Prince's dark precursor: blackness, commodity, and evil

This paper will pose some general questions about current theorizing about blackness and the music industry. I will try interpreting the unprecedentedly strange way Lovesexy came to take the place of The Black Album in the Prince discography as an instance of late 1980s/early 1990s pop-cultural blackness. I’ll see Prince’s decision as based on spiritual, even theological considerations, though I will argue they are not unrelated to commercial ones.

Arun Saldanha

Arun Saldanha is an Associate Professor of Geography, Environment, and Society at The University of Minnesota. Arun had been thinking for over a decade about organizing a Prince symposium, puzzled that so few seemed to know about the uniquely tight connection between this city and the global pop icon. When in 2016 he finally started on the project as Imagine Chair of Arts, Design, and Humanities, Prince died unexpectedly a couple of weeks later. The symposium, Prince from Minneapolis, was realized in April 2018. Arun’s research and teaching are broad but tend to focus on race, colonialism, gender, travel, and cultural theory. He authored Space After Deleuze and Psychedelic White: Goa Trance and the Viscosity of Race, and he coedited Geographies of Race and Food: Fields Bodies MarketsSexual Difference Between Psychoanalysis and Vitalism, and Deleuze and Race. He lives in Powderhorn.