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Citation, Erasure, and Violence: A Memoir

By Christen A. Smith

Cite As:
Smith, Christen. 2022. “Citation, Erasure, and Violence: A Memoir.” Cultural Anthropology 37, no. 2: 206–213.


This essay examines the intimate relationship between the personal, the political, violence, and citational erasure through the lens of Black women’s experience. Antiblackness, misogyny, and patriarchy together produce the environment that foments Black women’s citational erasure within anthropology and the academy more broadly. Such erasure is not just an intellectual matter. It is equally a matter of power whose logic has deep roots in settler-colonial extractivism and the historical exploitation of Black women’s labor. Citation thus not only concerns naming or bibliographic incorporation but also historical patterns of race-gender exploitation that haunt the present.


citation; erasure; Black women; anthropology