The American Society for Aesthetics has awarded a grant of $5,000 to Mississippi State University for its project "Philosophy, Race, and the Arts in Nashville Ballet's Lucy Negro Redux." The conference, to be held March 31-April 2, 2023, is directed by Kristin Boyce, Associate Professor of Philosophy, MSU. Funding to support the conference is also being provided by the Department of Philosophy and the Shackouls Honors College at MSU.
The conference is organized around Nashville Ballet's Lucy Negro Redux, created in 2019 and based on a collection of poems by Nashville-based poet, Caroline Randall Williams. The ballet is a collaboration btween choreographer and Nashville Ballet artistic director, Paul Vasterling, Williams, and composer and musician, Rhiannon Giddens. It imaginatively explores the hypothesis that the "dark lady" of Shakespeare's sonnets was a woman of African descent.
The conference brings together artists who created the piece with both senior and junior scholars in academic fields important to understanding the work. The entire conference will be free and open to the public.