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Performing Black Death Drop: Transness, Femmeness, and Public Protest

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

122 Rockefeller Hall

Abstract: In this talk, Prof. Smalls thinks through #BlackLivesMatter’s silent but implicit epistemological, material, and theoretical twin, #BlackDeathsMatter, by turning to a dance performance that works through the questions, affects, and aesthetics of Black death in the US. Prof. Smalls attends to how Black dance traditions serve as sites of protest and possibility inside of present and near-past dystopian worlds. 

Bio: Shanté Paradigm Smalls is a scholar, artist, and writer. Smalls’s teaching and research focuses on Black popular culture in music, film, visual art, genre fiction, and other aesthetic forms. Dr. Smalls is currently finishing their first scholarly manuscript, Hip Hop Heresies: Queer Aesthetics in New York City, which won the 2016 CLAGS Fellowship Award for best manuscript in LGBTQ Studies. Smalls’s writing has appeared in or is forthcoming in The Black Scholar, GL/Q, Women & Performance, Criticism, Lateral, American Behavioral Scientist, Suspect Thoughts, Syndicate Literature, and the Oxford Handbook of Queerness and Music. Dr. Smalls received their PhD from the Department of Performance Studies at New York University.

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Event Type



Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Studies, Africana Studies and Research Center, American Studies Program


cascal, africal, amstcal, fgsscal, lgbtstudiescal, cosochum



Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Aidan Kelly

Contact Phone

(607) 255-6480


Shanté Paradigm Smalls

Speaker Affiliation

Assistant Professor of English at St. John's University

Dept. Web Site

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