The Color Pynk: Janelle Monae, Janet Mock, and Black Femme Futures – a talk by Omise’eke Tinsley, 4/15

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Please join us for a public event featuring Dr. Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley, who will deliver her talk titled ““The Color Pynk: Janelle Monáe, Janet Mock, and Black Femme Futures” at 1:30PM on Monday, April 15th, in Tutt Science Lecture Hall.

In this talk, Dr. Tinsley analyzes recent black femme cultural production as a black feminist poetics of survival for the Trump era. A queer gender that self-consciously embodies and subverts cultural standards of femininity, black femme remains undertheorized in contemporary feminist, queer, and critical race discourses where black queer feminine thinkers have been dismissed, Janet Mock notes, as “less serious, colluding with patriarchy, merely using our bodies rather than our brains … pressured to transcend presentation in order to prove our woke-ability.” But in the crisis in U.S. feminism following Donald Trump’s 2016 defeat of Hillary Clinton, black femme intellectuals have insisted with increasing urgency that the particularity of our racialized (black), gendered (feminine), and sexual (queer) imaginations offers important vantage points from which to challenge heteropatriarchy. This talk engages black femme-inist imaginations in Janelle Monáe’s music video “PYNK” and Janet Mock’s writing for the television drama Pose (2018) as creative re-scriptings of feminist imaginations of solidarity.

Omise’eke Tinsley is Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Associate Director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas, Austin, where she specializes in Black Feminism and Black Queer Studies. She is currently the F.O. Matthiessen Visiting Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at Harvard University. Dr. Tinsley’s work centers art as a mode of theorizing resistance to anti-blackness, misogynoir, and heteropatriarchy. Her first book Thiefing Sugar: Eroticism Between Women in Caribbean Literature (2010) emphasizes that this mode of creative queer and feminist theorizing has a long, transnational history. Ezili’s Mirrors: Black Queer Genders and the Work of the Imagination (2018), winner of the Caribbean Studies Association’s 2018 Barbara Christian Literary Award, explores spirituality and sexuality in 21st century black cultural production from the Caribbean and African North America. Her latest book, Beyoncé in Formation: Remixing Black Feminism (2018) meditates on the creative possibilities for black queer femininity in the contemporary U.S. South.

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