***Photo of Women and Gender Studies Director, Dr. Angie Hattery and Scholar's Lecturer, Dr. Zakiyyah Iman Jackson
On November 10, 2015, Women and Gender Studies hosted its annual Scholar’s Lecture, a special event that provides an opportunity for our affiliated faculty members to share their research and work with our academic community. This year’s lecturer was Dr. Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, assistant professor of English at George Mason, and affiliated faculty of Women and Gender Studies.
Dr. Jackson presented on her book in progress, tentatively titled “The Blackness of Space Between Matter and Meaning,” which argues that key Black Atlantic literary, visual, and philosophical texts generate a critical praxis of humanity, paradigms of relationality, and modes of embodiment that alternately expose, alter, or reject the nexus of “race” and “species” discourse in Western science and philosophy. Reading the existential predicament of modern racial blackness through and against the human-animal distinction in Western philosophy and science reveals not only the mutual imbrication of “race” and “species” in Western thought but also invites a reconsideration of the extent to which exigencies of racialization have preconditioned and prefigured modern discourses governing the nonhuman. Ultimately, “The Blackness of Space” reveals the pernicious peculiarity of both prevailing foundational conceptions of “the human” rooted in Renaissance and Enlightenment humanism and current “multiculturalist” alternatives. What emerges from this questioning is an emphatically queer sense of being/knowing/feeling human, one that necessarily disrupts the foundations of the current hegemonic mode of the Human.
Dr. Jackson has published work in Feminist Studies (2014), GLQ (2011 and 2015), and The Studio Museum of Harlem’s Re:Collection: Selected Works from the Studio Museum of Harlem (2010). In 2012, she completed her Ph.D. in African Diaspora Studies with Designated Emphases in Women, Gender, and Sexuality and Film and Media at the University of California, Berkeley.
November 18, 2015