June 6, 2015 –

Queer indeterminacy, Black (im)permanence, Dispossession, Survival

The gentle palms of commas hold together this session’s convergence of invisibility and hypervisibility, ephemerality and endurance, polyvalence and lack, black-as-queer life. Whiteness is daily re-made as coherence and desirable solidness through the excessive forces that keep black, brown, and queer life practices in states of hypertension, paranoia, disarray, and fear of impending harm. Black, brown, and queer bodies become sites of abundant emotional addressability in the world as they hold affective excess: they are sometimes desirable and other times disruptive, always awaiting regulation.

Exploited in the present and extorted of futures, black, brown, and queer bodies are marked by the demand to sound out expectedly sensational comportment – held in vogue yet under imminent threat of possible attack. An exchange must be made: what else might presence sound and feel like?

In this session, we will play with an act of “redoubled erasure” as a writerly disruption to the “officially subsidized” archive of assimilationist, or whitened, desire. So we will imagine not only how “not to be caught alone under duress,” how not to be without each other, but also how to feel fucking good with what flows between us. With what can be imagined as vernacular materials, the stuff of children’s games and school houses, and policing – graphite, white chalk, water, glue, our hands, the subtle sound of etchings on walls – we will make a momentarily shared language for “everything [we] love [to] survive
dispossession,” and talk about how it feels after we’ve destroyed what we’ve made together.


Queer Indeterminacy, Black (Im)permanence, Dispossession, Survival


Rachel Ellis Neyra is an Assistant Professor of English at Wesleyan University. A poet-theorist, she researches and writes about Latina/o, Caribbean, and African Diasporic Poetry and Music, Third Cinema, revolutionary discourses in the Americas, Critical Race, Literary, and Queer Theories, and Translation. She’s currently working on her book manuscript, The Cry Articulates: Contemporary Radical Latina/o and Black Poetics, which engages Latina/o and Black literature, music, cinema, and performance art that deviate from “the promise of freedom” and the American dream, but in their failures to move from the insurgent to the revolutionary, feel out for us different imaginings, embodiments, and moods of anti-integrationist pleasure and beauty.