SELAMAWIT D. TERREFE

Assistant Professor of English, Tulane University

sterrefe@tulane.edu

___________________________________________________________________________________________

 

ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

2018 - present   Assistant Professor, Department of English

                           Tulane University

 

2016 - 2018        Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin, Department of English-Speaking Cultures

                           University of Bremen, Germany

 

EDUCATION

2017                   PhD., English, University of California, Irvine  

                           MA., English, University of California, Irvine                  

        

                           MA., Humanities and Social Thought, New York University      

                       

                           BA., English Literature, University of California, Berkeley

                                               

DISSERTATION

                           Dissociative States: The Metaphysics of Blackness and the Psychic Afterlife of Slavery

                           Committee: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (chair), Arlene Keizer, Gabriele Schwab, Jared Sexton, Frank Wilderson, III

 

WORKS IN PROGRESS

                           Impossible Blackness: Violence and the Psychic Life of Slavery (under consideration)

 

                           “Violence by Any Other Name: The Impasse of Black Female Sexuality”

 

                           “The Position of the ‘Unthot’: From Ratchet to Revolution”

 

                           “Carceral Speculations on the ‘Black Maternal’: Futurity and Foreclosure in Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing

           

PUBLICATIONS

                           “Death Rattle Not Dashikis: Nikki Giovanni’s Black Judgement and the Work of Hannah Arendt” (under review)

 

2020                   “The Pornotrope of Decolonial Feminism.” Critical Philosophy of Race, special issue “Towards Decolonial Feminisms”                                               (forthcoming)

 

2020                   “Technology and the Antiblackness of Pleasure.” Black Futures Eds. Jenna Wortham and Kimberly Drew, Random House

                           OneWorld Imprint (forthcoming)

 

2018                   “Afro-pessimism” (with Frank B, Wilderson, III and Patrice Douglass), Oxford Bibliographies in AfricanAmerican Studies, Ed.

                           Gene Jarrett, Oxford University Press.

 

2018                   “Speaking the Hieroglyph: Black Women and Mimetic Thaumaturgy.” Theory and Event, special issue “Afropessimism and Black

                           Feminism,” Ed. Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, Theory & Event, V. 21, N. 1 (Jan 2018).

 

2016                   “Black Women Writers in the United States.” Oxford Bibliographies in African American Studies, Ed. Gene Jarrett, Oxford

                           University Press (Spring 2016).

 

2016                   “What Exceeds the Hold?: An Interview with Christina Sharpe.” Rhizomes 29, special issue “Black Holes: Afro-Pessimism,

                           Blackness and the Discourses of Modernity,” Ed. Dalton Anthony Jones, Spring 2016.

 

2012                   “Phantasmagoria: or, The World is a Haunted Plantation.” The Feminist Wire (2012): n. pag. Web. 10 October, 2012.

 

FELLOWSHIPS AND GRANTS:

2019                   Carol Lavin Bernick Faculty Grant, Tulane University

2019                   COR International Travel Grant, Tulane University

2018                   Newcomb Fellowship, Newcomb College Institute at Tulane University

2017                   Impulse Grant, University of Bremen

2017                   DAAD, German Academic Exchange Service, Conference Travel Grant

2016-20              University of Bremen, Germany, Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin, Department of English-Speaking Cultures in the field of

                           American/Black Atlantic Studies

2016                   UC/ New Center for Psychoanalysis Interdisciplinary Psychoanalytic Consortium, Lake Arrowhead,     California, “Psychoanalysis, 

                           Economy, and Desire”

2015                   UC Irvine School of Humanities Graduate Division Graduate Student Research and Travel Award

2015                   UC Interdisciplinary Psychoanalytic Consortium, Lake Arrowhead, California, “Ecologies of Fear” 

2014                   UC Interdisciplinary Psychoanalytic Consortium, Lake Arrowhead, California, “Love and Psychoanalysis”         

2013                   UC Chancellor’s Fellowship in English

2013                   UC Irvine School of Humanities Graduate Division Graduate Student Research and Travel Award

2013                   Hayman Dissertation Fellowship

2008-09              UC Irvine Graduate Opportunity Fellowship

           

CONFERENCES AND SYMPOSIA

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

 

2020                   The Roundtable for Black Feminist and Womanist Theory, Penn State University, September 24-26 (upcoming)

