“In the Wake” author Christina Sharpe to present Atwood Lecture

Tufts University professor Christina Sharpe will discuss her latest book, “In the Wake: On Blackness and Being,” when she presents the Atwood Lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12 in the Bazarsky Lecture Hall.

Sharpe is a professor in the Department of English and the programs in Africana and women’s, gender and sexuality studies. Her research interests include black visual studies, mid-19th century to contemporary African-American literature and culture, black queer studies and black diaspora studies.

“In the Wake” was published by Duke University Press in November 2016 and was named in the Guardian newspaper and The Walrus as one of the best books of 2016. The book interrogates literary, visual, cinematic and quotidian representations of black life that comprise what Sharpe calls the “orthography of the wake.” Activating multiple registers of “wake” – the path behind a ship, keeping watch with the dead, coming to consciousness – Sharpe illustrates how black lives are swept up and animated by the afterlives of slavery, and she delineates what survives despite such insistent violence and negation.

Sharpe’s first book, “Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects,” was published in 2010, also by Duke University Press. She recently completed the critical introduction to the Collected Poems of Dionne Brand (1982-2010) to be published by Duke University Press. Sharpe is also working on two monographs: “Black. Still. Life.” and “Refusing Necrotopia.”

The recipient of a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Sharpe recently contributed essays to the book accompanying Arthur Jafa’s first solo exhibition “Love is the Message, The Message is Death” and an essay called “The Crook of Her Arm” to a collection on the work of the artist Martine Syms.

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