Reading Critical Black Studies

Although it is widely applicable to fields in the humanities, critical black studies remains the “unthought” of humanistic inquiry; it is often regarded as “fatalistic,” and “bleak.” Despite this, the school of thought is burgeoning. Interweaving discourses from a multitude of discourses, such as Afropessimism, black feminist theory, queer theory, theology, and public humanities, critical black studies is a reformulation of black studies as such. The “critical” in its title renders black studies at large anew, reinterpreting the methods and arguments that black studies generally takes for granted. There are three important ambitions of the group: first, it is to relinquish the school of thought from its problematic perceptions; second, to lay a foundation for further analysis; and third, to create an archive of black thought. These ambitions are in service of shifting the discourses on the existence of black people to one that is more inclusive of the ways in which terror and joy define black life.

This group gathers inter-collegially at Rutgers University and Harvard University in order to cohere disparate conversations, provide networking opportunities across institutions, and develop a safe and social space for scholarship.  

Meeting Schedule

Meeting will occur on Wednesdays from 4:30 – 6:00 PM in Morrison Hall 201. Please email Amon Pierson ([email protected]) for a reading list.

September 13

September 20

September 27

October 4

October 11

October 25

November 1

November 8

November 15

November 29

December 6