Black Life: Michelle M. Wright

Programmed by Ryanaustin Dennis and Chika Okoye

Michelle M. Wright, a professor at Emory University in Atlanta, offers a lecture entitled “Using Time to Represent Blackness.” She argues that the complexity of black identities is poorly served by traditional representations of time—including those used by many academics in black studies. Drawing on the history of theoretical physics and concepts of race, gender, and sexuality in African diasporic writing, Wright shows how a “physics of blackness” is necessary for writing accurately and inclusively about blackness.

Michelle M. Wright is the Augustus Baldwin Longstreet Professor of English at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where she teaches courses in African American and Black/African Diaspora studies with an emphasis on gender and sexuality. She is the author of Becoming Black: Creating Identity in the African Diaspora and Physics of Blackness: Beyond the Middle Passage Epistemology. Her current book project, Afroeuropolis: Blackness in the Heart of Empire, looks at how black writers from across the Diaspora construct Europe as a space of freedom and oppression.