Dear Science And / Rejoicing the Black Creative Sciences / A Workshop

July 10 and July 11 2014: 9am-5pm

The Drake Hotel / Underground / 1150 Queen Street West Toronto

The primary title of this research project and workshop, Dear Science, is borrowed from the musicians TV on the Radio (Interscope, 2008). DearScienceAnd suggests that there exists, between and across the arts and the natural sciences, a promise of intellectual collaboration and emancipatory possibility. The workshop will explore the ways in which creative and intellectual texts produced in black studies and its attendant interdisciplines demand from us an understanding of science and knowledge that challenges biological determinism, unsettles scientific knowledges, and creatively re-mathematizes black futures. The workshop will not simply ‘name’ racial difference and biocentric marginalizations, but also think about the limits of positing that biology is the only scientific script black cultures can know or be known by.

DearScienceAnd asks: how might we utilize black studies to politicize the enjoined workings of science, race, intellectual scripts, and art and, consequently, demand new academic questions of ourselves?

Oculars: July 10

  • Time: 8:30am-10am
  • Activity: arrival/registration and introduction over coffee, tea, pastries
  • Time: 10am-noon (closed to the public)
  • Activity: collaborative black sciences/invited participants
  • Time: noon-1:30
  • Activity: lunch at The Drake
  • Time: 1:30pm – 3:00pm (open to public)
  • Activity: science in/and art: Krista Franklin and Abdi Osman
  • Chair: Andrea Fatona
  • Time: 3:30pm – 4:30pm (open to public)
  • Activity: Michelle M. Wright, The Physics of Blackness: Agency, Spacetimes and the African Diaspora in the Postwar Era
  • Chair: Katherine McKittrick
  • Time: 5:00 pm
  • Activity: appetizers at The Drake

Tempos: July 11

  • Time: 8:30am – 10am
  • Activity: arrival over coffee, tea, pastries
  • Time: 10am – noon (closed to the public)
  • Activity: blood black/light: Omisoore Dryden and Carla Moore
  • Chair: Yasmine Djerbal
  • Time: noon – 1:30
  • Activity: lunch at The Drake
  • Time: 1:30pm – 3:00pm (open to the public)
  • Activity: technology black/fashion: Rinaldo Walcott and Simone Browne
  • Chair: Christopher Smith
  • Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm (open to the public)
  • Activity: Mark V. Campbell, We Were the First Robots
  • Chair: Leslie Sanders
  • Time: 5:00 pm
  • Activity: appetizers at The Drake



Michelle M. Wright

Michelle M. Wright researches in the area of time studies, gender and queer theory, African diaspora studies, and black European studies. Her research theorizes the ways in which black identity/subjectivity is constructed through and against different Western and/or heteronormative epistemological structures. Her latest book, Physics of Blackness: Beyond the Middle Passage Epistemology, will be published by University of Minnesota Press in January 2015. Her most recent articles and essays on black identities, space/time and epistemologies can be found in the journals Transforming Anthropology, Qualitative Sociology, and African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal. Other essays can be found in Africa in Europe: Studies in Transnational Practice in the Long Twentieth Century (edited by Eve Rosenhaft and Robbie Aiken) and From Black to Schwarz: Cultural Crossovers Between African America and Germany (edited by Maria Diedrich and Jürgen Heinrichs).

Rinaldo Walcott

Rinaldo Walcott is an Associate Professor and Director of Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. Rinaldo is the author of Black Like Who: Writing Black Canada (Insomniac Press, 1997 with a second revised edition in 2003); he is also the editor of Rude: Contemporary Black Canadian Cultural Criticism (Insomniac, 2000). As well Rinaldo is the 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). Black Diaspora Faggotry: Frames Readings Limits is forthcoming from Duke University Press. Rinaldo’s research is centered in black diaspora politics, gender and sexuality, and decolonial politics. He is also a Research Fellow of the Broadbent Institute. Rinaldo is on twitter @blacklikewho

