Between Shadows and Noise: Sensation, Situatedness, and the Undisciplined

In Between Shadows and Noise Amber Jamilla Musser theorizes sensation as a Black feminist method for aesthetic interpretation and criticism that uses the knowledges held by the body to access the unrepresentable. Thinking through blackness, empire, and colonialism, Musser examines art works ranging from Ming Smith’s Flamingo Fandago, Jordan Peele’s Us, and Katherine Dunham’s Shango to Samita Sinha’s This Ember State, Titus Kaphar’s A Pillow for Fragile Fictions, and Teresita Fernandez’s Puerto Rico Burned #6. She engages with these works from an embodied situatedness to grapple with the questions and sensations of racialization and difference that these works produce. Throughout, Musser rethinks how we consider the relationship between race, representation, and politics by dwelling in those spaces and concepts that elude Western norms of representation, objectivity, and logic. In so doing, she explores ways of being and knowing that exceed overdetermined parameters while offering a blueprint for sensing, imagining, and living otherwise.


Amber Jamilla Musser differences (2023) 34 (1): 113–118.