DJ Lynnée Denise: Toni Morrison Inna London: Sonic Connections and the Literary Imagination (2020)

9 February 2021, dusan

“In this work, DJ Lynnée Denise offers a layered audio-visual response to the 1986 Guardian talk with Toni Morrison at the ICA. The visual essay brings together intimate reflections and propositions framed by Morrison’s 1992 novel Jazz. DJ Lynnée Denise explores the Black Atlantic sound, visuals and craft to render the life worlds behind Morrison’s oeuvre visible. Morrison’s writing is expanded into a visual vocabulary in which transatlantic conversations and new connections emerge. A praxis in translation.

Claudia Jones. Eartha Kitt. Fannie Lou Hamer. Lorraine Hansberry. Winnie Mandela. Sarah Vaughn. Lady G. Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Elizabeth Cotton. Augusta Savage. Judy Mowatt.

DJ Lynnée Denise creates what Louis Chude Sokei calls a diasporic “echo chamber” of Black women’s craft animated by the bricolage of drum and bass in which the sonic influences of Black Britain and Black America are an electronic undercurrent. The drum machine mixed with Morrison’s gestures, mannerisms, and reading speak to how Morrison’s is experienced through a multi-sensory engagement.

In Morrison’s interview with A.S. Byatt, she references the important inspiration of paintings in her writing practice and the relationship between musicians and their audience. In this work, a visual remixing of worlds happens in which Black girls jumping rope, everyday live in Harlem, the market space in Brixton are the aesthetics to Morrison’s writing or in her words “the access to the scene”. In DJ Lynnée Denise’s rendering, “the scene” is about Black wayward diasporic women whose craft is read through astrology, the politics of refusal and the secrets of Black social life.”

Publisher Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, March 2020
28 minutes
via ICA’s Five Volumes for Toni Morrison, HT dubravka

Interview with author: Chandra Frank (Journal of Popular Music Studies, 2020).

MP4 (218 MB)

Cedric J. Robinson: Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition (1983–)

8 February 2021, dusan

“In this ambitious work, Cedric Robinson demonstrates that efforts to understand black people’s history of resistance solely through the prism of Marxist theory are incomplete and inaccurate. Marxist analyses tend to presuppose European models of history and experience that downplay the significance of black people and black communities as agents of change and resistance. Black radicalism must be linked to the traditions of Africa and the unique experiences of blacks on western continents, Robinson argues, and any analyses of African American history need to acknowledge this.

To illustrate his argument, Robinson traces the emergence of Marxist ideology in Europe, the resistance by blacks in historically oppressive environments, and the influence of both of these traditions on such important twentieth-century black radical thinkers as W. E. B. Du Bois, C. L. R. James, and Richard Wright.”

Foreword by Robin D. G. Kelley
Publisher Zed Press, London, 1983
487 pages

Second edition
New Preface by the author
Publisher University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, 2000
ISBN 0807848298, 9780807848296
xxxiii+436 pages

Third edition, Revised and updated
New Preface by Damien Sojoyner and Tiffany Willoughby-Herard
Publisher University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, 2021
ISBN 1469663724, 9781469663722
liii+436 pages

Commentary: Robin D. G. Kelley (Boston Review, 2017), .

Reviews: Cornel West (Monthly Review, 1988), Black Perspectives roundtable (2016): Paul Hébert, Joshua Guild, Jennifer L. Morgan, Carole Boyce Davies, Austin McCoy, Robyn C. Spencer; Bedour Alagraa (CLR James Journal, 2018), Austin Smidt (PPE Sydney, 2020), Minkah Makalani (Boston Review, 2021).

Publisher
WorldCat (2nd ed.)

PDF (2nd ed., 2000, 14 MB)
PDF (3rd ed., 2020, 4 MB)

See also Robinson’s An Anthropology of Marxism (2001).

Avery F. Gordon: The Hawthorn Archive: Letters from the Utopian Margins (2018)

21 January 2021, dusan

“The Hawthorn Archive, named after the richly fabled tree, has long welcomed the participants in the various Euro-American social struggles against slavery, racial capitalism, imperialism, and authoritarian forms of order. The Archive is not a library or a research collection in the conventional sense but rather a disorganized and fugitive space for the development of a political consciousness of being indifferent to the deadly forms of power that characterize our society. Housed by the Archive are autonomous radicals, runaways, abolitionists, commoners, and dreamers who no longer live as obedient or merely resistant subjects.

In this innovative, genre- and format-bending publication, Avery F. Gordon, the “keeper” of the Archive, presents a selection of its documents—original and compelling essays, letters, cultural analyses, images, photographs, conversations, friendship exchanges, and collaborations with various artists. Gordon creatively uses the imaginary of the Archive to explore the utopian elements found in a variety of resistive and defiant activity in the past and in the present, zeroing in on Marxist critical theory and the black radical tradition. Fusing critical theory with creative writing in a historical context, The Hawthorn Archive represents voices from the utopian margins, where fact, fiction, theory, and image converge.

Reminiscent of the later fictions of Italo Calvino or Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project, The Hawthorn Archive is a groundbreaking work that defies strict disciplinary, methodological, and aesthetic boundaries. And like Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination, which established Gordon as one of the most influential interdisciplinary scholars of the humanities and social sciences in recent years, it provides a kaleidoscopic analysis of power and effect. The Hawthorn Archive’s experimental format and inventive synthesis of critical theory and creative writing make way for a powerful reconception of what counts as social change and political action, offering creative inspiration and critical tools to artists, activists, scholars across various disciplines, and general readers alike.”

Publisher Fordham University Press, 2018
ISBN 0823276325, 9780823276325
xii+472 pages

Interview with author: Krystian Woznicki (transversal, 2019).

Review: Eddie Bruce-Jones (Race & Class, 2019).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (46 MB)