Krista Franklin

Krista Franklin is a poet, visual artist and performer who lives and works in Chicago. Much of Franklin’s creative output concerns itself with the intersection of the literary and the visual, and often explores the conceptual concerns of Afrofuturism and AfroSurrealism. Franklin is the recipient of the Chicago’s Community Arts Assistance Program Grant, the Albert P. Weisman Award, and Columbia College Chicago’s Aiko Fellowship, and held residencies at Cave Canem, A Studio in the Woods, and Arts + Public Life/Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at University of Chicago. A co-founder of 2nd writers, visual and performance artists, musicians and scholars, Franklin holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College Chicago. You can check out Krista’s work at:

OmiSoore Dryden

OmiSoore H. Dryden is a Lecturer in the Department of Women’s Studies at Thorneloe University (at Laurentian University, Sudbury ON). Dryden’s research topics include black queer diaspora, “gay blood” and Canadian (homo)nation making. Her work has appeared in Atlantis: A Women’s Studies Journal, Women and Environments International Magazine, and she is completing a co-edited collection, with Dr. Suzanne Lenon, Disturbing Canadian Homonationalisms. You can follow her on twitter @OmiSooreDryden

Abdi Osman

Abdi Osman is a Somali-Canadian multidisciplinary artist whose work focuses on questions of black masculinity as it intersects with Muslim and queer identities.Osman’s video and photography work have been shown in Canada and internationally in both group and solo exhibitions. He holds an MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University, and B.A. in African Studies from the University of Toronto. He’s currently part of a group exhibition called That’s So Gay 2014: On the Edge at the Gladstone Hotel. Abdi is on twitter @blackfagnorth

Simone Browne

Simone Browne is Assistant Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches and researches surveillance studies, popular culture, social media and black diaspora studies. Her book, Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness (under contract with Duke University Press), examines surveillance with a focus on transatlantic slavery, biometrics, airports, borders, and art. Check out


Carla Moore

Carla Moore is a Blogger/Vlogger/Writer/Advocate and a graduate of Queen’s University (MA in Gender Studies) and University of the West Indies/Mona (BA.H. Media and Communication). Carla’s MA thesis entitled Wah Eye Nuh See Heart Nuh Leap: Queer Marronage in the Jamaican Dancehall explores the ways in which the geographies of the dancehall are inflected with colonial and plantation histories and engender resistances by black queer men. In deliberately de-centering northern/western LGBTQ politics the work also considers the multiple indigenous manifestations of queerness and same-gender-desire in Jamaica. Carla works as a consultant for the Jamaica Red Cross Youth and HIV Division and is partnering with Jamaican NGOs to incorporate gender equity and diversity into their programmes and proposals. She is also developing a television series based on her vlogs and blogs ( and is a media mentor to junior media practitioners at the Kidz Hub Media Network.

Katherine McKittrick

Katherine McKittrick researches in the areas of black studies, anti-colonial studies, cultural geographies and gender studies. Her research is interdisciplinary attends to the links between epistemological narratives, liberations, and creative texts. Katherine authored Demonic Grounds (Minnesota Press, 2006) and edited Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis, (Duke University Press, 2014). She is preparing a monograph, Dear Science and Other Stories, for publication. Katherine tweets @demonicground

Mark V. Campbell

Mark V. Campbell is a DJ, scholar, and Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Regina researching Afrosonic cultures, hip hop cultures and black studies in Canada. Mark’s theoretical investments are committed to intervening on western thought and life through the paradigmatic possibilities of sound. Recent essays can be found in The Southern Journal of Canadian Studies and Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography. Forthcoming works include the monograph T-Dot Pioneers, B-Sides and Othered Kinds of Humans and the edited collection Hip Hop North of the 49th Parallel. Forthcoming essays will appear in Souls, Critical Studies in Improvisation and the CLR James Journal. Mark’s website is and his twitter is @tdotpioneers


The event will be live tweeted at @DearScienceAnd


Bianca Beauchemin
Simone Browne
Yasmine Djerbal
Andrea Fatona
Danyel Haughton
Erika Ibrahim
Carla Moore
Leslie Sanders
Christopher Smith
Maya Stiski
Rinaldo Walcott
Ray Zilli

Design and Technologies
Ray Zilli

Dear Science And was supported by a Social Science and Humanities Insight Grant.