In honor of one of America’s most influential poets and scholars, who attended Williams from 1918-1922, each year, a distinguished visitor is invited to campus for up to one year to teach an undergraduate course, to deliver a series of lectures open to the public, to work with students individually, and to contribute to the awareness and growth of the Williams community.
Here are some of their works:
Featuring Lynnée Denise and students of the Music Migration, Blues People, and Wayward Women course Fall 2021
For the fall 2021 semester at Williams College, Professor Lynnée Denise designed a course titled Music Migration, Blues People, and Wayward Women. She introduces students to a range of alternative methods, subversive epistemologies, and sociological interventions that help illuminate how Black people moved from place to place with their rhythms and ideas. Approaching the syllabus as she would a mixtape, DJ Lynnée Denise assigned a semester-long project that required students to create the academic courses that matched their academic interests and courses they'd like to see. In this talk, Lynnée Denise speaks to the main themes in the course and gives students the platform to share their mock course titles and course descriptions for the Williams College community.
Lynnée Denise is the 2022 Sterling Brown '22 Distinguished Visiting Professor. She's an artist, scholar, writer, and DJ whose work reflects underground cultural movements, the 1980s, migration studies, theories of escape, and electronic music of the African Diaspora. Denise coined the phrase "DJ Scholarship" to re-position the role of the DJ from a party purveyor to an archivist, cultural custodian, and information specialist of music with critical value. Through interactive workshops, lectures, and presentations at universities, conferences, and performance venues, Denise harnesses music as a medium for vital public dialogue on how to transform how the music of the Black Atlantic is understood in its social context and beyond entertainment.
A Contemplative Dialogue and Listening Session with:
DJ Lynnée Denise is a A global practitioner of sound, language, and Black Atlantic thought, Lynnée Denise is an Amsterdam-based writer and interdisciplinary artist from Los Angeles, California. Shaped by her parent’s record collection and the 1980s, Denise’s work traces and foregrounds the intimacies of underground nightclub movements, music migration, and bass culture in the African Diaspora. She coined the term DJ Scholarship in 2013, which explores how knowledge is gathered, interpreted, and produced through a conceptual and theoretical framework, shifting the role of the DJ from a party purveyor to an archivist and cultural worker. A doctoral student in the Department of Visual Culture at the Goldsmiths University of London, Denise’s research contends with how iterations of sound system culture construct a living archive and refuge for a Black queer diaspora.
DJ Reborn has been moving audiences for more than a decade with her mellifluous blend of soul, hip-hop, reggae, house, Latin, electronic, and Afrobeat. She has worked alongside the Roots, Common, Talib Kweli, John Legend, and India Arie; appeared on BET’s Rap City; and served as the 2004—2005 international tour DJ for Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam. DJ Reborn is based in Brooklyn and is an educator with Urban Word NYC.
DJ Sabine Blaizin's work focuses on the exposure and pleasures of African diasporic music. Brooklyn Mecca, Cumbancha, and Oyasound are a few of her creative projects. Over the years, Dj Sabine's mainstay and cultivation has been the monthly event Brooklyn Mecca which has been coined the home of "Grassroots Dance Culture" Sabine was also the featured Dj for the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art's 50th Anniversary.
DJ Monday Blue is a Brooklyn-based DJ, fluent in digital and vinyl, with over seven years of experience spinning music that moves and motivates diverse crowds. The
2018 Pulitzer Prizes deejay, pre-pandemic Monday Blue could be found playing in venues in Brooklyn (House of Yes, Ode to Babel, Jupiter Disco) and Manhattan (Blind Barber, Paper Daisy).
KeiyaA is a singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist based in NYC. Raised in Chicago’s South Side, KeiyaA synthesizes her jazz training, R&B sensibilities, and hip-hop upbringing to create new soul sounds inundated with her powerful, sultry voice and dense lyricism.
Rhythm, Patterns, and Craft is a celebration of Black women and femmes who labor as DJs, promoters, dancers, and innovative participants grossly neglected in the dominant discourse of electronic music for the last 50 years.