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A painting by Yashua Klos called Diagram of How She Hold it All Together.


Show Don’t Tell: Describing Life with Kevin Quashie and Christina Sharpe

Time: April 13th, 2022 12:00pm-1:30pm

Location: Zoom webinar.

This roundtable will seek to address itself to “black life” through descriptions of its particulars—bringing together several scholars of black life with several objects that, in part, index that life. Ranging broadly across the expressive terrain of black art, poetry, and thought, this roundtable will present some small demonstration of the various ways we might address ourselves to the aliveness that lives in representations of life, without disregarding the wake of historical emergence that radiates from them.  

Jared Robinson.

Jared Robinson is a poet and critic from Indianapolis, Indiana. In his academic work, he engages the writing of the enslaved in America as a mode for the critique of Enlightenment. This engagement takes the form of a dual attending to the origins of African American literature and the developing philosophical propositions undergirding Black Studies as a discipline. In his poetry, he makes monuments to the fact that he is allowed to spend time thinking about something other than slavery and its metaphysical apologists. He does not care for this California weather. He is glad to greet you. 

Christina Sharpe.

Christina Sharpe is a writer, Professor, and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities at York University in Toronto. She is also a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Race, Gender & Class (RGC), at the University of Johannesburg and a Matakyev Research Fellow at the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands at the Arizona State University. Sharpe is the author of Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects and In the Wake: On Blackness and Being. Her third book Ordinary Notes will be published in 2023 by Knopf (Canada), FSG (USA), and Daunt (UK). Recent essays appear in Art in America; Alison Saar Of Aether and Earthe; Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America; Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America; and Jennifer Packer: The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing. Her critical introduction to Nomenclature: New and Collected Poems of Dionne Brand will be published in 2022. She is working on a monograph called Black. Still. Life.

Kevin Quashie.

Kevin Quashie teaches black cultural and literary studies and is a professor in the Department of English at Brown University. Primarily, he focuses on black feminism, queer studies, and aesthetics, especially poetics. He is the author or editor of four books, most recently The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture (2012) and Black Aliveness, or A Poetics of Being (2021). Currently, he is thinking about a book of black sentences and black ideas.


This event will be held online, via Zoom webinar. It will be free and open to the public. Spanish interpretation will be available. Live captioning will be available.

If you require any other accommodations for effective communication to fully participate in this event, please contact Barbara Montano at or 510-664-4324 with as much advance notice as possible and at least 7-10 days in advance of the event.