Emily Lutenski, “Love, Scandal, and the Legacies of Margery Latimer and Jean Toomer”
May 7, 2020
After she tragically died in childbirth in 1932, acclaimed novelist and activist Margery Latimer became lost to history. While her work had drawn comparisons to Gertrude Stein and James Joyce, Latimer’s reputation as a writer was overshadowed by her interracial marriage with the poet and novelist Jean Toomer.
In this podcast Emily Lutenski, associate professor of American studies at Saint Louis University, discusses Latimer and Toomer’s romantic relationship and intellectual partnership, the scandal that ensued, and the ways their legacies have been shaped as a result.
Emily Lutenski is an associate professor in American studies at Saint Louis University, where her teaching and research focus on critical ethnic studies and gender studies. She is the author of West of Harlem: African American Writers and the Borderlands (University Press of Kansas, 2015), which was a finalist for the Weber-Clements Prize for Best Nonfiction Book on Southwestern America. At the National Humanities Center, Emily is at work on her next book, Modern Lovers: Margery Latimer, Jean Toomer, and Race in American Culture, which explores the lives, relationships, and writing of two American authors, the scandal that erupted over their interracial marriage, and their efforts, along with other American intellectuals, to confront and undermine Jim Crow racism in the United States.