Habiba Ibrahim - "Black Age" - Kaneesha Cherelle Parsard

Thursday, February 17, 2022 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Habiba Ibrahim
"Habiba Ibrahim's Black Age opens up powerful new vocabularies and paradigms for thinking about Black cultural expression--and indeed Black life. Through beautifully argued analyses of literary texts, Ibrahim produces startling and profound insights into age, temporality, modernity, race, subjectivity, and the very category of the human."— Gayle Wald
Habiba Ibrahim discusses Black Age: Oceanic Lifespans and the Time of Black Life. She will be joined in conversation by Kaneesha Cherelle Parsard.
Presented in partnership with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago
Virtual Event
About the book: Black Age: Oceanic Lifespans and the Time of Black Life posits age, life stages, and lifespans as a central lens through which to view Blackness, particularly with regard to the history of transatlantic slavery. Focusing on Black literary culture of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Habiba Ibrahim examines how the history of transatlantic slavery and the constitution of modern Blackness has been reimagined through the embodiment of age. She argues that Black age—through nearly four centuries of subjugation—has become contingent, malleable, and suited for the needs of enslavement. As a result, rather than the number of years lived or a developmental life stage, Black age came to signify exchange value, historical under-development, timelessness, and other fantasies borne out of Black exclusion from the human.
About the author: Habiba Ibrahim is associate professor of English at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is the author of Troubling the Family: The Promise of Personhood and the Rise of Multiracialism (2012) and Black Age: Oceanic Lifespans and the Time of Black Life (2021). She is the co-editor of the South Atlantic Quarterly special issue, “Black Temporality in Times of Crisis” (January 2022). Among other venues, her work appears in African American Review and American Literary History.
About the interlocutor: Kaneesha Cherelle Parsard writes about the legacies of slavery and emancipation in the Caribbean and broader Americas, with an emphasis on how gender and sexuality structure race, labor, and capital. Kaneesha is currently working on her first book project, An Illicit Wage. She is assistant professor of English at the University of Chicago.
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