We may have left the plantation, but the plantation never left us! In this episode Brendane and Alyssa unpack afterlives, the plantation, futurity, and the singularity that continues to shape the present: slavery. In our introduction we take a moment to remember the late Dr. Steven Gregory, Professor of Anthropology and the inaugural Dr. Kenneth and Kareitha Forde Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University.

What’s The Word? Afterlife. Through the work of Christina Sharpe and Saidiya Hartman, we give a brief overview of what people mean when they talk about the “afterlives” of slavery (or other systems or structures).

What We’re Reading Plantation Futures by Katherine McKittrick. Both of the Daughters had this essay on their exam lists so it was a treat to read! We discuss the ways the plantation is still with us, simultaneously holding the history of racial violence and the key to possibilities for Black life, the co-construction of place and identity, the plot and the plantation, and other kinds of afterlives.

What In the World?! Critiquing the Plantationocene, Border Patrol and Black Asylum Seekers, Missing White Women Syndrome. We talk about how the attention to multispecies and regionalization of the plantation flattens difference and erases Black feminist studies of the plantation, the attention to the object (the whip) and the event (border patrol chasing asylum seekers) serve to distract us from the deeper historical and political pattern, and a brief foray into Missing White Women Syndrome.

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Discussed this week:

Plantation Futures (Katherine McKittrick, 2013)
Borders, Blackness, and Empire (Jemima Pierre, 2021)
The Racial Reckoning That Wasn’t (Code Switch, 2021)

ZD merch available here and the syllabus for ZD 201 is here!

Transcript will be available on our website here.

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