Dienstag, 03. Mai 2022, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

Of Ice Picks, Handsaws, and Insurgent Mothers

Anger and Rage in Toni Morrison’s Beloved


Anne Potjans (Berlin)



In this lecture my aim is to highlight the transformative potential behind representations of rage and anger in Black feminist literature. Anger, as Audre Lorde reminds us, “is loaded with information and energy.” But how can we access that energy when Black women’s anger is never taken seriously, always already overdetermined by stereotypical representations (the “angry Black woman”), and muted before it is even articulated, or much less heard? Taking Toni Morrison’s seminal novel Beloved (1987) as an example, I am going to show how anger functions as a structuring device, not just for the content of the novel itself, but also for the version of history it presents. How can we draw on Black women’s anger to call to the surface what has been drowned out, buried? And most importantly, what are the lessons that this anger can teach us?


Anne Potjans teaches American literature and culture at the department for English and American Studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, where she has taught courses in the fields of Black Studies, Critical Race Theory, Gender Studies, Queer Theory, Queer of Color Critique, and Disability Studies. She recently completed and successfully defended her Ph.D. project “‘Why Are You So Angry?’: Anger and Rage in Black Feminist Literature.” Alongside this project, Anne Potjans has presented and published widely on transnational connections and exchanges between African Americans and Black Germans, especially during the immediate aftermath of the Second World War.

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Referat Genderforschung der Universität Wien

Um Anmeldung wird gebeten


Sushila Mesquita
Referat Genderforschung