The Addison Gayle Memorial Lecture Series

The Addison Gayle Lecture Series is held annually in honor of Dr. Addison Gayle, Jr., a noted African-American professor, literary critic, and long-time member of the Department of English. Each year, the department invites noted scholars and activists to lead a discussion on issues related to diversity and culture.

The series began in 1991 following the untimely death of Dr. Gayle, Baruch's only Distinguished Professor of English at the time, by inviting Professor Houston Baker, Jr., to speak in appreciation of Dr. Gayle's contribution to the field, while also discussing important developments in literary and cultural criticism.

A cast of leading scholars and writers, including Arnold Rampersad, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the late Barbara Christian, John A. Williams, John Edgar Wideman, and Julia Wright, daughter of Richard Wright, have delivered subsequent lectures. In 2000, the Gayle Memorial Lecture's subject area was expanded to include the Caribbean, Africa, and Black Britain. Scholars who have spoken on literary and cultural issues within this widened scope include novelist and critic Caryl Philips, Dr. Carol Boyce Davies of Florida International University, Professor Manthia Diawara of New York University, and Dr. Gretchen Gerzina, professor of English at Dartmouth College.

Click here to view a recording of the 2005 Addison Gayle lecture delivered by Robin D.G. Kelley, a cultural critic and professor at the University of Southern California.

To read Dr. Gayle's New York Times obituary, click here.