• Black Time, Technics, and the Haptic •

Elizabeth Reich
Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh

June 25, 2021, 3:00-4:30 EDT (videoconference)
▶︎ Registration link

This talk will begin with a consideration of how and why theorizations of Black time(s) remain necessary to engage the socio-political realities and paradoxes of Black life in the diaspora; and to interrogate and reconceptualize accepted epistemologies and ontologies that delegitimize, constrain, and render distorted or incomprehensible Black movement, experience, and expression. My articulation of Black times, and the problematics they engage theoretically as well as in daily life, will include readings of contemporary Black cultural production as well as what I will describe as “the haptic,” a form of knowing, being, and acting by which I argue Black peoples can create lifeworlds of unrestricted dimensionality. Operating from the premise that Blackness has already been constructed as a category outside of “the human,” I will argue for an understanding of Black survival and resistance praxis as inherently technological, extra-temporal, and subversive, and focus in particular on how Black embodiment may disrupt, extend, or resolve seemingly immanent paradoxes. The talk will bring together diverse theoretical frameworks by Bernard Stiegler, Kodwo Eshun, Fred Moten, Katherine McKittrick, and Sun Ra, among others. To demonstrate the importance of reconceptualizing the sphere of the technical and the urgency of redressing the times, spaces and possibilities for liberatory Black life, I will be drawing on analyses of Black media and internet work, including from films by Kathryn Bigelow, Jordan Peele and Boots Riley; television series by Terence Nance and Peele and Misha Green; and #BlackLivesMatter.

• • •

Elizabeth Reich is Associate Professor of Film Studies in the Department of English at the University of Pittsburgh and Affiliate Faculty with the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics and the Program for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Her research focuses on the intersections of Black Studies, digital media, Afrofuturism, critical race studies, queer and trans studies, and social movements in historical, global, and transnational contexts. She is author of Militant Visions: Black Soldiers, Internationalism and the Transformation of American Cinema and her coedited collection, Justice in Time: Critical Afrofuturism and the Struggle for Black Freedom, is under contract at University of Minnesota Press. She is also coeditor of three special journal issues, “New Approaches to Cinematic Identification,” in Film Criticism with Scott Richmond, “Reliquary for the Digital in Nine Key Terms,” in ASAP/Journal with Stephen Yeager, and “Black Film Feminisms” in Film Criticism with Courtney Baker and Ellen ScottShe is working on her second monograph, “Reparative Ecologies: Time and the Globe,” and recent essays have appeared in ASAP/JournalFilm Criticism, Screen, Post45, ASAP/Journal, World Records Journal, and African American Review. Liz is a contributing editor to ASAP/Journal and serves on the editorial board of Film Criticism.

• • •

▶︎ The event is free, but registration is required for access to the Zoom link. Upon registration, you will receive the link to the event content in your order confirmation email, and in a reminder email before the event starts. Registration link (same as above).

• • •

Organized by:
The Spiral Collective in collaboration with
The Communications Program, Glendon Campus, York University
The Department of Cinema and Media Studies, York University