Marquis Bey talks about the radical and abolitionist project of Black Trans Feminism. Rather than an identity formation, it is a politics and modality of being that vitiates the limits of subjectivity. Black Trans Feminism finds joy in irreverence, just like we try to do on High Theory.
You can recalibrate your understanding of the subject by reading Marquis’s forthcoming book Black Trans Feminism, published by Duke University Press. Released next week! On February 25th.
In the episode Marquis references a wonderful quote from Saidiya Hartman, that “A Black revolution makes everyone freer than they actually want to be.” It’s a hard quote to find, but it appears in Frank Wilderson’s interview with C.S. Soong, “Blacks and the Master/Slave Relation” in Afropessimism: An Introduction (Racked & Dispatched, 2017).
Marquis is Assistant Professor of African American Studies and English at Northwestern University. They also serve as Faculty Affiliate and Advisory Board Member in Gender & Sexuality Studies and Advisory Board Faculty Member in Critical Theory.
This week’s image was provided by Marquis.
Music used in promotional material: ‘Semiacoustic’ by Pk Jazz Collective
Kareem Khubchandani talks about aunties, figure across culture that stand for inquiry and succor, at limits of, or outside of traditional family structures. The conversation spans across genres and contexts, mainly focusing on work in the new field of Critical Aunty Studies.
Kareem Khubchandani is the Mellon Bridge assistant professor in theater, dance, and performance studies, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Tufts University. He is the author of Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife (University of Michigan Press, 2020), which received the 2021 Association for Theatre in Higher Education Outstanding Book award, 2021 Dance Studies Association de la Torre Bueno book award, 2021 MLA/ASA Alan Bray Memorial Prize honorable mention, and the 2019 CLAGS: Center for LGBTQ Studies Fellowship. Kareem is also co-editor of Queer Nightlife (University of Michigan Press, 2021) and curator of criticalauntystudies.com.
Image: © 2022 Saronik Bosu
Music used in promotional material: ‘Like Swimming’ by Broke for Free
Stephen Guy-Bray talks about sexuality, a concept that brings together the the use of sexual metaphors in the description of textual production and the erotics that inhere in reading praxes. Among other things, this concept is a critique of the use of popular heteronormative metaphors of reproduction to describe the creation of literature.
Stephen Guy-Bray is professor of English at the University of British Columbia. He specializes in Renaissance poetry, queer theory, and poetics. He has just finished a monograph on line endings in Renaissance poetry.
Image: © 2021 Saronik Bosu
Music used in promotional material: ‘The Gold Lining’ by Broke For Free
Eric Wade speaks with Saronik about lust. They discuss how depictions of sexuality in medieval literature have persisted through literary traditions and shaped modern ideas of Orientalism and the sexual other.
In the episode, Eric mentions a number of modern theorists, including Edward Said, Joseph Boone, Ghassan Moussawi, and Joseph Massad.
Dr. Erik Wade—a visiting lecturer at the Universität-Bonn—researches the global origins of early medieval English ideas of sexuality and race. He is co-writing a book with Dr. Mary Rambaran-Olm, titled Race in Early Medieval England, out next year from Cambridge University Press.
This week’s image is a medieval illumination of the Dream of the Magi, showing the three kings hanging out naked in bed, in the Salzburg Missal, Regensburg ca. 1478-1489 [München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 15708 I, fol. 63r].
Music used in promotional material: ‘Streets of Sant’lvo’ by Mid-Air Machine
Saronik interviews Kim about intersectionality, a concept developed by Kimberlé Crenshaw.
Kim references two essays by Crenshaw in the episode: one that she read, and one that our previous podcast guest, Chad Hegelmeyer taught.
“Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color,” Stanford Law Review 43, no. 6 (July 1991) https://www.jstor.org/stable/1229039 (Kim read this one)
“Demarginalizing the Intersections of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics,” University of Chicago Legal Forum Iss. 1 (1989) https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/uclf/vol1989/iss1/8/ (Chad taught this one)
Kim recommends that you read the latter.
This week’s image is a painting by Alma Thomas, titled “Light Blue Nursery” (1968). The image is made available under a Creative Commons license by the Smithsonian American Art Museum.