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View into a gallery for a public lecture with audiences in seats with a speaker up front

Kevin Quashie | Quiet Storms

Thursday, November 21, 2019 | 4:00 pm–9:00 pm

5 p.m. Current exhibition on view until 10 pm

7:30 p.m. Quiet Storms

Lecture and Discussion with Kevin Quashie

Introduction by Pomona College Professor of English and Africana Studies Valorie D. Thomas

Reception to follow

How do we build relationships with the past and present that allow for alternative forms of resistance? While the current sociopolitical reality does not leave much space for hope for a different future, we can examine our reality through Black Studies, which has been addressing these topics through Black Nihilist thought. Cornel West’s influential article from 1994, “Nihilism in Black America,” which resonated in popular culture through artists like 50 Cent and his album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2003), addressed the same issues that find resonance in today’s popular culture, in songs like Lil Uzi Vert “XO Tour Life3,” in which the artist’s friend confirms in the refrain, “Baby, I am not afraid to die, all my friends are dead, push me to the edge.” While philosophical Afro-pessimist approaches, such as Calvin L. Warren’s Ontological Terror, are useful tools for devising a critical framework, there are other sources at hand that imagine different liberatory possibilities for the future. In his book The Sovereignty of Quiet, Kevin Quashie, Professor of English at Brown University, investigates the ways in which Blackness can be conceptualized outside of the notion of resistance. His approach creates space to think about different futurities that are fueled by an inexpressive “practice of knowing that is incomplete” outside of the dialectical.

Kevin Quashie | Quiet Storms

Lecture and discussion with Kevin Quashie in "Quiet Storms" with introduction by Pomona College Professor of English and Africana Studies Valorie D. Thomas. Student moderation by Michael Negussie PO '21. Recorded November 21, 2019. This was the 5th event in the Longing on a Large Scale program series curated by Nana Adusei-Poku and inspired by Todd Gray's exhibition, Euclidean Gris Gris.