooper is a 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, poet, fiction writer, a former attorney, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and community activist. She is invested in the themes of racial and gender equality, reproductive freedom, family-positive public policy and the welfare of women and girls. Her award-winning collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother (WSU Press, 2016), which dives into the intersections of racism and sexism, was published by Wayne State University Press in 2016. She has also contributed an essay to the recently published collection Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies (2017).
kim d. hunter is a 2012 Kresge Artist Fellow, poet, and fiction writer, currently employed as a Social Justice Coordinator at Engage Michigan, which supports progressive movements. He has served as Poet-in-Residence in several Detroit public schools through the InsideOut Literary Arts Project, and he co-directs the Woodward Line Poetry Series. He has published poetry, music reviews, cultural articles, and the award-winning work of fiction, The Official Report on Human Activity (WSU Press, 2018). This is a collection of surreal stories that are linked by themes of racial, gender, and class discrimination in a society “in which media technology and capitalism have run amok.

Check out the Creative Flash Nonfiction entries in JNT‘s “Detroit 20/20” competition exploring Detroit as a narrative space in the year 2020.

Past Dialogues and Topics

  • 2021: "Detroit as a Narrative Space" with Detroit-based authors Desiree Cooper and kim d. hunter. Watch the video here, or check out "Detroit 20/20" contest entries here
  • 2020: “Neglected Histories, New Odysseys, and the Cultural Work of Fantasy” with Saladin Ahmed and Ausma Zehanat Khan
  • 2019: “'Stand Whose Ground?' Indigeneity, Migrancy, and Sovereignty" with Jodi A. Byrd and Shailja Patel
  • 2018: “Environmental Futures” with Ursula Heise and Rob Nixon
  • 2017: “Temporalities of Crisis and Condition” with Lisa Lowe and Mimi Thi Nguyen
  • 2016: Homi K. Bhabha and Claudia Rankine
  • 2015: “After Post-Structuralism?” with Nancy Armstrong and Jonathon Elmer
  • 2014: “Thinking Bodies” with Laura Otis and Jay Clayton
  • 2013: “The Queer Commons” with José Esteban Muñoz and Samuel Ray Delany, Jr.
  • 2012: “Nonhumans: Ecology, Ethics, Objects” with Jeffrey J. Cohen and Timothy Morton
  • 2011: “Failing to be Subjects: On Queerness and Negativity” with Lauren Berlant and Jack Judith Halberstam
  • 2010: “Globalization Now: Flows and Limits” with Crystal Bartolovich and Paul Smith
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