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Spring 2018 | CUNY Graduate Center | IDS 70100: Introduction to Queer Studies

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olivia’s presentation quotes

In my teaching, although this is a day-to-day skirmish for me because the site where we begin to teach is already white supremacist, I try very hard to create classroom conversations that work out how knowledge is linked to an ongoing struggle to end violence and that, while racist or homophobic practices are certainly not encouraged or welcome, when they do emerge (because they always do!) we need to situate these practices within the wider context of colonialism and anti-blackness. This is a pedagogy wherein the brutalities of racial violence are not descriptively rehearsed, but always already demand practical activities of resistance, encounter, and anti-colonial thinking.

-Katherine McKittrick quoted in The CLR James Journal, The Geographies of Blackness and Anti-Blackness: An Interview with Katherine McKittrick, Peter James Hudson, September 2013

 

Scholars committed to the politics of Black abolitionist work and Native decolonization must often assume postures of suspicion—“misanthropy”—and sometimes must outright refuse Western thoughts arrogant universalist assumptions, commonsense tautologies, and professed reforms to the category of the human; due to these ways, they often experience a great deal of hostility and violence. When decolonial and Black abolitionist thought has to contend with Western or European continental theory, specifically its critical theories of progressive (liberal) social change, one often encounters an epistemic crisis or what scholar Frank Wilderson refers to as an antagonism. Forced to wrestle with antagonisms that often require Native/Indigenous and Black death, the scholar committed to decolonization and abolition in the university seminar space often has to refuse necropolitical epistemological systems, which structure white liberal humanist ways of thinking and imagining the world. This kind of labor and violent confrontation in the classroom on a repeated basis can transform ones educational and professional experience into one rife with stress, anxiety, and unease.

-Tiffany Lethobo King, Lurking in the lines of posthumanist flight, Critical Ethnic Studies, Volume 3(1), 2017

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