New Directions in Twenty-First Century Black Studies
This seminar will be a study of the conceptual turns and breaks that are shaping twenty-first century Black Studies. In the liner notes of Archie Shepp’s Four for Trane, Amiri Baraka thinks about what it means to “slide away from the proposed.” In this seminar, we will study the “sliding away from the proposed” in the most current zones of black sound studies, black diaspora theory, black feminism, black queer theory, and the remix of black abstraction/black representation in the most transdisciplinary zones of art history. As we think about the space-clearing gestures that have re-energized Black Studies in the twenty-first century, the changing same will matter as much as new frames that dislodge what has been naturalized in earlier waves of Black Studies. We will situate our study in the most nuanced, emergent waves of inquiry. This attention to the most recent debates and fractured points of view will put a spotlight on the work that remains to be done (the theorizing, textual analysis, and archival work that is being hailed as scholars gesture to the unfinished). Our reading flow may include Black Aliveness, or A Poetics of Being, Funk the Erotic: Transaesthetics and Black Sexual Cultures, Afro-Nostalgia: Feeling Good in Contemporary Black Culture, Sentient Flesh: Thinking in Disorder, Poiesis in Black, A Black Gaze: Artists Changing How We See, Runaway Genres: The Global Afterlives of Slavery, and Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound.