Michelle Wright Talk

5:30 PM  - 6:30 PM
Thursday Mar 28, 2019
Harmon Room, DeWitt Wallace Library

The English Department is delighted to welcome Professor Michelle M. Wright, Augustus Baldwin Longstreet Professor of English at Emory University, to give a scholarly talk titled, "Blackness Across Spacetimes: Race, Diaspora & Physics." Professor Wright's talk draws on her career-long research work on the Anglophone, Francophone, and Germanophone African Diaspora, from the 18th to 21st centuries. The talk opens with discussion of what she identifies as one of the greatest myths in western civilization--black biological inferiority, and how it operates very differently from how most people assume, even those who are anti-racist--and then moves on to think about how Black identity operates as a complex function of time and space. Her second book (Physics of Blackness) focused on how theories of time help theorize Blackness in more inclusive ways, while her third book (Feeling Europe: Black and African Diasporas in the Heart of Empire; in process) looks at how space, place and affect destabilizes yet expands notions of home and racial belonging. Drawing on the ideas of both, she argues that discourses on blackness have useful things to say to disciplines that may be less expected, for example theoretical particle physics. She focuses, as well, on what may be less expected identities within the Black diaspora, for example, Black Germans, and on Black figures who predate the invention of blackness, such as Ramses II. 


Professor Wright's research focuses on literary, cultural, philosophical, and political discourses on Blackness and Black identity from the 18th to 21st centuries. Her scholarly books include: Physics of Blackness: Beyond the Middle Passage Epistemology (UMN Press, 2015) and Becoming Black: Creating an Identity in the African Diaspora (Duke UP 2004). She also writes for the public media, with pieces published in EbonyChicago TribuneThe Root, and Los Angeles Review of Books as well as other outlets. She is a former professor in the Macalestere English department.


Light refreshments.

Contact: Daylanne English

This event is for: Students, Staff and Faculty

Admission: Free

Sponsored By: English

Categories: Front Page Events and Lectures and Speakers