Dr. C. Riley Snorton is a Professor of English Langauge and Literature and Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at The University of Chicago. Earning his Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania with graduate certificates in Africana Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Dr. Snorton's work focuses on cultural theory, queer and transgender theory and history, Africana studies, performance studies, and popular culture. He is the author of Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity (2017) and Nobody is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low (2014).
Dr. Snorton will be visiting campus for his lecture, "Fleshy Encounters: Black Feminisms and the Mutability of Gender," as well as leading a graduate seminar during his visit.
Please check back for more information soon!
Talk Abstract: This talk traces how flesh figures one route into the proverbial question of how matter matters. Juxtaposing the archives of J. Marion Sims, lionized as the father of American gynecology, with the cross-gender maneuvers of fugitive actors in 19th century slave narratives, Snorton frames how transness became conceivable, as a kind of being in the world in which gender though biologized was not fixed but fungible, which is to say, revisable within blackness, as a condition of possibility. Flesh then becomes a crucial analytic for understanding “gender” as a racial arrangement related to shifting, complex and even contradictory understandings of ontology, ethnology and sovereignty in sexology and antebellum U.S. law.
This event is co-sponsored by The Student Life Multicultural Center.