Interview: J.T. Roane on Plotting the Black Commons – Epistemic Unruliness 24

After a dissertating hiatus, James returns with a new Epistemic Unruliness interview featuring Dr. J.T. Roane, Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the Univ. of Cincinnati. The pair discuss J.T.’s article, “Plotting the Black Commons,” recently published in Souls, A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, that reads an archive of Black ecology and social life out of Black folks’ engagements with the Chesapeake Bay estuary in the Tidewater region of Virginia and Maryland. Through multiple reads of “the plot” and “plotting,” J.T. holds up practices of subsistence farming as well as small-scale fishing, oystering, and crabbing traditions as exemplifying a Black epistemology of reciprocity for the commons that stands in distinction to the theologies of dominion and mastery that undergird the logics of white supremacist settler colonialism, and that gave rise to our current climate crises — or as J.T. explains it, “the so-called Anthropocene or the racial capitalocene.” James and J.T. also discuss pedagogical praxis, and James answers a listener email on-air about Afro-pessimist takes on the Anthropocene.

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