As part of an English Seminar on African American Sound and Literature, a group of students dives into the world of Maud Martha, a short novel by the African American poet, Gwendolyn Brooks. Through a series of songs like “New York State of Mind,” and short discussions, this podcast navigates through moments of suppression and power in Maud Martha’s life, analyzing how her resilience and quiet agency, à la Kevin Quashie, play into the everyday battle of class, identity, and race.

Contributors to this podcast are Matthew Hageman, Lindsay McCarely, Tyler Kleinsteuber, and Kimberly Ng of ENGL 471 at Queen’s University.

Songs in this podcast include:

Run the Jewels-“A Christmas Fucking Miracle”*; Billy Joel-“New York State of Mind”; Desiree Ross “(We’ll Understand It Better) By and By”; Duke Ellington & John Coltrane-“In a Sentimental World”; The Drifters-“White Christmas”; My Chemical Romance “Cancer”; Duke Ellington-“Solitude”; Bill Withers-“Lean on Me”

*denotes explicit content