Emily, John, and B take on cinema theory at the intersection of critical race theory in this installment of Always Already, discussing Kara Keeling’s book Witch’s Flight: The Cinematic, The Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense. How does the concept and figure of the “black femme” create the conditions for the possibility of rethinking race, gender, and sexuality–or common sense? But, conversely, what conditions the creation of the black femme in cinematic space that make the normative white and capitalist subject safe? Using Deleuze as a creative font, Keeling offers us a glimpse into “the cinematic” in order to untangle how a radical repositioning of our thinking can offer new ways of understanding common sense. Along the way we also talk about the figure of the witch, Afro-pessimism and Black optimism, racial capitalism, the importance of affectivity and the sensor-motor complex, rationality, and Keeling’s interventions into critical theory.
Don’t miss out on advice on how to deal with family members during the holidays disrespecting your romantic partner, and dream analysis for a nightmarish dream featuring accidental killing.
Thanks to listener Hanna for suggesting the Keeling text. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. NEW intro music, “Static Loops”, from our friend Leah, with the old standby music from B as our outro music. Stick around all the way until the end for the full version of another of Leah’s original songs, “Swim Swim Swim”.
- Keeling’s website at USC; follow Keeling on Twitter
- The Witch’s Flight at Duke University Press
- Holly Mayne reviews The Witch’s Flight at Black Camera
- Sydnee Thompson on the black queer femme, at Black Girl Dangerous
- Video of Keeling on “Black Futures” at the Between Nothingness and Infinity: Ontologies of Blackness symposium at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, July 2015
- Our previous episodes on Afro-pessimism and Black Optimism and on Wilderson’s Red White and Black
- Keeling writes of a “soundtrack” that could accompany the book, where “each chapter corresponds with a song” (6); we put together a Spotify playlist of Keeling’s soundtrack