To be published Summer/Fall 2019.
This zine is a collaborative starting point for a larger project and community emerging in response to Christina Sharpe’s call for Black scholars to “become undisciplined,” given that academic legibility often requires being “disciplined into thinking through and along lines that reinscribe our own annihilation” (2016, 13). As Black graduate students, we are in stages of our careers where we are being trained and disciplined into various fields, while also having access to a myriad of scholars and ongoing conversations that critique and confront the disciplinary formations that structure the academy and the world. As such, we are interested in the work of simultaneously learning and unlearning; sharing tools for maneuvering through and surviving the academy; and doing generative work that affirms black life.
Just as Sharpe wades into ongoing conversations on the politics of Black (scholars’) study, we invite a range of Black thinkers to explore the experience, urgency, and possibilities of knowledge production in the wake of anti-blackness. We seek to build a community of graduate students and independent scholars interested in engaging the work of Black intellectuals and radicals who dodge, evade, improvise around, funk with architectures of Black suffering and the paradigms that establish and uphold them. This zine aims to identify some of the ways people are addressing these concerns and to locate the priorities of the community we are building. As such, this collection welcomes works that explore a variety of concerns, including:
Working within and without the academy. What are the embodied experiences of knowledge production in and outside of the university? How do Black people survive within or choose to leave the university? What are the emotional dimensions of survival, flight, and becoming (un)trained? How are various activists, artists, cultural workers, and independent scholars contributing to black thought at large and reshaping “academic” conversations?
Scholarship and refusal. How might we resist the ways we are disciplined and oriented by the university and its disciplinary formations? What alternatives do Black feminist, queer, and trans epistemologies and methodologies make possible? How do we avoid the “sunken place” in academia?
Affirming black life. What is the relationship between our intellectual, political, and spiritual work? What forms of care can we practice for ourselves and each other? How do we imagine and create liberatory futures where Black life and pleasure are affirmed—within and without the university?