Citation is both an act of recognition and a rigorous engagement with an author’s work. Using the example of M. NourbeSe Philip’s cycle poem, Zong!, Katherine McKittrick invites us to think about the stakes of appropriating and reconfiguring black feminist work as well as the lessons the “living memory of slavery” impart.
How do we work through with the onerous and troubling practice of the extraction and misappropriation of ideas and texts without falling back into the comfort of colonial proprietorship?
What is at stake for those who are sitting on the edge of erasure and actuality, and how does this produce the conditions for expropriation?
What if dismay and exasperation unfold into a study of what black feminist literature does—that is, how the essay or novel or book or poem changes how we know, how the essay or novel or book or poem interrupts prevailing systems of knowledge, how the essay or novel or book or poem invites moments of collaboration, how the essay or novel or book or poem generates new histories, new critique?