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Postponed: "Defend the Dead: Carcerality, Sugar, and Ancestral Offerings" ft. Dr. Ashanté Reese

This is a past event.

Friday, January 20, 2023 at 2:00pm to 3:30pm

SIPA - School of International & Public Affairs, 502 & 503
11200 SW 8th ST, School of Intl & Pub Affairs, Miami, Florida 33199


Few commodities have shaped and continue to haunt the lives of Black people across the diaspora as much as sugar. Yet, to only view Black people’s relationship to sugar through violent histories and presents is to miss a sweetness—belonging, intimacy, connection—that exceeds it. Simultaneously engaging violence and care as co-constitutive forces that structure Black life, this talk draws from archival research about carceral structures and sugar production alongside my own practice of baking in search of answers to the question: how might we map a distinction between sugar —a product of racial capitalism—and sweetness, a necessary component of Black life?

Dr. Ashanté Reese is an assistant professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. She earned a PhD in Anthropology from American University and a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in African American studies from Trinity  University in San Antonio, Texas. Broadly speaking, Dr. Reese works at the intersection of critical food studies and Black geographies, examining the ways Black people produce and navigate food-related spaces despite anti-Blackness. Animated by the question "who and what survives?" much of Dr. Reese’s work has focused on the everyday strategies Currently, Dr. Reese is working on a project tentatively titled, The Carceral Life of Sugar in which she explores the spatial, economic, and metaphorical resonance of the plantation in the early 20th century convict lease system in Texas and the ongoing carceral significance of sugar in everyday (Black) life.

Dial-In Information

This is a hybrid event. Please see below the login information to connect via Zoom.

Meeting ID: 967 9215 8875

Passcode: 8VNTRn