Fumi Okiji

Fumi Okiji is the Black Arts Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University. Her research looks to black expression in its exploration of ways to understand the inadequacies of modern and contemporary life. She has a forthcoming book entitled Jazz as Critique: Adorno and Black Expression Revisited (Stanford) which shows how the music, as expression of life that incessantly calls into question the world’s integrity, provides social critique and models an alternative mode of sociality. Her current research is focused on divinatory practices and chance events of Yoruba theology and aesthetics, and jazz practice in response to the narrowing and appropriation of the notion of divination by neoliberalist ideology, and toward an appreciation and harnessing of the uncertainty inherent in the artistic/expressive record and archive. Okiji’s work brings into conversation Ifá (Yoruba oral text and music) and jazz, and in so doing, wrestles with and attempts to hold open the contradictions of Middle Passage rupture and Old World residue. Okiji is also a music practitioner currently engaged in practice-enabled research projects that theorize and experiment with vandalism and the breakage of record(s) as ways to alternative epistemological frameworks.


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