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Christen Smith, ``Counting Frequency: Un/gendering Life and Death in the Americas``

September 22, 2021
6:00 pm

Christen Smith, Director of the Center for Women’s & Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, will deliver a lecture, “Counting Frequency: Un/gendering Life and Death in the Americas.”

The crisis of state violence against black people is one of the defining political issues of our time. Yet, our manifold discussions of this crisis have only scratched the surface of the issue. By in large, we have focused our collective attention on anti-black state violence on the experiences of Black men, not Black women, much less non-binary and transgender people, ignoring the uniquely gendered ways that anti-black state violence takes shape. Moreover, we often ignore the transnational dimensions of this phenomenon. In this discussion, I consider the need for a new arithmetic of time and space in order to read beyond normative narratives of police violence against Black women. The frequency of black women’s experiences with policing attune to a lingering yet deadly impact beyond the linear, Cartesian dimensions of body counting. Here, I consider how this frequency stretches and bends time and space as part of its (un)gendering practice. Through a brief survey of cases in Brazil and the United States, I propose a new arithmetic for calculating the multiple frequencies of police terror against black women.

Link to the virtual lecture:
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