Black Studies and the Black Radical Tradition

This reading group will review contemporary theories of “anti-Black racism”; the relationship between Black studies and movements for racial, gender, class, and sexual justice; and the implications of Black studies given the neoliberalization of the university space. Drawing from several schools of Black/Africana/African American thought, this reading group endeavors to understand how “Black studies”—broadly defined and necessarily interdisciplinary, Trans-Atlantic and at times “anti-disciplinary”— critiques the state, the university, capital(ism), markets, and American post-racial fictions writ-large.

Our foci will include but is certainly not limited to critical race theory, Afro-pessimism, Black feminist thought, Black queer studies, and Black trans* studies. The reading group will bring together artists, activists and scholars, and will also serve as a space for strategizing complex political responses to the contemporary rise of neo-fascism and white nationalism.

CONTACT: Ahmad Green-Hayes

SCHEDULE: Meetings are from 4:30-6:00pm

  • Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 209 Scheide Caldwell House
    Introductory Meeting and Discussion
    (Will collectively decide on selected readings)
  • Tuesday, October 3, 2017, 209 Scheide Caldwell House
    Presenter: Hari Ziyad

    Hari Ziyad is an artist, writer and the editor-in-chief of the literary and media publication RaceBaitR. They received their BFA from New York University, where they concentrated on Film and Television and Psychology. They are also Deputy Editor for Black Youth Project, an Assistant Editor for Vinyl Poetry & Prose, and writer for AFROPUNK 
  • Tuesday, October 24, 2017, 209 Scheide Caldwell House
    Group Discussion

    - Brittney Cooper, Beyond Respectability, Prologue and Intro
    - Joy James, “Warrior Tropes” and “Protofeminists and Liberation Limbos” in Shadowboxing
  • Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 209 Scheide Caldwell House
    Group Discussion

    - Frank Wilderson III, “The Structure of Antagonisms” in Red, White & In Color
    - Jared Sexton, “Afro-pessimism: The Unclear World”
    - Che Gossett, “Cruising in the End Times” 

  • Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 209 Scheide Caldwell House
    Presenter: Kiyan Williams

    Kiyan Williams (gender pronouns they/them) is a multidisciplinary artist and writer who explores Black queer identity. They create performances, texts, objects, images, sounds, and installations informed by autoethnography, archival research, and social practice. They earned a BA with honors in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University. Currently they are an MFA candidate in the Visual Art program at Columbia University. Learn more about Kiyan.

  • Tuesday, December 12, 2017, 209 Scheide Caldwell House
    Group Discussion

    - Robin D.G. Kelly, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, Intro and Ch. 5
    - M. Jacqui Alexander, Pedagogies of Crossing, Intro and Ch. 3
  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 203 Scheide Caldwell House, 4:45-6pm
    Group Discussion

    - “We Got Issues: Toward a Black Trans*/ Studies” and “ 'Go beyond Our Natural Selves’: The Prison Letters of CeCe McDonald” in TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly
    - Jamal Lewis, “The Thrill and Fear of ‘Hey Beautiful’ (New York Times)
    - Elle Hearns and Treva Lindsey, “Without Black Women, There is No Future” (Huff Post

  • Tuesday, March 13, 2018, East Pyne 127
    Group Discussion

    - Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study
    - Christina Sharpe, In the Wake, Chapter 1
  • Tuesday, April 3, 2018, East Pyne 010
    Presenter: Charlene Carruthers

    Charlene A. Carruthers is a Black, queer feminist community organizer and writer with over 10 years of experience in racial justice, feminist and youth leadership development movement work. She currently serves as the national director of the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), an activist member-led organization of Black 18-35 year olds dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. Learn more about Charlene.