Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997
Christ Church Cathedral414 Sparks St.
3:00pm

Ordinary Notes

with Christina Sharpe
Hosted by Carleton’s Adrian Harewood

Ordinary Notes

with Christina Sharpe
Hosted by Carleton’s Adrian Harewood
7
Sunday
May
2023
3:00pm
Christ Church Cathedral
414 Sparks St.
Christina Sharpe - Photo by Christina Sharp

Adrian Harewood welcomes writer, professor, and Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities at York University, Christina Sharpe to the Festival stage for a conversation on her inventive, moving, and bracing publication Ordinary Notes .

 

In a series of 248 brief and urgent notes that gather meaning as we read them, Christina Sharpe weaves artifacts from the past—public ones alongside others that are poignantly personal—with present-day realities and possible futures, intricately constructing an immersive portrait of everyday Black existence. 

 

Through the striking images and words in these pages, themes and tones echo: sometimes about life, art, language, beauty, memory; sometimes about history, photography, and literature—but always attending, with exquisite care, to the ordinary-extraordinary dimensions of Black life. 

 

At the heart of Ordinary Notes is the indelible presence of the author’s mother, Ida Wright Sharpe. “I learned to see in my mother’s house,” writes Sharpe. “I learned how not to see in my mother’s house . . . My mother gifted me a love of beauty, a love of words.” Using these and other gifts and ways of seeing, Sharpe steadily summons a chorus of voices and experiences to become present on the page. She articulates and follows an aesthetic of "beauty as a method,” collects entries from a community of thinkers towards a “Dictionary of Untranslatable Blackness,” and rigorously examines sites of memory and memorial. And in the process, she forges a new literary form, as multivalent as the ways of Black being it traces.

 

PLEASE NOTE: For the safety and comfort of all patrons, masks are strongly encouraged for those attending in person this Spring. Livestream tickets are available upon request for those who prefer to attend remotely.

 

Books are available from our friends at Perfect Books.

 

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See Also

Included in Optional Sunday May 07 Sunday Pass

1:30pm • Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks St.
3:00pm • Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks St.
4:30pm • Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks St.
6:30pm • Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks St.
8:30pm • Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks St.
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