What are the possibilities of Black life beyond liberation, resistance, and oppression? This talk draws upon antiblackness, Black indigeneity, libidinal economy, and science and technology studies to offer a compelling alternative: Afro-Optimism, or the manner in which Black folk build resources to thrive, not just survive, using examples from evocations of Black culture and the Black mundane on Twitter.
André L. Brock is an associate professor at the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech. He is an interdisciplinary scholar with an MA in English and Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University and a PhD in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His scholarship includes published articles on racial representations in videogames, Black women and weblogs, whiteness, blackness, and digital technoculture, as well as groundbreaking research on Black Twitter. His article “From the Blackhand Side: Twitter as a Cultural Conversation” challenged social science and communication research to confront the ways in which the field preserved “a color-blind perspective on online endeavors by normalizing Whiteness and othering everyone else” and sparked a conversation that continues, as Twitter, in particular, continues to evolve.