Fred Moten is a teacher and writer whose areas of study and practice include Black Literary, Aural and Visual Culture, Critical Theory, Performance Studies, and Poetry and Poetics. He is especially concerned with the social force and social origins of black expressive cultural practices. In particular, Moten is interested in the relation between insurgent social movement and experimental art, and has been preoccupied with understanding these fields of endeavour as indissolubly linked and irreducibly popular.
Over the last 25 years, Moten has addressed these concerns, by way of poetry and criticism, in a number of books, including “In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition” (University of Minnesota Press, 2003); Hughson’s Tavern” (Leon Works, 2009); “B. Jenkins” (Duke University Press, 2010); “The Feel Trio” (Letter Machine Editions, 2014); “The Little Edges” (Wesleyan University Press, 2015); “The Service Porch” (Letter Machine Editions, 2016); and “consent not to be a single being” (Duke University Press, 2017, 2018).
Moten is engaged in long-term collaborations with theorist Stefano Harney and artist Wu Tsang. With Harney, he is co-author of “The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study” (Minor Compositions/Autonomedia, 2013) and “A Poetics of the Undercommons” (Sputnik and Fizzle, 2016), and with Tsang, “Who touched me?” (If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want to be Part of Your Revolution, 2016). Tsang and Moten are also co-workers in the project Gravitational Feel, iterations of which have been shown or performed at venues including If I Can't Dance I Don't Want To Be A Part of Your Revolution, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom; and the New Museum, New York. Moten has also collaborated with the artists and artist collectives Arika, Freethought, Andrea Geyer, Arthur Jafa, MPA, Ultra-red, and Suné Woods.
Moten lives in New York with his partner and long-term intellectual collaborator, Laura Harris, and their children, Lorenzo and Julian. He has served on the editorial boards of Callaloo, Discourse, American Quarterly, and Social Text; as a member of the Critical Theory Institute at the University of California, Irvine; on the board of directors of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, City University of New York; and on the advisory board of Issues in Critical Investigation, Vanderbilt University. Moten received an A.B. from Harvard and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He teaches in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University.
As of February 2019