I am a writer, artist, educator, curator, and doctoral candidate at the University of Washington (UW) in the English program. I study Black feminist speculative literary and visual arts through cultural studies readings. My work is centered around concepts of speculation, phantasm, shadows, the not-quite-here, surrealism, and horror.
My dissertation project looks at moments of distorted reality in Black works and considers how these distortions offer worlds that resist legibility. These worlds are moments when Black people are able to “marvel in [our] inventiveness,” as Hortense Spillers writes.
I develop methodologies and reading practices in my work that asks for a particular view, or lens, to take towards Black arts. It speaks to Black consciousness reckoning of quasi- escapes from the anti-Black material realities through otherworldly aesthetics. The otherworldly Black consciousness that I suggest is represented through distorted representations of Black life can only make themselves more accessible and clear through a destruction of the world(s) organized through neoliberal, anti-Black logics. Therefore, examining the archive of Black speculative works-- where world destruction to build anew is paramount-- affirms that life-- Black life-- can be radically different in Black cultural producers' imaginations. Studying that difference can alter how we think about Black ontology, epistemology. and aesthetics in contemporary Black studies.
Finding other worlds in Black literature and arts runs throughout my careers in scholarship, teaching, writings, and curating.
I think about conversations that are staged in the gallery space. I see the art of curating as using spaces to stage insightful dialogue between artists, viewers, and the artifacts. I practice innovative and experimental ways of installing and planning, I also bring my scholarly interests into the public art programs and exhibitions I create. Theoretical conversations are not just for academics.
I teach composition and literary studies, both with an eye towards art criticism and experimentation. I encourage students to venture out of what they have considered “normal” when they are creating their own texts-- written or otherwise. We must be rule-breakers. My pedagogical commitments extend from my belief that students understand conceptual categories when they are exposed to a variety of creative and intellectual mediums; therefore, I practice and encourage multimodal and multi-disciplinary work. Read more about my teaching style here.
My scholarship also influences my visual arts practices. I am a printmaker and digital illustration artist. To explore alternative world building, I create works where I manipulate and distort human and animal bodies, making bricolage beings. And I play with color and texture to make abstract shapes and patterns. I offer visual stories of how I conceptualize another realm for myself, either by showing what I have seen or how it has altered my way of thinking. Read more about my art practices here.
My cultural studies and art writings that are usually of visual and literary analyses. I find my style to be less critical, argumentative and more curious, responsive. When reviewing other's work, I often think about how they articulate the shadows and unknowns of their worlds and our worlds. I think about how their work might allow viewers to reconsider what they thought was real, secure, stable, or knowable. Read more about my writings here.
With all of my projects I ask: How is this work, or how can I be, curious about alternative ways of being and knowing? And how can this alternative life be sustained in another world? & Because of these alternative ways of living, what is made possible/what can be found in this other world that is not possible/not found in our current reality?
I’m open to collaborating with other artists, writers, researchers, and collectives who feel like we have complementary goals and missions. After exploring my body of work throughout this site and you want to work together, hit me up!