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Portrait von Louis Chude-Sokei
Speaker | Louis Chude-Sokei

The Desire of Objects: Slavery and the Sex-Life of Machines

Louis Chude-Sokei is a writer and scholar researching the relationship between technology and race. While Western modernity is built on a binary distinction between these two concepts—rational, inorganic, industrial technology on the one hand, and the primitive, hyper-organic and sexually charged Black body on the other—Chude-Sokei’s texts develop a precise analysis of their parallel histories and cultural references. Discussing examples from popular culture and literature, but also the latest technological developments, he makes their shared history of thingification visible. For it is only the definition of slaves, automatons, and robots as inhuman or not-quite human that makes the white understanding of human possible. He contrasts this with a perspective of creolization.

About Louis Chude-Sokei

Louis Chude-Sokei’s work includes the award-winning “The Last ‘Darky’: Bert Williams, Black on Black Minstrelsy, and the African Diaspora” (2005), “The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics” (2015) and the forthcoming memoir, “Floating in a Most Peculiar Way” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021). He teaches at Boston University where he directs the African American Studies Program. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, “The Black Scholar,” and founder of the sonic art and archival project, “Echolocution.” He is currently curating a state sponsored, year-long sound art project at the Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nuremberg.