Daphne Lamothe is a professor of Africana Studies at Smith College. She is the author of Inventing the New Negro: Narrative, Culture and Ethnography; and is currently at work on a book, to be published by UNC Press, about the black aesthetic present and presence in contemporary literature, music and visual art. Her publications and teaching centers on the tensions that exist between the deployment of discursive frameworks designed to capture and contain blackness, and those oriented toward its multiplicity, fluidity, contradictions and contingencies.
Title: “4:45: Black Aesthetic Time in the ‘Foreign Country of Silence.'”
Abstract: Dionne Brand represents reading, which for her often takes place at 4:45 in the morning, as a sojourn into the regions of other writers’ minds; that is, to an imagined space that she calls “the foreign country of silence.” These passages orient readers’ attention toward the black body, not only in time, but as a subject of time, and in particular of aesthetic time. My reflection focuses on the relationship of historical and political temporalities to aesthetic time.