Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at 4:15pm
Crosby Seminar Room — 240 Northrop
Free and open to the public
The talk focuses on the complex ways gender and sexuality function in the barring of Black flesh from the category of the human-as-Man by investigating inhabitations of the flesh that bring to light the relational being-in-the-world of Black Life. That is, examples from literature and music that render the constitutive ungendered displacement of Black Life from origin and belonging habitable. I will also consider an underdiscussed aspect of Henrietta Lacks’s cellular afterlife that shows how Black Life must be erased from the most fundamental parts of human life in order for it to resemble “life.”
Alexander G. Weheliye is Professor of African American Studies at Northwestern University. He is the author of Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity (2005) and Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human (2014). Currently, he is working on two projects. The first, Feenin: R&B’s Technologies of Humanity, offers a critical history of the intimate relationship between R&B music and technology since the late 1970’s. The second, Black Life/Schwarz-Sein, situates Blackness as an ungendered ontology of unbelonging.
Organized by the IAS Philosophies of Life Collaborative. To request a disability-related accommodation, please contact the IAS (firstname.lastname@example.org 612-626-5054) at least two weeks prior to the event.