Roxane Gay to Keynote Otelia Cromwell Day

Author and cultural critic Roxane Gay will deliver the keynote address at this year’s celebration of Otelia Cromwell Day at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in John M. Greene Hall.

Gay’s talk is open to the public at no charge.  Click here for full schedule.  (For related events, click here.)

About Roxane Gay
Gay’s work has garnered international acclaim for its reflective, no-holds-barred exploration of feminism and social criticism. With a deft eye on modern culture, she critiques its ebb and flow with wit and ferocity.

Gay’s essay collection, Bad Feminist, is considered the quintessential exploration of modern feminism. NPR named it one of the best books of the year, and Salon declared the book “trailblazing.” Gay’s debut novel, An Untamed State, was long-listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. In 2017, Gay released her highly anticipated memoir, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, as well as a collection of short stories titled Difficult Women.

Gay is a contributing op-ed writer for The New York Times and has served as the co-editor of PANK and nonfiction editor at The Rumpus. Her writing has also appeared in McSweeney’s, The Nation and many other publications. She recently became the first black woman to write for Marvel, creating a comic series in the Black Panther universe called World of Wakanda.

The theme of this year’s Otelia Cromwell Day celebration is “Resist, Act and Persevere.” Afternoon and evening classes are not held on Otelia Cromwell Day.

About Otelia Cromwell Day

Otelia Cromwell Day is named for Smith’s first African American graduate, who passed away in 1972 at the age of 98. Born in Washington, D.C., Otelia Cromwell was also the first African American woman to receive a degree from Yale University.

A teacher and scholar, Cromwell accomplished her most significant work, The Life of Lucretia Mott, after she retired from teaching. The book, published in 1958 by Harvard University Press, continues to be cited by contemporary scholars.

Smith President Emerita Mary Maples Dunn initiated Otelia Cromwell Day in 1989 as an opportunity for education and reflection by the campus community about issues of diversity and racism.

Additional information about Otelia Cromwell Day is available online