Notes on Craft: Dr Xine Yao and Ama Josephine B. Johnstone in Conversation

updated xine ama 20 january updated graphic

Tickets available here

As part of the Notes on Craft series, hosted by Queer Intersections Oxford, Dr Xine Yao will sit down with artist and activist Ama Josephine B. Johnstone to discuss the experiences that inform their work, and to explore vibrant intersections between life, activism, and scholarship. They’ll also be discussing Dr Yao’s first book, Disaffected: The Cultural Politics of Unfeeling in Nineteenth-Century America, which was released in the UK earlier this year by Duke University Press. Described as a ‘powerhouse’ of a study, Disaffected looks at the racial and sexual politics of unfeeling as a means of survival and refusal in nineteenth-century America. In addition to being a remarkable intervention in affect theory and nineteenth-century literary scholarship, Disaffected looks towards an imaginative and intellectual space where precarious and systemically oppressed scholars ‘can be vulnerable’: ‘to be seen, process, and organize’.  


Notes on Craft aims to foster conversations between activism and academia, and to give context to students and early career academics on how their political, scholarly, and lived experiences might effectively feed and shape one another. To find out more about upcoming QIO events, you can follow the Network on Twitter @oxqueerstudies and on Facebook.



Tickets available here

Dr. Xine Yao is Lecturer in American Literature to 1900 at University College London. Their first book is Disaffected: The Cultural Politics of Unfeeling in Nineteenth-Century America which has won Duke University Press’s Scholars of Color First Book Award (November 2021). Her honours include the American Studies Association’s Yasuo Sakakibara Essay Prize and their research has been supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is a BBC Radio 3/AHRC New Generation Thinker and the co-host of PhDivas Podcast.

Ama Josephine B. Johnstone is a Speculative Writer, Artist, Curator and Pleasure Activist. She is currently doing a PhD in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, researching “Pleasurable Practices for Climate Colonialism Resistance" (2018-2022). Ama is also the Planetary Fictions Fellow researching Pleasurable Ecologies: Curation as Future Building (2020 - 2022) with Curatorial Frame (Helsinki) & EVA International (Limerick), and the Keith Haring Fellow in Art and Activism (2020-21) with Bard College’s Centre for Curatorial Studies & Human Rights Department.