What Could a Vessel Be?

  • Christina Sharpe, Writer, Professor and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities, York University
    The Great Hall, Graham Hall, Green College, UBC

    Thursday, October 19, 4:30-6:00pm with reception to follow
    in the series
    Sound, Silence, Power
  • “I wanted to write about silences and terror and acts that hover over generations, over centuries. I began by writing about my mother and grandmother.”
    (Ordinary Notes, p. 26, “Note 18”)

    Through quiet and cacophony, word and image, criticism and memoir, mourning and grief, Christina Sharpe’s Ordinary Notes meditates on her life and intellectual formation in the midst of an anti-Black world, taking readers into the core of Black life. “What Could a Vessel Be?” continues these reflections, proposing an exploration of the word/concept/idea of the vessel in times of catastrophe.

    This event is co-hosted with the Sound and the Humanities Research Cluster, UBC. Please note the early start time and special location of this event.

    Christina Sharpe is a writer, Professor, and Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities at York University in Toronto. She is the author of In the Wake: On Blackness and Being (Duke University Press, 2016)—named by the Guardian and the Walrus as one of the best books of 2016 and a nonfiction finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award—and Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects (Duke University Press, 2010), as well as Ordinary Notes (Knopf Canada, 2023). Ordinary Notes has been shortlisted for the 2023 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Canadian Nonfiction and longlisted for the 2023 US National Book Award for Nonfiction.

    Attending to sound opens up myriad potentialities. While historically silence has been wielded as an instrument of oppression, and listening practices have served to categorize acoustic expressions into hierarchical binaries—sound/noise, melody/racket, speech/babel, human voice/animal howl—recent scholars, practitioners and ordinary people have become attuned to the ways in which sound and listening may prove a potent source of empowerment, resistance and care. This series attends to the decolonizing and disruptive potential of sound in its many manifestations. Through a speaker series with some of the most dynamic thinkers in humanistic sound studies, as well as reading groups and a capstone symposium, participants are invited to note the entanglement of sound, silence and power in our everyday lives, politics and dwelling.

    Join us for invited speakers exploring the potentialities of sound from a diversity of disciplinary perspectives, including Black Studies, Indigenous Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, More-than-Human Geographies, Transpacific Studies, Decolonial Studies and Disability Studies.

    Series Conveners: Tamara Mitchell, French, Hispanic and Italian Studies; and Rosanne Sia, Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice

  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.

October 19th, 2023 from  5:00 PM to  6:30 PM
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