Commons Conversations

Body Language: Sick and Disabled Crazy Femmes in Conversation

Commons Conversations
12 Sep, 2022

Body Language: Sick and Disabled Crazy Femmes in Conversation

Co-presented with the Color of New Media Working Group and co-sponsored by the Arts Research Center, the Department of English, the Department of Ethnic Studies, the Department of Gender and Women's Studies, the Center for Race and Gender, and Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies


Ra Malika Imhotep
Black feminist writer, performance artist, and scholar

Caleb Luna
Artist and public scholar

Moderated by Miyuki Baker

with an introduction from BCNM's Director Gail De Kosnik

Register for the Zoom link here!
Or watch on YouTube here.

Join poets and BCNM alumni Ra Malika Imhotep, Ph.D. and Caleb Luna, Ph.D. as they discuss their new poetry books gossypiin and REVENGE BODY, respectively. The two books explore themes of (intergenerational) trauma, disability, the body, storytelling, and survivorship. In this reading and discussion, the authors will reflect on how their artistic and academic works inform one another, publishing as graduate students, and more.

About Ra Malika Imhotep & Caleb Luna

Ra Malika Imhotep is a Black feminist writer and performance artist from Atlanta, Georgia who completed a PhD in African Diaspora Studies and New Media Studies at the University of California, Berkeley in 2022. The intellectual and creative work of Ra/Malika Imhotep tends to the relationships between queer embodiment, Black femininity, vernacular culture, & the performance of labor. Ra/Malika is co-convener of an embodied spiritual-political education project called The Church of Black Feminist Thought a member of The Black Aesthetic and the proud child of D. Makeda Johnson and Akbar Imhotep.

Ra/Malika is the author of gossypiin (Red Hen Press, 2022), a collection of poems inspired by the plant medicine latent in Gossypium Herbeceum, or Cotton Root Bark, which was used by enslaved Black women to induce labor, cure reproductive ailments and end unwanted pregnancies. Through an arrangement of stories, secrets and memories experienced, read, heard, reimagined and remixed, gossypiin reckons with a peculiar yet commonplace inheritance of violation, survival and self-possession.

Caleb Luna is an artist, public scholar and theorist of the body. They are the bestselling author of REVENGE BODY (Nomadic Press, 2022), an award-winning educator and scholar, and co-host of the podcast Unsolicited: Fatties Talk Back. They are currently a University of California President's and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara. You can follow Caleb on Instagram and Twitter at @dr_chairbreaker, or get in touch with them at

About Miyuki Baker

ドクター (Dokutā) Miyuki Baker is a queer Zainichi Korean American artist, activist and thinker living in Huichin (Oakland) with a doctoral degree in Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Their work supports people to remember the beauty that lives within them through embodied study & research, what they call Beautiful Scholarship, and to activate this beauty for our everyday practices of solidarity and collective liberation.


The event is free and open to the public and will take place virtually over Zoom with a simultaneous livestream on BCNM’s YouTube Channel. All of our broadcasts will be live-captioned, and our Zoom Webinar experience offers an additional Streamtext window with options to customize caption text size and display. Please contact info.bcnm [at] with requests or questions.

With the consent of featured speakers, all recorded videos will be available on the BCNM YouTube channel immediately after the event and event transcripts will be posted to this page one month after the event. We strive to meet any additional access and accommodation needs.

BCNM is proud to make conversations with leading scholars, artists, and technologists freely available to the public. Please help us continue this tradition by making a tax-deductible donation today. If you are in the position to support the program, we suggest $5 per event, or $100 a year.

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