Black Storytelling and Methodological Rebellions in a Pandemic and Politically Cruel World
Note: Event info is on the Cornell Calendar website.
Hosted by the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, as part of its research priority theme on Inequalities, Identities, and Justice.
What are the roles of science, math, music, art, hope, religion, and spirituality in Black life? What counts as Black liberation given BIPOC complicity with (neo)liberalism? What are some of the bridges that can be built to combat woke-online armchair allyships and the algorithmic logics of “digitized racism” and its production of Black death and suffering? What are some of the tools that can be deployed to enact genuine acts of solidarity practices in the wake of what Robin D. G. Kelley calls the “Black Spring” of 2020 and in light of what Saidiya Hartman calls the ongoing “afterlife to slavery projects”?
At this event, Katherine McKittrick and Chanda Prescod-Weinstein read the spectrum of demands by BLM groups in relation to the Black Power legacies of, for example, the Black Panthers who incepted alternatives as the free breakfast programs and argued for the right to self-defense. How crucial is an internationalized anti-imperial and anti-colonial Black abolitionist politics to anti-racism and for combatting anti-blackness locally and globally? How might we collectively devise an overarching strategy to do so?
In what ways do extant imperial and colonial forces operate differently toward Black people in terms of “necropolitics” in determining who is invited into the realm of economic, political, and scientific life and who, instead, is confined to social death? This question—who must die so others may live—is central to our discussion on the ongoing theme of “decolonizing anti-racism.”
Katherine McKittrick is Professor of Gender Studies and Canada Research Chair in Black Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. She authored Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle (UMP, 2006) and edited and contributed to Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis (DUP, 2015). Her most recent monograph, Dear Science and Other Stories (DUP, 2021) is an exploration of black methodologies.
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy and core faculty in women’s and gender studies at the University of New Hampshire. Her research in theoretical physics focuses on cosmology, neutron stars, and dark matter. She researches Black feminist science, technology, and society studies. Her first book, The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred won the 2021 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the science and technology category and was named a Best Book of 2021 by Publishers Weekly, Smithsonian Magazine, and Kirkus.
Mohamed Abdou is a global racial justice postdoctoral fellow and part of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies’ Inequalities, Identities, and Justice research team. He graduated from Queen’s University with a doctorate in cultural studies and holds a BAH/MA in sociology. graduated from Queen’s University with a doctorate in cultural studies and holds a BAH/MA in sociology. He is an interdisciplinary scholar of Indigenous, Black, critical race, and Islamic studies, as well as gender, sexuality, and decolonization. He is the author of the book Islam and Anarchism: Relationships and Resonances (Pluto Press, 2022). He wrote his transnational dissertation on Islam & Queer-Muslims: Identity & Sexuality in the Contemporary.
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