Cultivating (In)attention, Listening to Noise

by Emily Bock Featured image: Chantal Regnault, Legendary Voguer Willi Ninja wearing a Thierry Mugler body piece, 1989. Photo courtesy of the photographer. For twenty-five centuries, Western knowledge has tried to look upon the world. It has failed to …

The House That Ghosts Built (And Mediums Performed)

By Paula Vilaplana de Miguel Featured image: Seances, a popular entertainment in the late 19th century, under a red light. *The following work acknowledges that the phenomenon of haunting is neither uniquely Western nor exclusively related to the Spiri…

What’s Haunting Black Feminism?

by Alanna Prince and Alisa V. Prince Two Black Feminists Go For A Walk On a Wednesday afternoon, we walked down Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, our hometown. We saw the center aisle of the street lined with older white people holding signs for Black…

Athazagoraphilia: On the End(s) of Dreaming

By Jerome P. Dent, Jr. In the introductory chapter of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, entitled “When History Sleeps,” scholar and activist Robin D.G. Kelley ties his own political engagement with his mother’s “dream of a new world,” an i…

Susceptible Archives

By Anne Anlin Cheng In Thinking Orientals: Migration, Contact and Exoticism in Modern America, a study of early Asian American sociologists who contributed to the birth of the famous Chicago School of Sociology, Henry Yu addresses the paradoxes of and …

Studying With Hazel Carby

By Heather V. Vermeulen October 27, 2019 Dear Hazel, I’ve decided to write you a letter. When I think about being your student, I think first of our conversations—in office hours, over coffee, via email—so this makes sense to me as a form.1 You are not…

On Needing Black Studies

By Kathryn A. Mariner Featured Image: Protest at RPD, Rochester NY, May 2020, Copyright Erica Jae. As I was preparing comments for this roundtable toward the end of 2018, I felt a bit like an interloper because I realized I had never—at least in my for…

Black Studies and the “Ideology of Relevance”

By Cilas Kemedjio Featured Image: Pool of Freedom, Washington DC, August 2020, Copyright Erica Jae. The late Professor Francis Abiola Irele (1936-2017) delivered an inaugural lecture at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria on November 22, 1982, which trad…

Black Studies in Haudenosaunee Country

By Brianna Theobald Featured Image: Two young Mexican-American protesters at the 2020 Indigenous People’s Day rally at the Seneca town of Canawaugus. Photograph courtesy of Michael Leroy Oberg. In January 2019, the University of Rochester hosted …

The National Archives

By Hazel V. Carby Featured image: Windrush Stories exhibition at the British Library, 2018. Photo courtesy of Leon van Kemenade. I dressed conservatively; I did not appear to be a disruptive or unruly researcher. I was indistinguishable from the o…

Archival-Futurism: Archives as Social Justice

By Miranda Mims Featured image: Inscriptions at MLK Park community installation “The Empire Strikes Black,” created by public artist Shawn Dunwoody. Photo by Quajay Donnell. There should be a space for alternative realities, alternative way…

The Kinesthetic Index: Video Games and the Body of Motion Capture

Written by Grant Bollmer In this essay, I present a history of the graphic adventure genre of video and computer games and its attempts at achieving a kind of cinematic realism through the registration of the body. In reviewing the history of this genr…

Us, THEM, and High-Risk Dancing

By Tiffany E. Barber In darkness, a live, punk-influenced sound score saturates a converted sixty-nine-seat black box theater in New York’s Lower East Side. The source: electric guitarist Chris Cochrane positioned upstage right.1 Upstage left, a spotli…