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CTE Mini-Seminar Presents: Zakiyyah Iman Jackson
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January 18, 19, and 20, 3PM - 5PM PST
The Critical Theory Emphasis Mini-Seminar

Dr. Zakiyyah Iman Jackson

On the Origin and Materiality
of Blackness

Zakiyyah Iman Jackson is Associate Professor of English at the University of Southern California. Professor Jackson is the author of Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World, winner of the Harry Levin First Book Prize from the American Comparative Literature Association and a Lambda Literary Award Finalist for LGBTQ Studies. Her research explores the literary and figurative aspects of Western philosophical and scientific discourse and investigates the engagement of African diasporic literature, film, and visual art with the historical concerns, knowledge claims, and rhetoric of Western science and philosophy. Professor Jackson is at work on a second book, tentatively titled “Obscure Light: Blackness and the Derangement of Sex-Gender.” It argues that antiBlackness constitutes the bedrock of modern Western logics of sex-gender in science and philosophical aesthetics and meditates on how its terrorizing vertical orders might be toppled by the transfiguring potentialities of Blackness. Ultimately, the project provides a critique of biocentrism (or biological reductionism and determinism) and elucidates the indistinction of sex-gender and race. Jackson’s work has appeared in Feminist Studies, e-flux, Gay and Lesbian Quarterly, Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences, South Atlantic Quarterly, and Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, and Technoscience. She has work forthcoming in Diacritics and Political Concepts.
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