Black Body Being-in-Weirdness in the Academy

  • Keitha-Gail Martin-Kerr
  • Charity Funfe Tatah Mentan


This chapter describes a 'fleshpoint' of a moment one Black female PhD student (Keitha-Gail) experienced living-in-weirdness in a doctoral seminar. The chapter captures what happens when the racialized body is expected to operate in an all-white space in the academy. To philosophize this bodily phenomenon, the authors draw on the work of Frantz Fanon and Sara Ahmed to tell a story of the Black body being distanced from itself under the White gaze. The Black body has the capacity to discern when it is being historized. The Black body carries with it legends, stories, and myths of its ancestors. The knowledge that is stored in the Black body is active; it operates in the subconscious and can be felt in the flesh.


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Related Further Reading

  1. Cheng, A. A. (2001). The melancholy of race: Psychoanalysis, assimilation and hidden grief. Oxford, UK: University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Fanon, F. (1963). The wretched of the earth. New York, NY: Grove Press.Google Scholar
  3. Ibrahim, C. A. (2014). The rhizome of blackness: A critical ethnography of hip-hop culture, language, identity, and the politics of becoming. New York, NY: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  4. Omi, M., & Winant, H. (2015). Racial formation in the United States. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keitha-Gail Martin-Kerr
    • 1
  • Charity Funfe Tatah Mentan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Curriculum and InstructionUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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