Black Dwelling: Home-Making and Erotic Freedom


ACLS Fellowship Program


African and African American Studies, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


“Black Dwelling: Home-Making and Erotic Freedom” asks what happens when Black women claim and cultivate home in the United States, a space that has historically and contemporaneously denied Black women the right to domestic privacy and safety. Black Dwelling historicizes the oppressive structures that have pathologized and violated Black homes – redlining practices, predatory loans, and police invasions, for example – but also uncovers an intellectual and cultural history that presents the Black household as a paradigmatic site of Black freedom. By studying the cultural materials that Black women writers, artists, and activists have used to craft household geographies of freedom, Black Dwelling shifts understandings of Black freedom from just a conceptual question—i.e., what is Black freedom? -- to an also spatial one—i.e., where might Black women find it?