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The Erotics of Race

Thursday, October 19, 2017,
  • Location: Robert Penn Warren Center • 2301 Vanderbilt Place • Nashville, TN 37235

 Hosted by the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities. 

This seminar explores various currents within critical race theory and black studies that have focused upon the relationship between structures of racial identification and desire. Thinkers working through the interactions between race and desire demonstrate that material interests—such as wealth, property, capital, and other tangible metrics—are not the only motivating factors behind racial inequality and violence. These theorists argue that discourses of race also produce associations of “identification,” “belonging,” and “obligation,” which, in turn, create and naturalize a social and cultural mythos based around the fiction of biological race. Readings will include Sharon Holland’s The Erotic Life of Racism, texts by Christina Sharpe, and literary non-fiction from writers such as James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, and Elizabeth Alexander.

Seminar coordinators:

Leonard Curry (graduate department of religion) leonard.curry@vanderbilt.edu 

Terrell Taylor (English) terrell.a.taylor@vanderbilt.edu