Dr. Omari Weekes
Visiting Faculty (2022)
Dr. Omari Weekes’ work focuses on the affective dimensions of spiritual experience for people of African descent in the United States and the Americas. His current book project, Lurid Affinities: Sex and the Spirit in Contemporary Black Literature argues that much black writing in the post-civil rights era thinks through the dialectic between the sacred and the profane not only through the expression of various desires that push up against traditional theological teachings about gender and sex but also by accounting for a matrix of pre-discursive intensities, attractions, and longings that help to organize the kinds of communities that black people construct for themselves. These affects are not diametrically opposed to religion; more precisely, these affective relations are often informed by various spiritual systems as they also inform African Americans’ understandings of their own spiritual selves. Lurid Affinities turns to the work of writers like James Baldwin, Toni Cade Bambara, Jericho Brown, Toni Morrison, and others in order to explore how black writers register deviance and spirituality not as antipodal ideas but as imbricated components of black life.