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Toni Morrison’s BelovedMaster ClassIn-Person

Thursday, Oct 26, 2023

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Klingenstein Center, Teachers College
525 W 120th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam

In partnership with the Klingenstein Center, Teachers College, Columbia University

Toni Morrison's Beloved is beautiful and haunting, disturbing and grounding, raw and seamless, a literary site of memory and repair, and a contemporary culture wars battleground. In short, Beloved holds complexity, inviting us as readers, teachers, and students of the novel to grapple and question, empathize and wonder. How might we be effective audiences of this text and its concerns? We’ll discuss Beloved through primary documents that informed Morrison's writing of the novel. We'll delve into the novel's examination of the afterlife of slavery, highlighting how slavery's legacy continues to reverberate in our present. We’ll discuss how to frame conversations about the novel’s themes that feel particularly resonant, such as censorship, national memory and memorialization, questions of identity, belonging, and agency, and the traumatic legacy of slavery. Ultimately, we will engage Morrison's novel as a complex work of literature that offers virtual realities and spaces in which we can practice acting with historical awareness and empathy in our current world, so that we might cultivate repair and renewal beyond its pages.


Nicole Furlonge

Nicole Brittingham Furlonge is professor and executive director of the Klingenstein Center, Teachers College, Columbia University. She also serves as narrative medicine core collaborator at Columbia Medical School and is co-founder of LEARNS Collaborative, a catalyzer for human-centered, equitable change in organizations. A first-generation college student, Nicole earned her PhD and BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania, and her MA from the University of Michigan. Nicole is the author of Race Sounds: The Art of Listening in African American Literature, which demonstrates listening as an essential interpretive and civic act that leads to deeper engagement with others. Her research examines the intersections between listening, cognitive neuroscience, social justice, and school leadership. She lives in Yonkers, NY, with her spouse, Nigel (Klingenstein Center alum), their three children, and their puppy.