College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Full Title of Thesis or Dissertation

Envisioning utopia: the aesthetics of black futurity

Graduation Date


Document Type


Department/Program Conferring Degree

Women's & Gender Studies


futurity, queer theory, black feminist thought, performance, musicology


This paper examines the ways in which black women are addressing and healing from trauma through acts of envisioning the future. The ways in which space, connectivity, and gesture function throughout Solange Knowles' "Cranes in the Sky" music video exemplifies the ways in which "performance of futurity [is] embedded in the aesthetic" (Muñoz 87), Kelela Mizanekristos' "Take me Apart" evokes a queer black vulnerability through a conceptual "hauntology," and Tierra Whack's "Whack World" utilizes black camp as a creative and expansive tool to create worlds that act as a vessel for meaning making. These contribute to an analysis of how music, performance, and politics intersect and allow the possibility of an imagined future.