Posts Tagged “Cornel West”

Seeing with the Blackeyed Pea:The Art of Letitia Ntofon

10.20.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

My first encounter with Letitia Inyang Ntofon’s paintings was in The Black Dot Café located at 1195 Pine Street in deep West Oakland’s Black cultural district known as The Village Bottoms. I have known her for several years but mostly as a poet and writer. Her paintings, especially as they were arranged and installed on the wall in this location gave them an elusive narrative quality that grew the more that I looked at them. They felt like a story without a specific plot that contained many inscrutable details. Of the seven pieces at leas... More

The Gay Bar versus the Academy

06.09.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Despite recently receiving my masters in Visual and Critical Studies I have always had a love/hate relationship with critical theory.  Within my graduate program there is a running joke that critical theory is “like a stain you can’t get out.” My biggest frustration is the disconnect I feel between what is discussed and generated within the sterile walls of the academy and the communities that exist beyond those walls who are often the subjects of the theories produced and studied.  Over the past two years, as I was buried in theory and thesis writing, I found myself often questioning the relevance of philosophical texts for those who exist within activist circles, public services, and that which is often described as “on the ground.”

My frustration with the inaccessibility of critical theory hit home after reading a portion of the text, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex by philosopher, Judith Butler in a course entitled Critical Race Ar... More