Kimberly Juanita Brown, The Repeating Body, Slavery's Visual Resonance in the Contemporary, Duke University Press (2015)
BOOK | Haunted by representations of black women that resist the reality of the body's vulnerability, Kimberly Juanita Brown traces slavery's afterlife in black women's literary and visual cultural productions. Brown draws on black feminist theory, visual culture studies, literary criticism, and critical race theory to explore contemporary visual and literary representations of black women's bodies that embrace and foreground the body's vulnerability and slavery's inherent violence. She shows how writers such as Gayl Jones, Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, and Jamaica Kincaid, along with visual artists Carrie Mae Weems and María Magdalena Campos-Pons, highlight the scarred and broken bodies of black women by repeating, passing down, and making visible the residues of slavery's existence and cruelty. Their work not only provides a corrective to those who refuse to acknowledge that vulnerability, but empowers black women to create their own subjectivities. In The Repeating Body, Brown returns black women to the center of discourses of slavery, thereby providing the means with which to more fully understand slavery's history and its penetrating reach into modern American life.
BIO | Kimberly Juanita Brown (Associate Professor / Dartmouth) My research and teaching gather at the intersection of African American/African diaspora literature and visual culture studies. In particular, I am interested in the relationship between visuality and black subjectivity. My first book, The Repeating Body: Slavery's Visual Resonance in the Contemporary (Duke University Press, 2015) examines slavery's profound ocular construction and the presence and absence of seeing in relation to the plantation space. I am currently at work on my second book, tentatively titled "Mortevivum: Photography and the Politics of the Visual." This project examines images of the dead in the New York Times in 1994 from four overlapping geographies: South Africa, Rwanda, Sudan and Haiti. "Mortevivum" explores the relationship between photography and histories of antiblackness on the cusp of the twenty-first century.