In this conversation, 2020-2021 Faculty Fellows Meredith D. Clark and Shaka McGlotten reflect on their experience at Data & Society during a global pandemic. “Moving Through Molasses” invokes the challenges of adapting to the existential and emotional fatigue of incessant telepresence interfaces, performative intellectual labor, and the need to balance a professional career amidst ongoing collapse.
Their conversation explores how Queer and Black scholars can move through institutions without forsaking authenticity. They make a case for productivity refusal as a generative tactic for self-preservation. Molasses is a medicine; a decelerator; a metaphor for the slow, somatic surrender our bodies need. Molasses also alludes to the thick absurdity of online discourse with its noxious disinformation feeds and the inevitable co-optation of Black vernacular content creation. Despite these traps, discuss the speakers, one can indeed cultivate remote community in platform-mediated digital spaces.
00:00:00 – 00:10:04 Navigating the D&S Fellows Program during the pandemic.
00:10:04 – 00:15:30 On bodies, refusal, and wellness.
00:10:04 – 00:15:30 Letting go: measuring work and metrics of success.
00:26:27 – 36:24:15 Finding belonging in digital spaces \ digital publics & discourse tea.
36:24:15 – 45:33:12 So-called “cancel culture”, accountability, and absurdity.
45:33:12 – 50:51:11 The highs and lows of being a (public) intellectual.