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The Academic Press: A View From the Inside with Jennifer Banks

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Event Details:

The Contemporary and Philosophy + Literature  are happy to invite you to TWO events on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 featuring Jennifer Banks, author of Natality: Toward a Philosophy of Birth (W.W. Norton, 2023) and senior executive editor at Yale University Press.

"The Academic Press: A View from the Inside"
12:00 pm (Brown Bag Lunch)
Pigott Hall, Bldg. 260, Rm 216

"Celebrating Natality: Toward a Philosophy of Birth"
5:00 pm
Pigott Hall, Bldg. 260, Rm 252



Although we have long intellectual traditions of wrestling with mortality, few have ever heard of natality, the term political theorist Hannah Arendt used to describe birth’s active role in our lives. In this ambitious, revelatory book, Jennifer Banks begins with Arendt’s definition of natality as the “miracle that saves the world” to develop an expansive framework for birth’s philosophical, political, spiritual, and aesthetic significance. Banks focuses on seven renowned western thinkers—Arendt, Friedrich Nietzsche, Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, Sojourner Truth, Adrienne Rich, and Toni Morrison —to reveal a provocative countertradition of birth. She narrates these writers’ own experiences alongside the generative ways they contended with natality in their work. Passionately intelligent and wide-ranging, Natality invites readers to attend to birth as a challenging and life-affirming reminder of our shared humanity and our capacity for creative renewal.



Jennifer Banks is the author of Natality: Toward a Philosophy of Birth, published in May 2023 by W.W. Norton. Her work has been reviewed or featured in The Washington Post, Aeon, Lithub, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, Current, Comment, Big Think, The Boston Review, The Best American Poetry, and more. A graduate of Cornell University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she is Senior Executive Editor at Yale University Press where she has acquired books on literature, religion, and Philosophy since 2007. She has also worked at ICM Partners, the Continuum International Publishing Group, and Harvard University Press.