HILTON ALS

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2022

3 p.m – 4:30 p.m. MST
This talk will be hosted virtually via Zoom.


ABOUT THE SCHOLAR

Hilton Als began contributing to The New Yorker in 1989, writing pieces for ‘The Talk of the Town,’ he became a staff writer in 1994, a theatre critic in 2002, and lead theater critic in 2012. Week after week, he brings to the magazine a rigorous, sharp, and lyrical perspective on acting, playwriting, and directing. With his deep knowledge of the history of performance—not only in theatre but in dance, music, and visual art—he shows us how to view a production and how to place its director, its author, and its performers in the ongoing continuum of dramatic art. His reviews are not simply reviews; they are provocative contributions to the discourse on theatre, race, class, sexuality, and identity in America. He is currently working on a new book titled I Don’t Remember (Penguin, 2021), a book-length essay on his experiences in AIDS era New York.

Before coming to The New Yorker, Als was a staff writer for the Village Voice and an editor-at-large at Vibe. Als edited the catalog for the 1994-95 Whitney Museum of American Art exhibition “Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art.” His first book, The Women, was published in 1996. His book, White Girls, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2014, discusses various narratives of race and gender. White Girls also won the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Non-fiction. He wrote the introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of The Early Stories of Truman Capote, and was guest editor for the 2018 Best American Essays (Mariner Books, October 2, 2018). He wrote Andy Warhol: The Series, a book containing two previously unpublished television scripts for a series on the life of Andy Warhol. His in-progress debut play, Lives of the Performers, has been performed at Carolina Performing Arts and LAXART in Los Angeles. He also wrote Edna Lewis, a work about the legendary chef that was performed by Carolina Performing Arts.

In 1997, the New York Association of Black Journalists awarded Als first prize in both Magazine Critique/Review and Magazine Arts and Entertainment. He was awarded a Guggenheim for creative writing in 2000 and the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for 2002-03. In 2016, he received the Lambda Literary’s Trustee Award for Excellence in Literature, as well as the Windham Campbell Prize for Nonfiction. In 2017 Als won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism and in 2018 the Langston Hughes Medal. In 2020 he was named an inaugural Presidential Visiting Scholar at Princeton University for the 2020-21 academic year. In 2021 he was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

In 2009, Als worked with the performer Justin Bond on “Cold Water,” an exhibition of paintings, drawings, and videos by performers, at La MaMa Gallery. In 2010, he co-curated “Self-Consciousness,” at the VeneKlasen/Werner gallery, in Berlin, and published “Justin Bond/Jackie Curtis.” In 2015, he collaborated with the artist Celia Paul to create “Desdemona for Celia by Hilton,” an exhibition for the Metropolitan Opera’s Gallery Met. In 2016, his debut art show “One Man Show: Holly, Candy, Bobbie and the Rest” opened at the Artist’s Institute. He has curated “Alice Neel, Uptown” and “God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin” at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York City.  He is also curating three successive solo exhibitions at the Yale Centre for British Art, the first exhibit in 2018 featured Celia Paul, the second, in 2019, features Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, the third will feature Paul Doig. In 2019 Als partnered with WNYC’s Greene Space on a limited podcast series titled The Way We Live Now: Hilton Als and America’s Poets. He recently contributed an essay to Moonlight, a limited edition book about the film of the same name.

Als is an associate professor of writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and has taught at Yale University, Wesleyan, and Smith College. He lives in New York City.


COFFEE AND CRAFT WITH HILTON ALS

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2022
9 a.m – 11:00 a.m. MST
Hosted virtually- Registration is required.

Free for RMCAD students, faculty, staff, and alum.

RMCAD COMMUNITY REGISTER HERE >

This event is open to the public. Tickets are available via Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

GENERAL PUBLIC PURCHASE TICKETS HERE >

RMCAD’s VASD Program is honored to host writer, critic, and curator Hilton Als, recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Langston Hughes Medal, among other honors. Join us for a morning session with Hilton in conversation with graphic novelist R. Alan Brooks as they discuss Hilton’s work, writing process, and answer live audience questions.

R. Alan Brooks is an educator and the author of The Burning Metronome and Anguish Garden, graphic novels featuring social commentary. His award-winning weekly comic is featured in The Colorado Sun and he gave a TED Talk on the importance of art. He hosts the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver’s “How Art Is Born” podcast, as well as his own “MotherF**ker In A Cape” comics podcast. 

INTERACTIVE SESSION

In Focus With Hilton Als
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2022
3:00 p.m – 4:30 p.m. MST
Virtual Session

Registration is required for this event. Space is limited.

Free for RMCAD students, faculty, staff, and alum.

RMCAD COMMUNITY REGISTER HERE >

This event is open to the public. Tickets are available via Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

GENERAL PUBLIC PURCHASE TICKETS HERE >

Hilton Als has across decades blazed a trail of fearless criticism that interweaves his own family history and personal identity with a critical and incisive eye towards the arts of his time. Join Als in an explorative and interactive session, taking a focused look at the fortitude required to protect the artistic voice while critically engaging with contemporary culture. 

RECOMMENDATION LIST

The new biography of Oscar Wilde by Matthew Sturgis.

The reissue of W.E.B. Dubois’ “Black Reconstruction.”

“Nixon in China” by John Adams

Anything by Prince.

Anything by Bach.

Kirsten Dunst in “The Power of the Dog.”

An old BBC mini-series about the actress Lillie Langtry starring Franesca Annis

All of RMCAD’s events with Hilton Als are in partnership with Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations for these events, please contact Gretchen Marie Schaefer at gmschaefer@rmcad.edu or 303-995-8353. Requests should be made as soon as possible but no less than 5 business days prior to the scheduled event.