Farah Jasmine Griffin, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, opens Five Volumes for Toni Morrison with a pre-recorded keynote lecture on the ethics of care, restorative justice and healing in Morrison’s late fiction. Griffin, who was a friend and colleague of Morrison, views the esteemed writer as a political thinker who drew from her imagination to oppose racism, sexism and xenophobia.
Farah Jasmine Griffin is the William B Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African-American Studies, the inaugural Chair of African-American and African Diaspora Studies and the Director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University. Professor Griffin received her BA from Harvard, where she majored in American History and Literature, and her PhD in American Studies from Yale. She is the author of Who Set You Flowin’?: The African-American Migration Narrative (Oxford, 1995), Beloved Sisters and Loving Friends: Letters from Rebecca Primus of Royal Oak, Maryland, and Addie Brown of Hartford, Connecticut, 1854 – 1868 (Alfred A Knopf, 1999) and If You Can’t Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday (Free Press, 2001), and the co-author, with Salim Washington, of Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever (Thomas Dunne, 2008). Her most recent book is Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists and Progressive Politics During World War II (Basic Books, 2013).