2019                   “Rupture and Relation: The Future Imperfect and the Condition of Black Impossibility.” Rupture and Relation: A Workshop on

                           Black Critical Thought, Northwestern University

 

2015                   “Black Revolution, Black Revenants: Shaking Oneself to Dream”: Inspiring and Ensuring Individual Student Excellence (iRISE)

                           annual program, University of California, Irvine

 

INVITED TALKS

2019                   "Truth-telling: Nikole Hannah-Jones, Selamawit D. Terrefe, and the 1619 Project," Conversations in Color, Amistad Research     

                            Center

2019                   “Impossible Blackness: African Diaspora, Speculating the Future Imperfect.” Globalizing American Studies, Tulane University

 

2018                   “The Fantasy of 'After' and the Desire for Difference: Fantasy, Anxiety, Difference—the Figure of the Other in the Aftermaths of a

                           Violent Political Transformation, Max Plank Institute, Göttingen, Germany      

 

2017                   “Gender, Blackness, and Captivity”: Blackness and Captivity workshop organized by Thick/er Black Lines Collective during “We

                           Apologise for the Delay To Your Journey” residency, Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, London, England

 

2017                   “Temporal Aphasia and Talking Flesh: Gender and the Practice of Antiblackness”: Black Feminist Futures: Re-envisioning Gender

                           and Sexuality in Global Black Communities, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

 

2016                   A Cool Dip in the Exponential Implications of Water: Mini-symposium on “A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick,” California

                           State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA

 

2016                   “Revolutionary Praxis and the Semi(on)tics of Blackness”: Afropessimism as Critical Praxis, Frederick Douglass Institute for African

                           and African American Studies annual New Directions Symposium, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY  

 

2015                   “Black Social Movements and State Violence”: #BAM 2015—Building a Movement: Against Police Brutality, The New School,

                           New York, NY

 

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

2017                   “Fade to Black,” Audio Documentary and Discussion Guest for Vitamindecolonial:

                           https://www.mixcloud.com/Vitamin_D/fade-to-black-final-vitamin-d-episode/

 

PANELS CHAIRED

2019                   “The Crossings of Black Queer Internationalism,” African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), University of Michigan,

                           Ann Arbor, MI

 

2015                   “Negotiating Flesh as a Site of Memory: Reconsidering the Semantic Field of Hortense Spillers”: Modern Language Association

                           (MLA), Vancouver, Canada              

 

PANELS ORGANIZED

2019                   “Blackness and the Afterlife of Slavery,” Black In/Visibilities Contested, 7th Biennial Afroeuropeans Network Conference,   

                           University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE), Lisbon, Portugal

 

2017                   “Afro-pessimism and Praxis: a Roundtable on Revolution”: Pedagogies of Dissent, American Studies Association (ASA) annual 

                           meeting, Chicago, IL, 2017

 

2017                   “‘Stepping Over the Dead’: Towards a Global Analytic of the ‘Afterlife of Slavery’”: The African Literature Association (ALA)

                           annual conference, Yale University, New Haven, CT

 

2016                   “Black Matter: The Times and Spaces of Black Movement, Black Thought, and Black Creation” (co-organizer): The American

                           Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) annual meeting, Cambridge, MA

 

2013                   “Blackness and the Ethics of Perception: Black Women, Black Bodies, Black Text”: The Collegium for African American Research                             (CAAR) 10th International Conference, Decatur/Atlanta, GA

 

PAPERS PRESENTED:

2020                   “Carceral Speculations on the ‘Black Maternal’: Futurity and Foreclosure in Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing,” Modern 

                           Language Association (MLA), Seattle, WA (upcoming)

 

2019                   “From Ratchet to Revolution: Absenting the Black Female Revolutionary,” CBWP (Collegium of Black Women Philosophers) and

                           Diverse Lineages of Existentialism, Washington DC

 

2018                   “A Living Death: Violence and the Black Psyche,” American Studies Association, Atlanta, GA

 

2018                   “A Meditation on Time, Transness, and Blackness: On C. Riley Snorton’s Black on Both Sides,” Society for Phenomenology and 

                           Existential Philosophy (SPEP), Penn State, PA

 

2018                   “Abject Testimony: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and the Criminalization of Black Dissent,” African Feminisms (AFEMS)

                           Conference, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa

 

