The Disordered Cosmos | Chanda Prescod-Weinstein in conversation with Ytasha Womack
Time & Location
About the Event
About the Book:
From a star theoretical physicist, a journey into the world of particle physics and the cosmos -- and a call for a more just practice of science.
In The Disordered Cosmos, Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein shares her love for physics, from the Standard Model of Particle Physics and what lies beyond it, to the physics of melanin in skin, to the latest theories of dark matter -- all with a new spin informed by history, politics, and the wisdom of Star Trek.
One of the leading physicists of her generation, Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is also one of fewer than one hundred Black American women to earn a PhD from a department of physics. Her vision of the cosmos is vibrant, buoyantly non-traditional, and grounded in Black feminist traditions.
Prescod-Weinstein urges us to recognize how science, like most fields, is rife with racism, sexism, and other dehumanizing systems. She lays out a bold new approach to science and society that begins with the belief that we all have a fundamental right to know and love the night sky. The Disordered Cosmos dreams into existence a world that allows everyone to experience and understand the wonders of the universe.
About the Author:
Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy and core faculty in women’s and gender studies at the University of New Hampshire. She is also a columnist for New Scientist and Physics World. Her research in theoretical physics focuses on cosmology, neutron stars, and dark matter. She also does research in Black feminist science, technology, and society studies. Nature recognized her as one of 10 people who shaped science in 2020, and Essence has recognized her as one of “15 Black Women Who Are Paving the Way in STEM and Breaking Barriers.” A cofounder of Particles for Justice, she received the 2017 LGBT+ Physicists Acknowledgement of Excellence Award for her contributions to improving conditions for marginalized people in physics and the 2021 American Physical Society Edward A. Bouchet Award for her contributions to particle cosmology. Originally from East L.A., she divides her time between the New Hampshire Seacoast and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Ytasha L. Womack is a critically acclaimed author, filmmaker, dancer, independent scholar, and champion of humanity and the imagination. Her book Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi & Fantasy Culture (2013) is the leading primer on the exciting subject which bridges science fiction, futurisms, and culture. The book is a 2014 Locus Awards Non Fiction Finalist.
Womack tours the world championing Afrofuturism and the role of the imagination. Her works in Afrofuturism have been translated into Portuguese and Spanish for markets in Brazil and Latin America. Afrofuturism is taught in high schools and universities across the world.
Her film "A Love Letter to the Ancestors From Chicago" (2017) is an Afrofuturist dance film. It was featured in Afropunk Brooklyn, Black(s) to the Future Fest in Paris, Cultura IberaAmericana in Cuba, Afrotopia in Bristol, England, Reel Time Film Fest in Lagos, Nigeria and the Black Harvest Film Fest in Chicago among others. The film won Best Experimental Film at the Collected Voices Festival.
She's currently developing other Afrofuturist films including Bar Star City (www.barstarcity.com).
Rayla 2212, a time travelling/reincarnation book series follows the character Rayla Illmatic and inspired the Race in Space Conference at Duke University.
She's published essays in the anthologies Black Quantum Futurism: Space Time Collapse, Artists Against Police Brutality. The short Afrofuturist Prince ode "For Digital Girls Who Drink Tonic Water When Purple Rain isn't Enough" appeared in Jalada.com and 2709 Books (Spanish Translation).
Womack's other books include Rayla 2213 (2016) Post Black: How a New Generation is Refining African American Identity (2010), which was a Booklist Top 10 Black History Reader, and Beats, Rhymes and Life: What We Love & Hate About Hip Hop (2007).
Her films include the romantic comedy Couples Night (2018/screenwriter) starring Tony Rock and Reagan Gomez Preston; The Engagement (Director) starring Bernadette Stanis and Clifton Davis, and Love Shorts (Producer/Writer). She was also coproducer for the documentary Tupac: Before I Wake and appeared on E True Hollywood Story’s Rappers Wives documentary as a guest commentator.