College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Zakiyyah Iman Jackson

Zakiyyah Iman Jackson

Zakiyyah Iman Jackson

Assistant Professor

Literature: 19th-21st Century African Diasporic Literature and Visual Culture; Interrelations Among Metaphysics, Science, and Aesthetics; Posthumanism; New Materialism; Bio/Necro/Cosmo-politics; Feminist and Queer Theory; Racial Ecologies


Current Research

My book in progress, tentatively titled “The Blackness of Space Between Matter and Meaning,” argues that key Black Atlantic literary, visual, and philosophical texts generate a critical praxis of humanity, paradigms of relationality, and modes of embodiment that alternately expose, alter, or reject the nexus of “race” and “species” discourse in Western science and philosophy. Reading the existential predicament of modern racial blackness through and against the human-animal distinction in Western philosophy and science reveals not only the mutual imbrication of “race” and “species” in Western thought but also invites a reconsideration of the extent to which exigencies of racialization have preconditioned and prefigured modern discourses governing the nonhuman. Ultimately, “The Blackness of Space” reveals the pernicious peculiarity of both reigning foundational conceptions of “the human” rooted in Renaissance and Enlightenment humanism and current multiculturalist alternatives. What emerges from this questioning is an emphatically queer sense of being/knowing/feeling human, one that necessarily disrupts the foundations of the current hegemonic mode of the Human.

Selected Publications

Jackson, Zakiyyah Iman (2015). “Outer Worlds: The Persistence of Race in Movement ‘Beyond the Human’” in Gay and Lesbian Quarterly (GLQ), 21.2-3 (June 2015) 215-218.

Jackson, Zakiyyah Iman (2013). “Animal: New Directions in the Theorization of Race and Posthumanism” in Feminist Studies, 39.3 (January 2014) 669-685.

Jackson, Zakiyyah Iman (2011). “Waking Nightmares” in Gay and Lesbian Quarterly (GLQ), 17.2 (April 2011) 357-363.

Grants and Fellowships

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Virginia; Carter Woodson Postdoctoral Fellowship 2012 – 2014

Fellow, University of Notre Dame; Erskine A. Peters Dissertation Fellowship 2010 – 2011

Fellow, University of California, Santa Barbara; Black Studies Dissertation Fellowship 2009 – 2010 

Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles; Hayman Endowment, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior 2008 – 2009


Ph.D.  University of California, Berkeley 2012

Recent Presentations

Presenter, "Organs of War." Biopolitics, Necropolitics, Cosmopolitics: Feminist and Queer Interventions. Network of Interdisciplinary Women’s Studies in Europe (NoISE) Summer School, Utrecht University. Utrecht, the Netherlands. August 2015

Presenter, “Portraits of War: The Art of Wangechi Mutu.” Black Portraiture{s} II Conference: Imaging the Black Body and Re-Staging Histories. Florence, Italy. May 2015

Presenter, “Sense of Things.” Queer/Art/Poetics Symposium. “Body’s Ends: Queer Posthuman Time” panel. Wesleyan University. April 2015

Presenter, “(Dis)possessing Life.” New Matters and Queer Life. Yale University. January 2015

Presenter, “Posthumanism's Virality.” Modern Language Association 2015 Annual Conference. “Keywords in Queer Studies” panel. January 2015

Presenter, “Organs of War.” Interruptions, Feminisms, Sciences. University of California, Berkeley. April 2014

Presenter, “Organ(ic) Matters, Genealogical Mutations.” Association of American Geographers Annual conference. April 2014

Presenter, “The Future is a Parasite.” Critique of Political Zoology Symposium. Kunstuniversitaet, Institute of Fine Arts and Cultural Studies. Hamburg, Germany June 2013