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On Wednesday, March 1st, Visiting Professor of Creative Writing Claudia Rankine presents the Theodore H. Holmes ‘51 and Bernice Holmes Lecture, entitled “On Whiteness and The Racial Imaginary Institute.” Rankine is the 2016-17 recipient of Princeton’s Theodore H. Holmes ’51 and Bernice Holmes National Poetry Prize awarded by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Creative Writing. The lecture begins at 5:00 p.m. in the James M. Stewart ’32 Theater at 185 Nassau Street and is free and open to the public.

“Whiteness as a source of unquestioned power, and as a ‘bloc,’ feels itself to be endangered even as it retains its hold on power. Given that the concept of racial hierarchy is a strategy employed to support white dominance, whiteness is an important aspect of any conversation about race. This talk will make visible that which has been intentionally presented as inevitable so that we can move forward into more revelatory conversations about race.”
— Claudia Rankine


The Holmes National Poetry Prize was established in memory of Princeton alumnus Theodore H. Holmes, a Class of 1951 biology major who became a poet, and his sister Bernice. The prize is presented each year to a poet of special merit as selected by the faculty of the Creative Writing Program.

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  • Program in Creative Writing

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