Imagine Otherwise: Zakiyyah Iman Jackson on Black Feminist Interdisciplinarity

May 28, 2020Podcast

What would happen if we threw out the boundaries between academic disciplines? How would our collective histories, conflicts, and corporealities change if we stopped assuming that art, science, and politics have ever been separate projects?

My guest in today’s episode of Imagine Otherwise, Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, argues that the complexity of blackness and gender reveal the deep imbrications of all of these projects at the bedrock of what it means to be human.

In episode 112 of Imagine Otherwise, I interview feminist scholar Zakiyyah Iman Jackson about her new book and the role of blackness in defining the human both historically and in our current world, how black feminist interdisciplinarity offers tools for resisting complex social violences, and why helping art and scholarship foment minor revolutions is how Zakiyyah imagines otherwise.

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You can also read the transcript and show notes on the Ideas on Fire website, which have links to Zakiyyah’s work and all the concepts, people, and events we discuss on the show (great for teaching!).

Guest: Zakiyyah Iman Jackson

Zakiyyah Iman Jackson is an assistant professor of English at the University of Southern California.

Working at the intersection of African diasporic literature and visual culture, continental philosophy, and feminist philosophies of science and biomedicine, her research explores historical and emergent links between the humanities and sciences on the question of being.  

Her new book Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World (2020) was recently published by NYU Press. It demonstrates that the history of racialized gender and maternity, specifically antiblackness, is indispensable to thought on matter, materiality, animality, and posthumanism. Becoming Human argues that African diasporic literary and visual cultural production alters the meaning and significance of being (human).

Zakiyyah’s scholarship has appeared in Feminist Studies, GLQ, Qui Parle, Catalyst, and South Atlantic Quarterly

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