Dept. of Women's and Gender Studies
Transgender Studies Series
Black Femme Praxis and the Promise of Black Gender
Dr. Treva Ellison (Dartmouth College, Women's and Gender Studies and Geography)
Description: This article traces the archival flight of three Black femmes—Tisha, Rita, and Mary Lee—in the 1950s and contemporary print culture. I offer two ideas in the service of analyzing and interpreting Black queer and trans aesthetics: the promise of Black gender and Black femme praxis. The promise of Black gender is the narrative that Black people can repair the effects of racism by adopting gender and sexual norms. This talk analyzes appearances of Black gender and sexually non-conforming people in 1950s print culture to emphasize how policing and criminalization work to outline the shape of this promise. Black femme praxis describes the collaborative strategies we can evince from Black queer and trans aesthetics. Both concepts offer ways to interpret and read Black queer and trans aesthetics that add critical dimensionality to how we practice Black women’s history and Black feminism.
Location: RDJC, 162 Ryders Ln, New Brunswick, Conf. Rm 103
Organized by: Prof. Deb Vargas, Henry Rutgers Term Chair in Comparative Sexuality, Gender, and Race and Prof. Kyla Schuller, Associate Professor