Poetic Computation: Improvisation and Social Praxis

Poetic computation

In this open seminar hosted by the University of Edinburgh’s CDCS Digital Social Science Cluster, Victor Peterson II’s (PhD, King’s College London), presents ‘Poetic Computation: Improvisation and Social Praxis’.

First broadcast on 11 May 2022

Chaired by Dr Marian Jago


There is a long standing conception in Black cultural studies that the archive of the Black (radical) tradition is one of singing books. Poetic computation takes that claim seriously by treating the songs and anthems of socio-cultural and political movements as archival texts; texts that encode a sentiment to be decoded in terms relevant to the places and spaces in which they’re read. How these anthems are taken up by groups to express their collective orientation to and within current conditions–and, if need be, challenge that which prohibits their ability to assume that orientation–provides a way to study how the strategies and tactics that have evolved to organize sound are a model to study the internal structure of the forms of life that organize around them.



Victor Peterson II’s (PhD, King’s College London) research centers on Articulation theory–how relations of subordination and dominance emerge–as well as global conceptions of blackness and the sound of social movements. His monograph, Black Thought: a Theory of Articulation, is currently under contract with Routledge’s African and African Diaspora Series. A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he has also published peer-reviewed articles in The Journal of Black Studies, The CLR James Journal, and others. He teaches at The New School and New York University.

Website: vpii.us

Click here to view ‘Poetic Computation: Improvisation and Social Praxis’ directly on Media Hopper Create



Header Image: Screenshot from the open lecture