Afrosporic Intimacies: The Women Who Sang in the Wind in M. NourbeSe Philip's Zong!
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Response by Dr. Joseph Winters, Religious Studies, Duke Univ.
"Afrosporic Intimacies: The Women Who Sang in the Wind in M. NourbeSe Philip's Zong!," insists upon a reading of Zong! and performances of the text that shifts our concerns from water to air, from ocean to atmosphere. Panaram's analysis points to how Philip demonstrates that it was African women who primarily facilitated exchanges of breath and vocal enactments onboard even in the midst of brutal constraint. Drawing on research by Saidiya Hartman, Jennifer Morgan, and Lindon Barrett, this paper maintains that such a relocation of black breath and all of its manifestations (songs, shouts, cries, moans, and more) in and through black women is repeatedly thwarted not only because of the noise that ensues, but also because of how it shows the black female body orchestrating collective movement.