Massey College Book Club: Dr. Rinaldo Walcott on Christina Sharpe’s In The Wake

Massey College Book Club: Dr. Rinaldo Walcott on Christina Sharpe’s In The Wake

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Rinaldo Walcott will be leading a discussion on Christina Sharpe’s In The Wake: On Blackness and Beingat 7:45pm in the Upper Library on April 9th, 2018. This event is part of our ongoing – and very popular! – Massey College Book Club.

In The Wake is an incisive and unprecedented work which blends memoir, black studies and post-colonial theory. Christina Sharpe, an Associate Professor of English at Tufts University, cross-examines literary, visual, cinematic, and quotidian representations of Black life that comprise what she calls the “orthography of the wake.” She begins this highly creative work exploring the personal tragedy of the deaths of her nephew, mother, sister, and brother in the same short period of time. She uses her own experience of the familial “wake,” and multiple meanings of that word, to open a door to the larger political and global revelations of Blackness as a force for expression, resistance, and indeed, existence, in the face of the “on-going ruptures of chattel slavery.”

Rinaldo Walcott is a multidisciplinary scholar, writer and cultural critic. He is an Associate Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and the Director of the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. Walcott’s work is concerned with “the ways in which coloniality shapes human relations across social and cultural time.” His debut book, Black Like Who: Writing Black Canada (Insomniac Press, 1997, with a second revised edition in 2003), is a trailblazing investigation of Black Canadian politics, identity and history; troubling simplistic narratives of diaspora, queerness, belonging and the Canadian nation-state. He is the editor of Rude: Contemporary Black Canadian Cultural Criticism (Insomniac, 2000); and co-editor, with Roy Moodley, of Counselling Across and Beyond Cultures: Exploring the Work of Clemment Vontress in Clinical Practice (University of Toronto Press, 2010).

Reading the entirety of Sharpe’s book beforehand is not required, though becoming familiar with the subject matter is strongly encouraged. Please join us!