Trans of Color Poetics: Stitching Bodies, Concepts, and Algorithms

On October 6, 2015, Keisha Jenkins was shot and killed in Philadelphia, becoming the twenty-first trans woman killed in the US that year.[1] 2014 saw trans women of color gaining unprecedented visibility in the mainstream media, an increase in visibility that coincided with a dramatic increase in the number of murders, up from fourteen in […]

Archive from Below: Selections from Interference Archive

Interference Archive in Brooklyn, New York, is a volunteer-run, collectively operated space that explores the relationship between cultural production and social movements. The Archive’s collections are comprised of material culture produced and disseminated through social movements. This exhibit has been put together to present visual culture that illustrates the nonprofit industrial complex (NPIC); it represents […]

About this Issue

This double issue emerges out of the 2013 Worlds of Shange conference held at Barnard College and celebrates the important work and life of Barnard alumna Ntozake Shange (BC ’70). “The Worlds of Ntozake Shange” highlights Shange’s centrality to black feminism and the continuing impact of her work both within and outside the academy. In […]

“There is No Incongruence Here”: Hispanic Notes in the Works of Ntozake Shange

Download “‘There is No Incongruence Here’: Hispanic Notes in the Works of Ntozake Shange” (PDF) here. Reprinted with permission from CLA (College Language Association) Journal. Vanessa K. Valdés’ groundbreaking essay “‘There is No Incongruence Here’: Hispanic Notes in the Works of Ntozake Shange” was one of the first works to comprehensively examine Spanish language and […]

Introduction: Singing a “Black Girl’s Song” at Barnard and Beyond

it is possible to start a phrase with a word and end with a gesture/ that’s how I’ve lived my life/ that’s how I continue to study /produce black art —Ntozake Shange, “why I had to dance”[1] In the academic year 2012-2013, renowned poet, performance artist, playwright, and novelist Ntozake Shange, Barnard class of 1970, […]

“walkin on the edges of the galaxy”: Queer Choreopoetic Thought in the African Diaspora

In her 1978 essay, “takin a solo/ a poetic possibility/ a poetic imperative,” Ntozake Shange interrogates literatures and criticism that submit to demands of racial representation over the possibilities of creative expression. Critiquing US literary culture’s tendency to reward writers whose voices reinforce prefabricated models of blackness, Shange observes that that, “if you are… female […]

Learning How to Listen: Ntozake Shange’s Work as Aesthetic Primer

What follows is a purely subjective analysis. The primer of my title refers to several meanings of the word: A prayer book or devotional manual for the use of lay people. A book that covers the basic elements of a subject. For over three decades, Ntozake Shange’s writing has been a source of pleasure and […]

Monologues for Colored Girls: Shange’s Influence on Barnard’s All Women-of-Color Vagina Monologues

these stains & scars are mine this is my space i am not movin —Shange, nappy edges, (a cross country sojourn) The first time I heard the name Ntozake Shange, I was still in high school. I was invited to attend a production of for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow […]


A response to the panel “Expanding Feminism: Collaborations for Social Justice” at the conference Activism and the Academy: Celebrating 40 Years of Feminist Scholarship and Action. Watch the video here: Download “Collaborations” by Janet R. Jakobsen (pdf) From American Quarterly 64:4 (2012), 827-831. © 2012 The American Studies Association. Reprinted with permission of Johns Hopkins […]

The Familiar and the Strange

A response to the presentations “Queer Pedagogies in Public Places” by Jennifer Miller and “Tilting Pedagogies as Utopian Intervention – Outrage, Desire, and the Body in the Classroom” by Marisa Belausteguigoitia Rius at the The Scholar & Feminist Conference 2013: “Utopia.” Watch the videos here: The Scholar and Feminist Utopia conference began with a seed […]