"The Politics of Black Freedom" interview features Derrick R. Spires

Mon, 01/04/2021

Derrick R. Spires, associate professor of English, is featured on the Society for the U.S. Intellectual History blog in an interview titled "In Dialogue: The Politics of Black Freedom.“ Spires speaks about neighborly citizenship, a concept he developed in his MLA award-winning book, The Practice of Citizenship: Black Politics and Print Culture in the Early United States:

"Neighborly citizenship suggests that citizens enact their citizenship through supporting the communities and individuals around them with special focus on those with the most need. That work makes neighborhood. And, the principle is scalable: good neighbors make neighborhood. Good states think expansively about “the people” to whom they are responsible, beginning with those injured (including repairing state violence) and otherwise without access."

Read the full interview here.

Derrick R. Spires is an associate professor of English at Cornell University. He specializes in early African American and American print culture, citizenship studies, and African American intellectual history. The MLA prize is the third Spires has won for The Practice of Citizenship. Spires’s work appears or is forthcoming in African American ReviewAmerican Literary HistoryEarly American Literature, and edited collections on early African American print culture, time and American literature, and the colored conventions movement.

Headshot of Derrick Spires