pro-Black, non-binary femme essayist, visual artist, and instructor.
My work is centered around concepts of speculation, phantasm, shadows, the not-quite-here, and so on.
I study contemporary Black American speculative arts and literature to understand how these works contribute to world-building techniques, offering critiques and insights to our material realities. The worlds they imagine demonstrate alternative manifestations of Black geographies, relationalities, and epistemologies. Black writers and artists (especially queer and femme identities) use forbidden desires and pleasures to construct worlds where such tabooed experiences exist. I’m particularly interested in the underlying logics–– the post-structuralist “grammar” –– that govern the other worlds. Because of these alternative logics, what is made possible in these other worlds that can’t be possible in capitalist, colonial, heteronormative realities?
In my visual craft (printmaking and illustrations, mostly) and writings, I create works that are obscure, in one way or another. I offer visual demonstrations of how I conceptualize an other realm for myself, either by showing what I have seen, as is the case with Who Is She?, or how it has altered my way of thinking, as with From My Experience. I call what I offer relics from the other world. Gifts from my imagination to yours.
In my teaching and workshops, I encourage students to venture out of what they have considered “normal” when they are creating their own works, written or otherwise. These communities that we engulf ourselves within teach us how we think; they imbue our ideas. It’s important to break down and articulate where these ideas are coming from and who are they serving. To do this, we have to break out of preconceived notions of creation (or composition, if you prefer) and enter into something new. We must be rule-breakers.
I’m open to collaborating with other artists, researchers, organizations, etc., who feel like we have complementary goals and missions. Here's my UW profile where you can find the courses I teach, my CV, and the positions that I currently hold!