The 1619 project as aesthetic and social practice; or, the art of the essay in the digital age

Laura Bieger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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In August 2019, The New York Times launched The 1619 Project, a multimedia initiative to commemorate the arrival of the first enslaved Africans on the shore of the land that would become the United States and to reckon with the impact of slavery on U.S. culture and society. This essay seeks to examine The 1619 Project. I argue that The 1619 Project draws on the tradition of the essay - for Frankfurt School thinker Theodor Adorno "the critical form par excellence" (1988: 166) - and adapts it to our continually evolving media environment in ways that revamp its form and reinforce its aesthetic, critical, and political potential. Assessing this claim from the perspective of the reading public, I ask: what are some of the strategic advantages of the essay form when it comes to engaging readers as publics?.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Public Mind and the Politics of Postmillennial U.S.-American Writing
EditorsJolene Mathieson, Marius Henderson, Julia Lange
PublisherDe Gruyter
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783110771350
ISBN (Print)9783110771282
Publication statusPublished - 22-Aug-2022

Publication series

NameBuchreihe der Anglia / Anglia Book Series
PublisherDe Gruyter
ISSN (Print)0340-5435

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