Tiffany King to join American studies as Anschutz Distinguished Fellow

Sept. 21, 2021

A scholar whose work is animated by abolitionist and decolonial traditions within Black studies and Native and Indigenous studies, Tiffany King will join American studies for the spring 2022 semester. King is associate professor of women, gender and sexuality at the University of Virginia, where in fall 2022 she will assume the Barbara and John Glynn Research Professorship in Democracy and Equity.

Her 2019 book The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies (Duke University Press) won the American Studies Association’s Lora Romero First Book Prize and was a finalist for the Museum of African American History (MAAH) Stone Book Award. In the book, King uses the shoal — an offshore geologic formation, neither land nor sea — to conceptualize a space where Black and Native literary traditions, politics, theory, critique, and art meet, foregrounding Black and Native discourses of conquest and critiques of humanism and offering alternative insights into understanding how slavery, anti-Blackness, and Indigenous genocide structure white supremacy.

King co-edited Otherwise Worlds: Against Settler Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism (Duke University Press, 2021). In her forthcoming work, Red and Black Alchemies of Flesh: Conjuring a Decolonial and Abolitionist Now, King turns to the connective threads that bring Black queer feminist and Indigenous/Native queer feminist traditions into intimate and erotic relations. The book project conceptualizes a Black and Indigenous “analytics of the flesh” to think and feel with Black and Indigenous feminist and queer poetics, critique, dreams, ecologies, and praxis as sites of rupture that expose existing decolonial and abolitionist presents and futures.

At Princeton, King will teach the seminar “Black and Indigenous Feminist Survival and Experimentation in the Americas,” designed to explore how centering Black and Native/Indigenous feminist ways of knowing, theories, methods, themes, cultural production, and decolonial and abolitionist struggle reorients the field of American studies and surfaces new themes, debates and questions.