Alexander Nemerov - "The Forest" - Romi Crawford

Friday, April 7, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Alexander Nemerov

Alexander Nemerov will discuss The Forest.  He will be joined in conversation by Romi Crawford.

This event will be held in person at The Seminary Co-op. At this time, masks are required for in-store events.


About the book: Set amid the glimmering lakes and disappearing forests of the early United States, The Forest imagines how a wide variety of Americans experienced their lives. Part truth, part fiction, and featuring both real and invented characters, the book follows painters, poets, enslaved people, farmers, and artisans living and working in a world still made largely of wood. Some of the historical characters—such as Thomas Cole, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Fanny Kemble, Edgar Allan Poe, and Nat Turner—are well-known, while others are not. But all are creators of private and grand designs.

The Forest unfolds in brief stories. Each episode reveals an intricate lost world. Characters cross paths or go their own ways, each striving for something different but together forming a pattern of life. For Alexander Nemerov, the forest is a description of American society, the dense and discontinuous woods of nation, the foliating thoughts of different people, each with their separate shade and sun. Through vivid descriptions of the people, sights, smells, and sounds of Jacksonian America, illustrated with paintings, prints, and photographs, The Forest brings American history to life on a human scale.

Published in association with the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

About the author: Alexander Nemerov is the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities at Stanford University. His many books include Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York and Soulmaker: The Times of Lewis Hine (Princeton).

About the interlocutor: Romi Crawford is Chair and professor in the Visual and Critical Studies department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work often centers on, and expands the bounds of, Black Arts Movement ideas and aesthetics and positions the productivity of social formations historically to art making. Select publications include; co-author of The Wall of Respect: Public Arand Black Liberation in 1960s Chicago (Northwestern University Press, 2017); Fleeting Monuments for the Wall of Respect (Green Lantern Press, 2021); “Reading Between the Photographs: Serious Sociality in the Kamoinge Photographic Workshop,” in Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop (Duke University Press, 2020); and "Surface and Soul in the Work of Nick Cave” in Nick Cave: Forothermore (DelMonico Books/Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 2022).

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-Op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637