2018                   “The Pornotrope of Decolonial Feminism”: Toward Decolonial Feminisms: A Conference Inspired by the Work of María Lugones

                           Penn State University, PA

 

2017                   “Of Water and Weather: A Morbid Calculus”: The African Literature Association (ALA) annual conference, Yale University, New 

                           Haven, CT

 

2016                    “The Quest for Freedom is Death’: State Violence and Black Bodies, Exploding the Transcendence/Immanence Divide”: The 

                           American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) annual meeting, Cambridge, MA

 

2015                   “Ratchet as Revolution? Black Female Flesh and Political Violence in/as the Popular”: The American Comparative Literature

                           Association (ACLA) annual meeting, Seattle, WA   

                         

2014                   “Black Fungibility and Resistance: The Slave Performs Gender in Naomi Wallace’s The Liquid Plain”: University of California,

                           Irvine Symposium on The Liquid Plain

 

2014                   “Phantasmagoria: or, The World is a Haunted Plantation,” African American Expression in Print and Digital Culture, Madison, WI.

 

2014                   “Africans Waiting to Die: State of Breach, Foreclosure, and the Promise of Return in the work of Hortense Spillers and David

                           Marriott”: Roundtable with Hortense Spillers, UC Irvine Annual   Undergraduate Critical Theory Conference, Irvine, CA

 

2014                   “Affective Binds: Intramural Violence and the Disarticulation of Racial Slavery in Nuruddin Farah's Crossbones”: The American

                           Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) annual meeting, Capitals, NY, NY

 

2014                   “Technological Haunting: Blackness as Political Thaumaturgy”: The Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) annual

                           conference, Seattle, WA

 

2012                   “Poetics of Relational Incapacity: Turning Mind in the Direction of Black Thought”: University of California, Irvine conference,

                           Thinking Afro-Pessimism

 

2011                   “Ethnic Studies, Violence, and Power: Critical Apparatuses for the Discursive Black Subject”: University of California, Riverside,                                 inaugural Critical Ethnic Studies conference

 

UNIVERSITY TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2018-present     TULANE UNIVERSITY

                           Courses Taught:

                           Black Queer Literature and Film (undergraduate seminar)

                           Fundamentals of Literary Theory (graduate seminar)

                           #From Ratchet to Revolution: Race, Gender and Violence in African American Literature (undergraduate seminar)

                           Contemporary African American Literature (graduate seminar)

 

2016-2018          UNIVERSITY OF BREMEN, GERMANY

                           Courses Taught:

                           Contemporary African American Literature

                           Black Women Writers in the US

                           From Black Power to #BlackLivesMatter: Black Political and Protest Literature in the US

             

THESES              

2019-2020        MA Thesis Committee, Latin American Studies

                           Diane Ghogomu. Second Reader. “Towards a Black Feminist Pleasure Praxis amongst Afro-Brazilian Women.”

 

                           Honors Thesis, Africana Studies & Political Science

                           Juharah Worku. Co-Director. “ICE'D Out: The Criminalization of Haitian Immigration in the US.”​

 

SERVICE

DEPARTMENT

2019-2020          Review Committee, English Department, Tulane University

 

UNIVERSITY

2019-2020          Newcomb Grant Committee, Tulane University

2014-16              Member of UC Irvine African American Student Experience Working Group

2015                   Speaker, Graduate Student Panel on Research and Mentorship, UC Irvine Black Women’s Appreciation Week

2014                   Speaker, Graduate Student Panel on Research and Mentorship, UC Irvine Black Women’s Appreciation Week

2011                   Panel Moderator, University of California, Irvine Undergraduate Conference in Critical Theory

2009-10              UC Irvine English Graduate Colloquium Committee

 

DISCIPLINE

2019                   External Reviewer, differences

2014                   External Reviewer, National Political Science Review  

 

COMMUNITY

2018-present     Board Member, Project Peaceful Warriors, New Orleans, LA

2017-2018          Advisor to the Black Student Union, University of Bremen

2015-16              Graduate Student Advisor to the Black Student Union, UC Irvine

2014-16              Political Action Advisor to the Black Student Union Demands Team

2015                   Mentor, University of California, Irvine Undergraduate Conference in Critical Theory

 

LANGUAGES

Amharic 

German

Spanish

 

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS)

African Literature Association (ALA)

American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)

American Studies Association (ASA)

Modern Language Association

Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP)

 

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