Shaka McGlotten, "The Black Data Project"

Shaka McGlotten, "The Black Data Project"
October 26, 2017 - 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Shaka McGlotten, Assoc. Prof. Media Studies and Doris and Carl Kempner Distinguished Prof. Media Studies (SUNY Purchase), presents:


"The Black Data Project"

Public Lecture, Thurs. Oct. 26, 2017, Cone 113, 2:00-3:30.


“Black data” is an associative, atmospheric heuristic intended to evoke an interlocking assemblage of meanings tied to technology, politics, and racialized blackness: the opacities of technological black boxes, the violences of black sites and black ops, the revolutionary impulses embodied by anarchist black blocs, and the historical and contemporaneous ways people of African descent are subjected to forms of technological mastery (as commodities, demographic problems, or vectors of risk, for example). Simultaneously, “black data” refers to political aesthetic counter-practices, from forms of black fugitivity that seek to create alter-publics or find refuge in “the undercommons,” to the reimagining of black histories, presents, and futures through the creative lens of Afrofuturism. 

Shaka McGlotten (they/them) is a social anthropologist with a background in the fine arts. Their work brings together the theoretical insights of queer studies with the methodological toolkit of anthropology to consider new media technologies in relation to queer cultures. They have published and lectured on public sex, online cultures, pornography, gaming, zombies, human waste, voguing, and more. Their first book, Virtual Intimacies: Media, Affect, and Queer Sociality, was published by SUNY Press in 2013. They are the co-editor of two edited collections, Black Genders and Sexualities (with Dana-ain Davis) and Zombie Sexuality (with Steve Jones). Currently they are at work on two book projects: The Political Aesthetics of Drag and Black Data: Queer of Color Critique Meets Network Culture Studies. In 2014 they were the recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Award for Experienced Researchers and in 2017-2018 they are a fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude.