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SouthTalks: Barbara Harris Combs

Lectures: Barbara Harris Combs presents 'Blackout: The Continuing Assault against Black Bodies'


Blackness in a society built largely on anti-Black sentiments simultaneously renders Black bodies both a heightened sense of visibility and invisibility in society. In this talk, Combs shares insights from her new book, "Bodies out of Place: Theorizing Anti-Blackness in U.S. Society," which examines practices of racial entrenchment as they have manifested in post-Obama expressions of anti-Blackness in discursive, legal, interactional, and extralegal contexts. Combs examines recent incidents of everyday racism against Black persons (the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, the Central Park birding incident, various cases on college campuses, among others) to arrive at a theorization of what expectations about bodies, space, and belonging tell us about the way racism is perpetuated in U.S. society.

Barbara Harris Combs is professor of sociology and chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Kennesaw State University. Combs is also the author of From Selma to Montgomery: The Long March to Freedom. Her forthcoming book, Black Places and Spaces of Political Empowerment, with coauthors Todd C. Shaw and Kirk Foster, is under contract with Oxford University Press.

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SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted. Visit the Center’s website at for up-to-date-information about all Center events.


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