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“I Imagined Many Moons in the Sky Lighting the Way to Freedom,” Janelle Monae and Femme Disturbance

Sun, Nov 16, 9:15 to 10:30am, PRCC, 202-C (LCD)

Abstract

Janelle Monae is an American visual artist whose three-part concept album, Metropolis takes place in a science fiction universe which refers to histories of anti-slavery and black power movements in the US and potential futures of android miscegenation, passing, and escape. By reading Monae alongside Kara Keeling’s book The Witch’s Flight, I argue that Monae’s non-binary android gender invites a trans of color reading that sees femme of color embodiment as exceeding western ways of knowing. This paper considers what strategies femmes of color are using to disturb neocolonialism and its supporting institutions: capitalism, heteropatriarchy, racism, ableism.

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