All posts tagged: University of Rochester

Introduction / Issue 31: Black Studies Now and the Countercurrents of Hazel Carby

Jump to Table of Contents by Joel Burges, Alisa V. Prince, and Jeffrey Allen Tucker Featured image: Ellen Gallagher, Bird in Hand, 2006. © Ellen Gallagher. Image © Tate. She was dismayed when she realized that what she wanted to imagine, what she was struggling to bring into being, now seemed beyond her reach. Was it improbable or impossible? What could she dream in a present of imminent environmental catastrophe? How could she sculpt the contours of a future when the future, any future, had been foreclosed?—Hazel V. Carby, “Black Futurities: Shape-Shifting beyond the Limits of the Human”1 In winter 2019, when Hazel V. Carby came to the University of Rochester (UR) as the Distinguished Visiting Humanist, no one knew global pandemic and large-scale anti-racist protests awaited us one year later in the spring, summer, and now fall of 2020.2 We did not anticipate the rise of an anti-immigrant visa crisis in higher education as we began to write this introductory essay, or the revelation of the death of Daniel Prude as we were finalizing …

Thinking About the Forest and the Trees

William Kentridge thinks a lot about thinking: its errant trails, its spasmodic lurches, its spectacular leaps. Drawing, he has often stressed, can function as a form of thinking but equally– and especially when chased by the artist’s eager eraser – it enacts a wilful un-thinking in which every notion can potentially be undone, and every idea arrives partnered with a nay-saying dialectical double. These revisionary “second thoughts” often assume human, usually Kentridgian form, striding onstage during the artist’s public lectures to chide, correct and contradict. Fingers are wagged, eyebrows raised, eyes rolled in exasperation. “The horn of the rhinoceros is in the wrong place,” one superego character chimes. “I don’t want to hear it,” the other retorts. “But if you would just take the time to look at these textbooks, you could see how it could be done better…” the first nags. “Just fuck off! Just fuck off!” the second repeats exasperatedly. At “Second-Hand Reading,” Kentridge’s recent keynote lecture at the University of Rochester, the themes of second thoughts and second selves (the latter, Stanley …