Symposium on Diverse Epistemologies: SpacesBetween on feeling, trauma, and embodied knowledge

Monday, May 8, 2023
Center for Black Studies Research, South Hall 4603, UCSB

In her presentation, Professor Batiste takes a critical creative approach to the relationship between performance, violence, and death in Black Los Angeles. Her investigations of the ways performance served Black Angelinos in negotiating loss and grief turns towards sensitive and vulnerable interiority. This focus on Black feeling challenges external modes of understanding black life and identity. In the context of extraordinary millennial violence, Black performers offer feeling as the grounds of a shared blackness and mode of mutual recognition. The work and Batiste's methodology challenge the primary activity of Black artistic impulses or Black grief or Black life as in the thrall of oppression and resistance or notions of rights and redress. In a multi-modal form, Batiste pursues the ineffable. Through performance, poetry, and creative essays, she convenes with the shifting sensibilities of grief to develop a renewed foundation for approaching a knowledge of Black being.

Join us as we welcome Dr. Stephanie Leigh Batiste, Professor of English, Black Studies, Theater and Dance, and Comparative Literature at UC Santa Barbara and Director of the Hemispheric South/s Research Initiative. She has also proudly served as the Associate Director of the Center for Black Studies Research since Spring of 2021. Professor Batiste’s research areas include Race and Racism, Performance Studies, African American Literature and Culture, American Studies, Cultural Studies, and U.S. History. Professor Batiste’s award-winning book, Darkening Mirrors: Imperial Representation in Depression Era African American Performance (Duke University Press, 2011) focuses on the relationship between power and identity in black performance cultures to reimagine Black self-conception, national belonging, and modernism. Her current book project focuses on affect and feeling in relation to violence and death in Black millennial performance in Los Angeles.

She is co-editor of the NYU Press Book Series Performance and American Cultures. Batiste is a poet, playwright, and actor. She has written three mixed-form plays: Stacks of Obits, Young Love Found and Lost: Six Poems in a Circle, and Blue Gold & Butterflies and collaborated with students in developing collaborative adaptations and original work. Her solo show Stacks of Obits about street murder in Los Angeles has been performed nationally and internationally.

Please RSVP or register for the livestream in the PDF below.