Kimberly Bain On Black Breath - "Labored Breathing"

Kimberly Bain
Luke Williams
Thu November 18th 2021, 12:00 - 1:30pm
Event flyer with abstract designs: three fingerprint-esque marks (blue, black, and grey) with the title "Labored Breathing"

Dear all,

Please join us for our upcoming event this quarter in Matters of Voice,* a Stanford Humanities Research Workshop dedicated to vocal studies, broadly defined. Our theme for this year is breath. 


On Thursday, November 18 at 12 PM PST Professor Kimberly Bain will be discussing a chapter draft from her upcoming book, On Black Breath. The chapter is entitled "Labored Breathing" and it traces the reproductive grammars and modes of breathing that are practiced and produced under anti-Black racial capitalist regimes. Luke Williams (PhD Candidate in Modern Thought and Literature) will be offering a response.


 In Professor Bain's words:


 "Thank you so much for reading the piece, 'Labored Breathing.' It's an entirely new piece and therefore, truly a work in progress (with all the beauties of a work in progress, including typos!). You'll notice that despite the introduction promising an analysis of the pandemic, I've excised that section from the selection I'm sharing, which at its worst will result in a few redundancies of thought. Either way, I'm eager to hear your thoughts and looking forward to the conversation."


If you would like to receive the chapter and Zoom link, please register HERE.


This is work in progress, following Dr. Bain's request please DO NOT CIRCULATE. If you have any trouble accessing the document or any other questions please do get in touch!


About the Speakers:


Kimberly Bain is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Literatures at the University of British Columbia—Vancouver. Her most pressing and urgent concerns have consolidated around questions of the history, theory, and philosophy of the African diaspora. She is currently at work on two scholarly monographs. The first, entitled On Black Breath, traces a genealogy of breathing and Blackness in the United States. Her second book, Dirt: Soil and Other Dark Matter, turns to dirt for understanding how Blackness has shaped global considerations of the Anthropocene and refused the extractive relations of racial capitalism. 


Luke Williams is a scholar, artist, organizer, and critic of twentieth and twenty-first century Black performance and visual cultures. His work, which spans embodiment, portraiture, Afrofuturism, commodification, and the aesthetics of the Black radical imagination, focuses on Black Diasporic art in the Americas and broader Atlantic world. Luke is a PhD candidate in Modern Thought & Literature at Stanford University.  He most recently held fellowships for the Committee of Black Performing Arts at Stanford and the Jefferson Scholarship at the University of Virginia.


With all best wishes,


María Gloria Robalino

Matters of Voice Graduate Student Coordinator

Comparative Literature PhD Candidate

Stanford University


*Sponsored by the Stanford Humanities Center. Made possible by support from Marta Sutton Weeks, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.