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