2023 SXGD Speaker: A talk from Amber Jamilla Musser on Black Femininity and the Uncanny in Jordan Peele's 'Us'


Wednesday February 15, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 202

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This link will take you to the Queen’s University Library Page. Once on this page, under ‘View Online,’ click on the ‘Audio Cine,’ hyperlink. This link will take you directly to a page to view the film. This link will only work for people who have valid NetIDs for Queen’s.

There will be a reception after the talk from 1:30-2:30pm. Light refreshments will be served.

About this talk:

Unlike Get Out, whose plot twists provided some of the film’s shock, the trailers for Us foreground the film’s conceit: a family comes home from a day at the beach to find murderous doubles in their home. While the film complicates this reveal, the sense of dread that the film activates—comes not from suspense but from its mobilization of the uncanny. Even before the doppelgangers are introduced, the film—especially upon repeat viewing—percolates with the sense that something is amiss. Bringing the unruly sensations of the uncanny to bear on the shadows and noise in Us unearths the racialized dialectics that undergird formations of liberal subjectivity, desire, and the domestic. This talk will explore these complex dynamics and put them in conversation with black feminism.

About the speaker:

Amber Jamilla Musser is professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research focuses on the intersections of race, sexuality, queer theory, and aesthetics. She is the author of Sensational Flesh: Race, Power, and Masochism (NYU Press, 2014) and Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Brown Jouissance (NYU Press, 2018). She co-edited with Kadji Amin and Roy Pérez, ASAP's special issue on Queer Form (2017) and with Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Aren Aizura, Aimee Bahng, Mishuana Goeman, and Karma Chavez of Keywords for Gender and Sexuality Studies (NYU Press, 2021), and with Linda Bloom and Martha Fineman, "Care and its Complexities" Signs (forthcoming, Fall 2023). She also serves as a member of the Social Text Collective and president of ASAP (Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present). She writes art criticism for Brooklyn Rail. She is currently finishing a project entitled "Between Shadows and Noise" on race, representation, and the possibilities of fleshy knowledge.

This talk counts towards the Sexual & Gender Diversity Certificate. To find out more about this Certificate program, which is available to all undergraduate students at Queen's University, visit the SXGD page.