Paisley Rekdal : "Appropriate"
August 24, 2021
The Tanner Humanities Center was proud to host a conversation with Paisley Rekdal about her book, Appropriate. Comments were also offered by Nancy Leong, Professor of Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and author of Identity Capitalists.
How do we properly define cultural appropriation, and is it always wrong? If we can write in the voice of another, should we? And if so, what questions do we need to consider first? In Appropriate, creative writing professor Paisley Rekdal addresses a young writer to delineate how the idea of cultural appropriation has evolved—and perhaps calcified—in our political climate. What follows is a penetrating exploration of fluctuating literary power and authorial privilege, about whiteness and what we really mean by the term empathy, that examines writers from William Styron to Peter Ho Davies to Jeanine Cummins. Lucid, reflective, and astute, Appropriate presents a generous new framework for one of the most controversial subjects in contemporary literature.