Toxic Intimacies: The (Bio)Politics of Waste and Disposability in Africa and African Diaspora


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships


Literatures in English


Through “Toxic Intimacies” as an analytic concept, this project takes on the politics of toxic waste disposability in Africa and the global Black diaspora. It interrogates the environmental and existential implications of toxic waste and pollutants for the various lifeforms in the ecosystem. Drawing on close and comparative analyses of contemporary African and Black diasporic cultural materials such as literary texts, films, photographs, ethnography, and the media; it employs insights from Black feminist environmental humanities and postcolonial literary criticism to read toxic sites in Africa as a contrast to the idealized progress of the high-tech economy. The project imagines new forms of living that promote a shared vision of a sustainable future for humans and non-human beings in a toxic saturated world. The study brings global Black studies into conversation with environmental humanities, science and technology studies, and feminist theory.