Kemi Adeyemi | Ordinary Energy

Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 7 - 8:30pm

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Kemi Adeyemi delivers a free, public online lecture as part of the Spring 2021 Intra-Disciplinary Seminar that tends to black queer parties that aren’t particularly interesting or important. It spotlights black queer people on and off the dance floor who are tired, bored, or simply fine; there are bad dancers and awkward conversation. The tedious, if not grueling, nature of queer clublife can tell us a lot, however, about the extraordinary expectations we place on black queer people, life, and politics. This talk builds a methodology of the black queer ordinary that refuses the burdens of spectacularity that shape how black queer life emerges in academic thought and popular culture.

Zoom registration required.

Kemi Adeyemi is Assistant Professor of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies and Director of The Black Embodiments Studio at the University of Washington. Her books include Feels Right: Black Queer Women’s Choreographies of Belonging in Chicago (Duke University Press, forthcoming) and the co-edited volume, Queer Nightlife (University of Michigan Press, Spring 2021). Recent writing appeared in GLQ, Women & Performance, and the Routledge Companion of African American Art History. Kemi currently serves as choreographer Will Rawls’ dramaturge and has written on and for artists including Tschabalala Self, Amina Ross, Jovencio de la Paz, Indira Allegra, and taisha paggett. 

The IDS public lecture series is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union. We are grateful for major funding from the Robert Lehman Foundation. The IDS public lecture series is also made possible by generous support from the Open Society Foundations.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.