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BLACK. STILL. LIFE.

October 19, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Cover of Book "In the Wake: On Blackness and Being" depicting an art work by Cornelia Parker titled "Hanging Fire (Suspected Arson)": an installation of hanging piece of charcoal
2017 Nellie Y. McKay Lecture in the Humanities

Christina Sharpe

English, Tufts University

 

In In the Wake, Sharpe interrogates literary, visual, cinematic, and quotidian representations of Black life that comprise what she calls the “orthography of the wake.” Activating multiple registers of “wake”—the path behind a ship, keeping watch with the dead, coming to consciousness—Sharpe illustrates how Black lives are swept up and animated by the afterlives of slavery, and she delineates what survives despite such insistent violence and negation. Initiating and describing a theory and method of reading the metaphors and materiality of “the wake,” “the ship,” “the hold,” and “the weather,” Sharpe shows how the sign of the slave ship marks and haunts contemporary Black life in the diaspora and how the specter of the hold produces conditions of containment, regulation, and punishment, but also something in excess of them. In the weather, Sharpe situates anti-Blackness and white supremacy as the total climate that produces premature Black death as normative. Formulating the wake and “wake work” as sites of artistic production, resistance, consciousness, and possibility for living in diaspora, In the Wake offers a way forward.

 

Christina Sharpe is Associate Professor of English at Tufts University and the author of Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subject and In the Wake: On Blackness and Being. Her research interests are in black visual culture, black diaspora studies, and feminist epistemologies, with a particular emphasis on black female subjectivity and black women artists.

 

Presented in partnership with the Center for the Humanities and the Center for Visual Cultures.

Details

Date:
October 19, 2017
Time:
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Venue

Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, Room L140
800 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States