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Friday, April 21 • 3:45pm - 5:15pm
Black Politics in the Reagan Era

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In our current political condition, many of us are looking back to the Reagan era, remembering the climate of dissent and rage that made our pleasures political. Presenters on this panel look back at a range of black musical genres and artists, from Prince to punk rock to house, asking just how their work articulated the “sign o’ the times,” and what it meant to “party like it’s 1999” as people died and wars were waged. The papers explore the structures of collectivity in the ways these musics were formed, as well as the kinds of communality these musics and artists galvanized.

Jayna Brown, “’These are Coptic Times,’ Thrashing to the Bad Brains, 1983”
Tavia Nyong’o, “Strange Relationship: Prince and the Political”
DJ Lynée Denise, “Fatal Pleasure: House Music, Disappearing Bodies, and Dance Floor Ghosts”

avatar for Salamishah Tillet

Salamishah Tillet

Twitter | | Salamishah Tillet is an associate professor of English and Africana Studies and a faculty member of the Alice Paul Center for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality at the University of Pennsylvania. She has appeared on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS, and in Ebony and Essence, published articles with The Atlantic.com, Elle, The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, The Nation, The Root, Time.com, and regularly contributes to the New York Times. She is the author of Sites of Slavery: Citizenship and Racial Democracy in the Post-Civil Rights Imagination and is currently working on a book on the civil rights icon, Nina Simone... Read More →


Jayna Brown

Twitter | | Jayna Brown is Associate Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at UC Riverside. Her first book, Babylon Girls: Black Women Performers and the Shaping of the Modern was published by Duke University Press in 2008. Her new book Black Utopias: Speculative Life and the Music of Other Worlds (under peer review at Duke University Press) traces black radical utopian practice and vision, from the psychic travels of Sojourner Truth to Sun... Read More →
avatar for DJ Lynée Denise

DJ Lynée Denise

DJ Lynnée Denise works as an artist who incorporates self-directed, project-based research into interactive workshops, music events, and performative lectures. She coined the term “DJ Scholarship” to explain DJ culture as a mix-mode research practice, both performative and subversive in its ability to shape and define social experiences, shifting the public perception of the role of a DJ from being purveyor of party music to an archivist, cultural worker, and information specialist who assesses, collects, organizes, preserves, and provides access to music determined to have long term value. Denise is currently a Visiting Artist at California State... Read More →

Tavia Nyong’o

Tavia Nyong’o is Professor of African-American, American Studies and Theatre Studies at Yale University. His first book, The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory (Minnesota, 2009), won the Errol Hill Award for best book in African American theatre and performance studies. He is completing a study of fabulation in contemporary black art and performance, and is the author or numerous articles on performance, politics and music... Read More →

Friday April 21, 2017 3:45pm - 5:15pm
Learning Labs MoPOP, 325 5th Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109