Monica L. Miller will present at the seminar in Art and Material Culture of Africa and the African Diaspora on Tuesday, November 9, at 12:15 pm. Her talk is entitled “Rhizomatic Forms and Global Black Aesthetics.”

Miller writes, “In this paper, I will examine recently published memoirs and fictional accounts of growing up Black and Swedish and argue that the ways in which they experience and navigate Sweden’s racial regime and often, at least rhetorically, describe their way to Swedishness and Blackness, happens by way of an exploration of a sense of diasporic Blackness that is best figured as rhizomatic. This rhizomatic thinking reconfigures the way in which we think about the space/time of Blackness, and opens up theorization and recognition of black identities in a globally inclusive frame. These identities are related to, but not limited by, experiences of anti-blackness, and rather serve in the creation of an affiliative black consciousness. In particular, I’m interested in theorizing the narration of self and becoming in these memoirs as a kind of spatial and grammatical journey through tense and (black) time that creates, in the end, a sense of place and belonging.”

Monica L. Miller is Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Africana Studies and English at Barnard College, Columbia University. A specialist in contemporary African American and Afro-diasporic literature and cultural studies, she is the author of the award-winning book Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity. A frequent commentator in the media and arts worlds, she teaches and writes about black literature, art, and performance, fashion cultures, and contemporary Black European culture and politics. She is at work on a book project, Blackness Swedish Style: Race, Diaspora, and Belonging, which considers cultural production by the emerging black community in Sweden and its connection to black European identity formation and cultural/political movements. She also currently serves as the Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development at Barnard College.

This event will be held via Zoom. A link will be circulated to registrants by 10 am on the day of the event. This event will be live with automatic captions.