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Listening to Images


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii Introduction. Listening to Images: An Execise in Counterintuition 1 1. Quick Soundings: The Grammar of Black Futurity 13 2. Striking Poses in a Tense Grammar: Stasis and the Frequency of Black Refusal 47 3. Haptic Temporalities: The Quiet Frequency of Touch 69 Coda. Black Futurity and the Echo of Premature Death 101 Notes 119 Bibliography 127 Illustration Credits 131 Index 137

About the Author

Tina M. Campt is Claire Tow and Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Africana and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women at Barnard College, and the author of Image Matters: Archive, Photography, and the African Diaspora in Europe, also published by Duke University Press.


"Listening to Images provides a powerful set of theoretical and methodological tools for historicizing and unpacking the kinds of photographic archives of which [Sandra] Bland's images are a recent, prominent, and disturbing example. . . . Tina Campt's stimulating new work is a must read in a flurry of exciting work at the intersection of Black Studies and visual culture." -- J. T. Roane * Black Perspectives *
"[Campt's] work is particularly noteworthy for her ability to translate still images into moving narratives, to carry the reader through the image. Campt's archive for Listening to Images is made of photos that one might pass over when looking for a more spectacular story. These include modes of identification photography-mugshots, passport photos-that reveal the apparatus of state control without its spectacular action or violence. These images are the low-tech precursor to the current proliferation of biometrics, the practice of tracking unique identity markers like DNA. Campt's turn away from crisis brings the spectacle into perspective. She attends to the long backdrop of the eruptions of supposedly exceptional violence that is far too often overlooked, but is always present."
-- JB Brager * The New Inquiry *
"Fugitivity, according to Campt, is a form of refusal defined by a commitment to survival, in which one enacts, through a performance of a future that has not yet arrived, the conditions which will have sustained and valued black life. Listening to Images not only provides the grammar to articulate this fugitivity, it also attunes our senses to listen for it." -- Jacob Breslow * Feminist Review *
"Scholars of Africana Studies, Cultural Studies, Visual Culture, Art History, and Gender Studies will no doubt find Campt's archival research, innovative methodology, and evocative theorizations of a grammar of black feminist futurity to be generative and rich. . . . Campt's work importantly recalibrates readers' capacities to glean from images the complex grammars of black fugitivity, refusal, and futurity that resonate from and within identification photographs." -- Doria E. Charlson * Women & Performance *
"Campt has written a succinct book of intensive propositions. . . . Listening to Images is an intricate text expounding on the theoretical interplay among archiving, seeing, and listening to visual materials that are in plain sight but not in sight. Thus, the sounds that they generate are quiet and have gripping agentive frequencies." -- Jerry Philogene * CAA Reviews *
"Listening to Images skates along the surface of images, listening to their resonances. . . . This method allows Campt to create unexpected juxtapositions. . . . It is a testament to the book's many points of connection between archives and time periods that I was left wanting more." -- Jocelyn Fenton Stitt * Meridians *

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