This talk pays particular attention to the complex ways gender and sexuality function in the barring of Black flesh from the category of the human-as-Man by investigating inhabitations of the flesh that bring to light the relational being-in-the-world of Black Life. That is, examples from literature and music that render the constitutive ungendered displacement of Black Life from origin and belonging habitable by staging the affectability of Black mattering as second sight.
Alexander Weheliye is a scholar and teacher of black literature and culture, critical theory, social technologies, and popular culture. He is a Professor in the department of African American Studies at Northwestern University. Weheliye is the author of Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity (Duke University Press, 2005), which was awarded The Modern Language Association's William Sanders Scarborough Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Study of Black American Literature or Culture and Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human (Duke University Press, 2014). Currently, he is working on two projects. The first, Black Life/Schwarz-Sein, establishes Blackness as an ontology of ungendering.The second, Feenin: R&B’s Technologies of Humanity, offers a critical history of the intimate relationship between R&B music and technology since the late 1970s.