If we were to draw a venn diagram with Sound Studies, the Early Modern Black Atlantic, and Flamenco as separate categories, what would the threefold overlapping area offer for the study of who/how we are, and who/how we know? What would an immersion into that overlapping world reveal about our relationality as beings for whom time/place are both constrains and conditions of existence?

Can Level II evaluations be crafted so as to yield better and more revealing ways to ask these questions?

Here–this site–is what a try at this reads/looks/sounds like

The works in my orals lists are intended to help me endeavor in a twofold study: firstly, I seek to gain an understanding of the co-constitutiveness of (neoliberal) collective sense-making, historicizing, and racialization as foundational elements in the current onto-epistemological order, itself constitutive of a “thick” reading of the present, of a “plural now,” that can’t be understood without its precedents. And secondly, thinking forward to my dissertation work, I hope to equip my methodological repertoire through works that excavate and take seriously the agency of silenced historical subjects—their otherwise audible echoes in the archive—as their social practices and cultural expressions evidence “micro non-participations” (Lepecki) in the formation of what is now the neoliberal social order.  

My intention is to embrace rather than avoid the possibility of engaging in “presentist” or anachronistic analyses of primary and secondary texts on the early modern black Atlantic, with special attention paid to the Spanish Empire’s role in shaping this geopolitical formation. My methodological orientation is being vaguely shaped around the necessity to create, as Foucault would have it, a “history of the present,” inspired partially by Geraldine Heng’s assertion that “[m]odernity and the present can […] be grasped as the habitat of multiple temporalities that braid together a complex and plural ‘now’” (22), and that the past is in fact saturated “by modernities that estrange medieval [or early modern] time in ways that render medieval practices legible in modern terms” (22).  

Through past research on the embodied, performative poetry of Black Arts Movement poets, and through more recent readings of Sylvia Wynter’s re-historization of the “1492 event,” alongside her ideas around music’s paradigm shifting possibilities, I’ve grown invested in the epistemic value of the sonic and its potential to rearrange our sensibilities toward a liberatory otherwise, so I am complementing my list on the Early Modern Black Atlantic with another on the “Onto-Epistemologies of Flamenco,” and finally a third on Sound Studies, the latter having a focus on rhythm(s), embodiment, and Blackness. Thinking sound and the Early Modern, I see an opportunity here by engaging questions of common sense through the prism of sound as applied to the archive.

One of my main questions is how sound operates within the antagonism of the sensible and the unsensible, understood as state- and race- making artifacts–as historically contingent categories that can both serve power interests and subvert them.  

Works Cited

Heng, G. (2018). Inventions/Reinventions: Race Studies, Modernity, and the Middle Ages. In The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages (pp. 15-54). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108381710.002 

Lepecki, Andre. Interview: Son[I]A #248. André Lepecki. https://rwm.macba.cat/en/extra/sonia-248-andre-lepecki-deleted-scenes.