A pathbreaking scholar, prolific writer, and engaged intellectual, Robin D.G. Kelley is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California and author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (2009), Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination (2002), and Race Rebels: Culture Politics and the Black Working Class (1994), among many other authored, co-authored, and co-edited books. Kelley also frequently writes for a wide range of publications, including The Nation, New York Times, Rolling Stone, Callaloo, Social Text, and frieze: contemporary art and culture. Unifying this body of work is Kelley’s central concern with the history of black radical movements, the location of public intellectual work in contemporary social movements, and the role of the imagination in transformational politics.
Kelley is currently completing two books, Speaking in Tongues: Jazz and Modern Africa and A World to Gain: A History of African Americans (with Tera Hunter and Earl Lewis).