On January 24, 2020 CITY held its fourth CITY Seminar for the 2019-2020 term with a focus on a growing area of membership - the Urban Humanities. The talk, which was titled "Run Man Run: Fugitivity in Postwar Urban Noir," was given by Professor Arthur Redding (Department of English) on the topic of urban crime fiction.
Professor Redding's talk focussed on Chester Himes’ novel Run Man Run (1959) which tells the recurrent American tale of the police and their murder of black men. Witness to a shooting and pursued by a bent white cop, the protagonist seeks solace in black cultural tradition and community. This talk considered the evisceration of geographic sense and communal relations in the de-industrializing, racially-stratified postwar city, as characters are tasked to elude, to survive, rather than to know, master, and contemplate. Any quest to draw sustenance from community is rendered doubly difficult as urban social space becomes another source of persecution.