Technically Speaking: The Mechanics of Race and the Machineries of Blackness

10:00am - 1:30pm / Wednesday 27th June 2018 / Venue: Arthur West Room (G.22) Abercromby SQ (south)
Type: Seminar / Category: Department / Series: Centre for the Study of International Slavery
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Technically Speaking: The Mechanics of Race and the Machineries of Blackness in Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah.

Toni Morrison has persistently called in her criticism for a participatory engagement with her work on blackness. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has, in conversation and in her most recent fiction, suggested that Africans (in the diaspora) articulate themselves differently from African Americans.

In a comparative reading of Song of Solomon (1977) and Americanah (2013), this talk offers a fresh analysis of Morrison’s views on blackness through Adichie’s Afrodiasporic lens. Exploring the ways in which Americanah speaks (back) to Song of Solomon’s representation of black cultural ontologies through (gendered) technological innovations, the talk seeks to complicate blackness in Morrison’s work in order to enlarge understandings of, and extend discussions around, the global character and influence of her canonical oeuvre within a broader, contemporary project of black cosmopolitanism.

Speaker: Visiting Scholar, Dr Aretha Phiri (Rhodes University)

Discussant: Dr Nydia Swaby (SOAS University of London)

Refreshments & lunch will be provided.