Julius B. Fleming, Jr. earned a doctorate in English, and a graduate certificate in Africana studies, from the University of Pennsylvania. Specializing in Afro-Diasporic literatures and cultures, he has particular interests in performance studies, black political culture, diaspora, and colonialism, especially where they intersect with race, gender, and sexuality. Professor Fleming is currently completing his first book manuscript, entitled “Black Patience: Performance, Civil Rights, and the Unfinished Project of Emancipation,” forthcoming from New York University Press. This project reconsiders the Civil Rights Movement from the perspective of black theatre, while examining the importance of time and affect to the making of the modern racial order. Analyzing a largely unexplored, transnational archive of black theatre, it demonstrates how black artists and activists used theatre and performance to unsettle the demands of a violent racial project he terms “black patience.” From the slave castle to the hold of the slave ship, from the auction block to commands to “go slow” in fighting segregation, black people have historically been forced to wait, coerced into performing patience. This book argues that during the Civil Rights Movement, black people’s cries for “freedom now”–at the lunch counter, in the streets, and importantly on the theatrical stage–disturbed the historical praxis of using black patience to manufacture and preserve anti-blackness and white supremacy.
Professor Fleming is also beginning work on a second book project that explores the new geographies of colonial expansion and their impact on Afro-diasporic literary and cultural production.
His work appears in American Literature, American Literary History, Callaloo, The James Baldwin Review, and The Southern Quarterly. Having served as Associate Editor of Callaloo and Black Perspectives–the award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual History Society–he has been awarded fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the University of Virginia’s Carter G. Woodson Institute, the Social Science Research Council, and the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University.