Moving on the Wires: ‘The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics’

Louis Chude-Sokei, the author of  The Last ‘Darky‘: Bert Williams, Black-on-Black Minstrelsy, and the African Diaspora, will be releasing a new book, The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics.

Chude-Sokei, as he has done in his previous work, explores the complexities of race and ethnicity through a Caribbean lens. As someone who calls myself Afro-Caribbean-American, I realize how sometimes I don’t neatly fit into a dominant idea of blackness, which is usually centered around U.S. America black cultures. Because of that, I often notice how Black people from all over the world often have to adjust their ethnic identities by putting on, by playing with, by expanding the definitions of blackness.

In his first book, The Last Darky, Chude-Sokei examines the life of Bert Williams, who was from the Bahamas, and how minstrelsy weirdly became a technology Williams used to complicate blackness, to explore and break from the boundaries of the stereotypes of blackness. It explores how someone who was an immigrant, who had a different ethno-cultural identity, but was also considered superficially black, related to and navigated the world of blackness in America. It explores the intersections between, carnival/playing mas, masquerade, blackface and creation of identity.

In The Sound Culture, Chude-Sokei continues his exploration of the intersections of music, race, ethnicity, masquerade/carnival, minstrelsy, science fiction, and technology/machinery in the modern world through the lens of Caribbean creolity or hybridity.

Below are the table of contents for the book to pique your interest:

One: Modernism’s Black Mechanics 9780819575777

Of Minstrels and Machines: Tales of the Racial Uncanny

Karel Capek‘s Black Myth

Prognosticating Echoes: Race, Sound and Naturalizing Technology

Two: Humanizing the Machine

Masters, Slaves, and Machines: Race and Victorian Science Fiction

Melville’s Man-Machine

Erewhon: Lost Races and Mechanical Souls

Three: Creolization and Technopoetics

Sexing Robots, Creolizing Technology

Cyberpunk’s Dubwise Ontology

The Music of Living Machinescapes: Creolization and Artificial Intelligence

Four: A Caribbean Pre-Posthumanism

Echolocating Surrealism

Sylvia Wynters Naked Declivity

Caliban’s Uncanny Valley

Chude-Sokei’s book will be released December 29th. You can pre-order copies of the book at the UPNE website or Amazon.

Coming Soon: My review of Nichol Bradford’s “The Sisterhood” and Interview with Louis Chude-Sokei!!!


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