Centre for American Studies

Film Screening: The Psychosis of Whiteness

14 March 2019

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All are welcome to attend a free screening of this documentary, followed by a short Q&A panel discussion on Friday 22 March at 16.30 to 18.15 in the Gulbenkian Cinema at the Canterbury campus of the University of Kent. Please book your free place through  https://thegulbenkian.co.uk/event/the-psychosis-of-whiteness/.

The Psychosis of Whiteness sheds light on society's perceptions of race and racism by exploring cinematic representations of the slave trade. This documentary takes an in-depth look at big budget films that focus on the transatlantic slave trade and, using a wealth of sources and interviews, it argues that these depictions are metaphoric hallucinations about race. Rather than blaming the powerful institutions that are responsible for slavery, these films rewrite history by praising those same institutions for abolishing the slave trade.

We have assembled a panel who will bring multiple perspectives from areas that the film touches on: Eugene Nulman (the co-writer and director, Birmingham City University), Ben Marsh (History), Charles Devellennes (Politics), Richard Misek (Film), Sweta Rajan-Rankin (Sociology), and Carol Stewart (Medway African & Caribbean Association). It should be great chance to reflect on the historic and contemporary relationships between race, institutions of power, and cultural memory and practice.

You can find here an Open Access version of the scholarly article by Kehinde Andrews (published in the Journal of Black Studies in 2016) which helped inspire the making of the documentary, and gives a sense of its remit.




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Centre for American Studies (Room N3 S1), Rutherford College, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NX.
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Last Updated: 17/12/2013