Showing posts from June, 2022

The 2022 International Conference on James Baldwin

It was a long time coming, but the 2022 International Conference on James Baldwin took place in Nice and Saint-Paul de Vence June 16th through 18th. I was excited to be able to participate as a panelist in the session titled "James Baldwin and the Internal Closet" with co-panelist Diane Harriford of Vassar College. Nearly 200 attendees came from all over the globe to sit in on panels, and to view items that had belonged to Baldwin that were on display. As Saint-Paul de Vence was Baldwin's adopted home, being in the medieval village took on an air of pilgrimage as the conference director Shannon Cain took us on a walking tour of the area where Baldwin lived for 17 years, to the spot where his house stood. Shannon lead a one-woman campaign to keep Baldwin's house from being demolished when investors wanted to build on the property. Unfortunately, she lost that battle, but her efforts to keep Baldwin's legacy alive, in spite of objections from Baldwin's family, c

Nina Kennedy, Diane Harriford to Speak at James Baldwin Conference in Nice

  Pianist/author Nina Kennedy and sociology professor Diane Harriford will share the stage in a discussion titled "James Baldwin and the Internal Closet" at the 2022 International Conference on James Baldwin in Nice, France June 18th. During this discussion, a clip from Renée   Baker's opera BALDWIN CHRONICLES: The Art of Being Black  will be screened. Originally scheduled to take place in 2020, the Baldwin Conference was planned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of James Baldwin's arrival in the South of France. The conference was postponed twice because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but is finally happening June 16-18 at the Centre Universitaire Mediterranean. Nina Kennedy* Pianist and conductor Nina Kennedy is the author of  Practicing for Love: A Memoir  and  Practice What You Preach . Her portion of the discussion will focus on Baldwin's closetedness in his public life, and his very public "friendships" with Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, and Nina Simone