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(c) 2019 Les Amis de la Maison Baldwin

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of James Baldwin's arrival in Saint-Paul de Vence


The full-access activist/academic track is SOLD OUT.

Overflow registration is now open

 Includes full access to all conference events except that overflow attendees will view the two plenary sessions via livestream on their devices or in cafés and bars throughout the village

Limited space available for the creative track; apply here

Creative track attendees in poetry, fiction, nonfiction and playwriting will participate in a rigorous daily writing workshop and will attend craft sessions focused on close readings of James Baldwin and the study of his writings on writing.

Click here to donate the registration fee for an emerging artist, activist or academic.

Speakers and Faculty

Closing Keynote: Cornel West

Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton.

He has written 20 books and has edited 13. He is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and for his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. His most recent book, Black Prophetic Fire, offers an unflinching look at nineteenth and twentieth-century African American leaders and their visionary legacies.

Dr. West is a frequent guest on the Bill Maher Show, CNN, C-Span and Democracy Now. He made his film debut in the Matrix – and was the commentator (with Ken Wilbur) on the official trilogy released in 2004. He also has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films including Examined LifeCall & ResponseSidewalk and Stand.

He has produced three spoken word albums including Never Forget, collaborating with Prince, Jill Scott, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, KRS-One and the late Gerald Levert. His spoken word interludes are featured on productions by Terence Blanchard, The Cornel West Theory, Raheem DeVaughn, and Bootsy Collins.

Opening Keynote: Magdalena Zaborowska

Magdalena J. Zaborowska (B.A., M.A., Warsaw University, Poland [1987]; Ph.D., University of Oregon [1992]), is a Professor in the Departments of American Culture and Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


Her research and teaching fields include literary and cultural studies; approaches to intersections of social space and transatlantic discourses on race, nationality, (queer) sexuality, and gender; African American literature (esp., James Baldwin); immigrant ethnicities, feminist, and critical race theory; and post-totalitarian East-Central Europe. She has taught and been a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Oregon, Furman University, Tulane University, Aarhus University in Denmark, University of Italy in Cagliari (Sardinia) and Université Paul-Valéry in Montpellier in France.

Her books include Me and My House: James Baldwin's Last Decade in France (Duke UP, 2018) the MLA award-winning James Baldwin’s Turkish Decade: Erotics of Exile (Duke UP 2009) and How We Found America: Reading Gender through East European Immigrant Narratives (University of North Carolina Press, 1995). She edited and co-edited the collections Other Americans, Other Americas: The Politics and Poetics of Multiculturalism (Aarhus University Press, 1998), The Puritan Origins of American Sex: Religion, Sexuality, and National Identity in American Literature (Routledge, 2001), and Over the Wall/After the Fall: Post-Communist Cultures in the East-West Gaze (Indiana University Press, 2004).

Her current projects include  curating a unique archive of images of James Baldwin's former home and its contents, now in development as a virtual writer's museum and curricular resource at the University of Michigan. She has been collaborating on a similar project  with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, NMAAHC/Smithsonian. These projects are the subject of an e-book monograph in progress, Archiving James Baldwin’s House.

Two other books in the works include  Racing Borderlands –   on the intersectionalities of literary representations of racialized national identities, museums, and culture animation projects across the Atlantic – and a stab at transnational intellectual life writing, whose title has not as yet revealed itself.

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Poetry Faculty: Cornelius Eady

Cornelius Eady is the author of eight books of poetry. In 1996, Eady and the poet Toi Derricote founded Cave Canem, a nonprofit organization serving black poets of various backgrounds and acting as a safe space for intellectual engagement and critical debate. 


His honors include the Prairie Schooner Strousse Award, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He has served as director of the Poetry Center at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, City College of New York, The Writer's Voice, The College of William and Mary, Sweet Briar College and the University of Missouri.


Eady was raised in Rochester, New York and is currently Professor of English at SUNY Stony Brook Southampton.

WORKSHOP FULL. See registration page for waitlist information

Playwriting Faculty: ​Yusef Komunyakaa

Yusef Komunyakaa’s books of poetry include Taboo, Dien Cai Dau, Neon Vernacular, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize, Pleasure Dome, Talking Dirty to the Gods, Warhorses, The Chameleon Couch, Testimony, The Emperor of Water Clocks, and Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth, forthcoming in 2020. His honors include the William Faulkner Prize (Université Rennes, France), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and the Wallace Stevens Award.


His plays, performance art and libretti include The Deacons, Wakonda’s Dream, Saturnalia, Testimony, Gilgamesh: a verse play, and Somewhere Near Here (Bright Darkness). He is Distinguished Senior Poet and Global Professor at New York University.

Fiction Faculty: Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Nafissa Thompson-Spires is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Cornell University. She earned a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the McSweeney’s column “The Organist,” The Paris Review Daily, Dissent, Buzzfeed Books, The White Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal, and other publications. Her short story “Heads of the Colored People: Four Fancy Sketches, Two Chalk Outlines, and No Apology” won StoryQuarterly’s 2016 Fiction Prize, judged by Mat Johnson. 

Her first book, Heads of the Colored People, was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award, the PEN/ Robert W. Bingham Award, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize; was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize and Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction; and has won the PEN Open Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, and an Audie Award. She is also the recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award.

Nonfiction Faculty: Ed Pavlic

Author of eleven books, including Who Can Afford to Improvise?: James Baldwin and Black Music, the Lyric and the Listeners (Fordham University Press, 2017) and pieces in over sixty magazines, Ed Pavlić is an American writer whose work travels across—often blurring—genres: poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and scholarship. Centered in African American and diasporic life and culture, most of his work explores racial dynamics in the experiences of persons—fictive, actual, historical and contemporary—whose placement and perspectives aren’t neatly classifiable in contemporary vocabularies, theirs or ours.

His awards include The American Poetry Review / Honickman First Book Award (2001), The National Poetry Series Open Competition (2012, 2014), The Author of the Year Award from the Georgia Writer’s Association (2009), and the Darwin Turner Memorial Award from African American Review (1997). He is Distinguished Research Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Georgia and lives in Athens, GA with his family.

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Lynnée Denise

DJ Lynnée Denise is an artist, scholar and writer whose work reflects on underground cultural movements, the 1980s, migration studies, theories of escape and electronic music of the African Diaspora. Through interactive workshops, lectures and presentations, Lynnée Denise harnesses music as a medium for vital public dialogue on how to transform the way that music of the Black Atlantic is understood in its social context and beyond entertainment. Lynnée Denise’s DJ Scholarship has been featured at institutions such as the Broad Museum, the Tate Modern, Savvy Contemporary Gallery Berlin, Goldsmiths University of London, Iziko South African Museum, Stanford, Yale, NYU and Princeton University.


Her writing has been featured in the  Los Angeles Review of Books, The Black Scholar Journal, The Journal of Popular Music Studies  and as part of anthologies including  Women Who Rock  and  Outside the XY: Queer Black and Brown Masculinity.  Lynnée Denise has a BA from historically Black Fisk University, an MA in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from the University of California Riverside. Lynnée Denise is a Visiting Artist at Stanford University’s Institute of Diversity in the Arts.  

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Preliminary Conference Schedule

Full conference program coming soon

Download a PDF of the most recently updated schedule