Decolonizing Scholarship Lecture Series: "Blue Notes on Flesh: Regenerating Intimacy in a Racialized World" with Rufus Burnett Jr.


Location: 1050 Jenkins Nanovic Halls (View on map )

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"Blue Notes on Flesh" is a reflection on how the phenomenon of Blues music can be read as an activity of regenerating intimacy in contexts that are profoundly “determined” by ideologies of race and anti-blackness. Drawing upon scholarship in decolonial theory, black studies, and theology, “Blue Notes on Flesh” illumines blues performance as an activity of regenerating intimate contact amid the confines of racial domination which seeks to capture and over-determine the possibilities of human flourishing that emerge from intimate contact. The emphasis and focus on flesh seeks to read flesh as a site on which racial domination and the cultural production of the blues do their work.

About the Speaker

Rufus Burnett Jr., Ph.D., is an assistant professor of systematic theology at Fordham University in Bronx, New York. His research focuses on the sonic, spatial, and embodied realities of the Christian imagination. Burnett's constructive theological approach to systematics looks to expose the theological insight of people groups that respond to domination through the creative use of cultural production. His latest text, Decolonizing Revelation: A Spatial Reading of the Blues, engages the cultural production of the blues as an option for delinking the Christian imagination of revelation, from oppressive foreclosures within nationalism, U.S. Christianities, race, class, sexuality, and ethnocentrism. Burnett previously taught within the Africana Department and Balfour Scholars Program at the University of Notre Dame. 

About the Series

The Nanovic Institute, with its strategic emphasis on “peripheries” and de-centering the center, is committed to fostering research and teaching that presents European studies in a new light. The Nanovic Institute is pleased to announce our fall 2023 lecture series, Decolonizing Scholarship. This series will feature scholars from various academic disciplines at the top of their fields engaging issues in disciplines including Philosophy, Theology, French and Francophone Studies, Ethnic Studies, and more.

Attend the Event

This event is free and open to the public. 
Lunch will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting 30 minutes before the lecture (at 12 noon).