Vinson Cunningham–Thought, Emotion, and Politics in Prose

Heimbold Visual Arts Center Donnelley Film Theatre

Open to the public

/ Wednesday


I sometimes think of the work of the writer (or, at least, the kind of writer I'd like to be) as stubbornly split. On the one hand, prose remains our best vehicle for the impartation of information and the development of arguments—in other words, it helps us to think and to relay our thoughts. But then there's the fact that the best novels, stories, essays, and even works of criticism tend, however explicitly, to arrive chock-full of emotion and attitude, stuff that lives in a place beyond fact and undiscoverable by logic alone. In this talk, I'd like to think a bit about how these two modes—the emotional and the critical-analytical—might be resolved, and how their resolution might change the way we think about the work we call "political." 

Vinson Cunningham is a staff writer at The New Yorker. His essays, reviews, and profiles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, FADER, Vulture, The Awl, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. A former White House staffer, he now teaches an MFA Writing course at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in New York City.