Coming Soon: Kobena Mercer and Arthur Jafa Interviews

The now five-year old Black cultural studies site was set up because of a lack of resources on the internet around questions of ethnicity, race, and gender among populations of the African diaspora. (though there are certainly some wonderful exceptions) We certainly do not make any claims for this collection of resources as exhaustive. The creators of this page decided to include bibliographical information, essays, and interviews on cultural workers working in such areas as Black literary criticism, Black popular culture, Critical Race Theory and film theory. The decision was made to assemble this information under the rubric "Black Cultural Studies", a problematic and contested term which will no doubt require some revision, but one which, in 2002, seems better than any other we've been thinking about.

By deploying the term "cultural studies" we take as a starting principle the work of Stuart Hall and The Birmingham Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies. The signifier "Black" and the "meanings that have condensed onto it", in the words of Stuart Hall, form the conceptual basis of the web site. Because the construction and maintenance of this site is a formidable task, we began by risking what Gina Dent called "the essentialist gesture" in including only scholars of African descent. As you will discover from the list that follows, most of these thinkers/writers/cultural workers are situated in largely Euro-centered educational institutions in the U.S. and England. This too must be problematized because these institutions function as hegemonic sites. The wider project in cultural studies has always been to destabilize the disciplinary divisions of labor within the academy, as well as to move cultural and political work away from the confines of the academy. Nevertheless, those divisions are very much still in place

Though our initial intent was to continually add cultural workers to this initial list, we have found this to be a mammoth task. The site was developed and is run by three people who work full-time outside the academy and we have no funding. Thus, the site does go through long periods of relative inactivity. Thus, the list below will hopefully not be misunderstood as a canon of any sort. Rather, the names arose on the part of a consenus amongst the three site creators and is in no way as comprehensive as we would like. The clearly "low budget" graphical appearance of the site has, sadly, remain unchanged. None of us are proficient in HTML, let alone web design, though we are looking for help in the latter area.

What the site has done is to generate approximately 200 emails per week since about a month after it was put online. We apologize to those we have not been able to answer, and the words of encouragement and thanks we have received. Much of that email has come from junior high and high school students and teachers from many parts of the world. And that is gratifying because we precisely wanted to reach those without access to the classrooms of some of the scholars and thinkers represented here.

We hope that this web site will provide some helpful resources for those working to dismantle what bell hooks calls "the white supremacist, homophobic, capitalist patriarchy" we inhabit. This site is still strictly non-commercial.

WHAT'S NEW?

Tim Haslett
Nimmy Abiaka
Paula Lee

CLICK BELOW TO REACH THE PAGES FOR EACH OF THE FOLLOWING:

ELIZABETH ALEXANDER

HOUSTON A. BAKER, JR.

BARBARA CHRISTIAN

MANTHIA DIAWARA

ANN duCILLE

CHERYL DUNYE

PAUL GILROY

STUART HALL

PHILLIP BRIAN HARPER

MAE G. HENDERSON

ARTHUR JAFA

ISAAC JULIEN

WAHNEEMA LUBIANO

KOBENA MERCER

VALERIE SMITH

HORTENSE J. SPILLERS

CLAUDIA TATE

MICHELE WALLACE

LINKS

URL: http://www.blackculturalstudies.org
last updated: June 6, 2008
email: info@blackculturalstudies.org