Charis presents Black Feminist Interventions: Hazel V. Carby and Katherine McKittrick in conversation. Carby is the author of Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands, a haunting and evocative history of British empire, told through one woman’s family story. McKittrick is the author of Dear Science and Other Stories. In Dear Science and Other Stories, Katherine McKittrick presents a creative and rigorous study of black and anticolonial methodologies. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.
Moving between Jamaican plantations, the hills of Devon, the port cities of Bristol, Cardiff, and Kingston, and the working-class estates of South London, Carby’s family story is at once an intimate personal history and a sweeping summation of the violent entanglement of two islands. In charting British empire’s interweaving of capital and bodies, public language and private feeling, Carby will find herself reckoning with what she can tell, what she can remember, and what she can bear to know.
Drawing on black studies, studies of race, cultural geography, and black feminism as well as a mix of methods, citational practices, and theoretical frameworks, she positions black storytelling and stories as strategies of invention and collaboration. She analyzes a number of texts from intellectuals and artists ranging from Sylvia Wynter to the electronica band Drexciya to explore how narratives of imprecision and relationality interrupt knowledge systems that seek to observe, index, know, and discipline blackness. Throughout, McKittrick offers curiosity, wonder, citations, numbers, playlists, friendship, poetry, inquiry, song, grooves, and anticolonial chronologies as interdisciplinary codes that entwine with the academic form. Suggesting that black life and black livingness are, in themselves, rebellious methodologies, McKittrick imagines without totally disclosing the ways in which black intellectuals invent ways of living outside prevailing knowledge systems.
Hazel V. Carby HonFLSW, FRSA, is the Charles C. and Dorothea S. Dilley Professor Emeritus of African American Studies and Professor Emeritus of American Studies Yale University and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts. She is currently a Visiting Research Professor & Humanities Institute Faculty at Dartmouth College. She is the author of Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands, selected as one of the “Books of the Year for 2019,” by the Times Literary Supplement.
Katherine McKittrick is Professor of Black Studies and Gender Studies at Queen’s University. She authored Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle, edited Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis, and co-edited, with Clyde Woods, Black Geographies and the Politics of Place. Her most recent monograph, Dear Science and Other Stories is an exploration of black methodologies.