Habeas Viscus

Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human

Author: Alexander G. Weheliye

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822376490

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 8557

Habeas Viscus focuses attention on the centrality of race to notions of the human. Alexander G. Weheliye develops a theory of "racializing assemblages," taking race as a set of sociopolitical processes that discipline humanity into full humans, not-quite-humans, and nonhumans. This disciplining, while not biological per se, frequently depends on anchoring political hierarchies in human flesh. The work of the black feminist scholars Hortense Spillers and Sylvia Wynter is vital to Weheliye's argument. Particularly significant are their contributions to the intellectual project of black studies vis-à-vis racialization and the category of the human in western modernity. Wynter and Spillers configure black studies as an endeavor to disrupt the governing conception of humanity as synonymous with white, western man. Weheliye posits black feminist theories of modern humanity as useful correctives to the "bare life and biopolitics discourse" exemplified by the works of Giorgio Agamben and Michel Foucault, which, Weheliye contends, vastly underestimate the conceptual and political significance of race in constructions of the human. Habeas Viscus reveals the pressing need to make the insights of black studies and black feminism foundational to the study of modern humanity.
Posted in Social Science

Habeas Viscus

Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human

Author: Alexander G. Weheliye

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

ISBN: 9780822356912

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 9701

Habeas Viscus focuses attention on the centrality of race to notions of the human. Alexander G. Weheliye develops a theory of "racializing assemblages," taking race as a set of sociopolitical processes that discipline humanity into full humans, not-quite-humans, and nonhumans. This disciplining, while not biological per se, frequently depends on anchoring political hierarchies in human flesh. The work of the black feminist scholars Hortense Spillers and Sylvia Wynter is vital to Weheliye's argument. Particularly significant are their contributions to the intellectual project of black studies vis-à-vis racialization and the category of the human in western modernity. Wynter and Spillers configure black studies as an endeavor to disrupt the governing conception of humanity as synonymous with white, western man. Weheliye posits black feminist theories of modern humanity as useful correctives to the "bare life and biopolitics discourse" exemplified by the works of Giorgio Agamben and Michel Foucault, which, Weheliye contends, vastly underestimate the conceptual and political significance of race in constructions of the human. Habeas Viscus reveals the pressing need to make the insights of black studies and black feminism foundational to the study of modern humanity.
Posted in Social Science

Habeas Viscus

Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human

Author: Alexander G. Weheliye

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

ISBN: 9780822357018

Category: Social Science

Page: 219

View: 3868

Habeas Viscus focuses attention on the centrality of race to notions of the human. Alexander G. Weheliye develops a theory of "racializing assemblages," taking race as a set of sociopolitical processes that discipline humanity into full humans, not-quite-humans, and nonhumans. This disciplining, while not biological per se, frequently depends on anchoring political hierarchies in human flesh. The work of the black feminist scholars Hortense Spillers and Sylvia Wynter is vital to Weheliye's argument. Particularly significant are their contributions to the intellectual project of black studies vis-à-vis racialization and the category of the human in western modernity. Wynter and Spillers configure black studies as an endeavor to disrupt the governing conception of humanity as synonymous with white, western man. Weheliye posits black feminist theories of modern humanity as useful correctives to the "bare life and biopolitics discourse" exemplified by the works of Giorgio Agamben and Michel Foucault, which, Weheliye contends, vastly underestimate the conceptual and political significance of race in constructions of the human. Habeas Viscus reveals the pressing need to make the insights of black studies and black feminism foundational to the study of modern humanity.
Posted in Social Science

Psychosomatic

Feminism and the Neurological Body

Author: Elizabeth A. Wilson

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822386380

Category: Psychology

Page: 136

View: 9809

How can scientific theories contribute to contemporary accounts of embodiment in the humanities and social sciences? In particular, how does neuroscientific research facilitate new approaches to theories of mind and body? Feminists have frequently criticized the neurosciences for biological reductionism, yet, Elizabeth A. Wilson argues, neurological theories—especially certain accounts of depression, sexuality, and emotion—are useful to feminist theories of the body. Rather than pointing toward the conventionalizing tendencies of the neurosciences, Wilson emphasizes their capacity for reinvention and transformation. Focusing on the details of neuronal connections, subcortical pathways, and reflex actions, she suggests that the central and peripheral nervous systems are powerfully allied with sexuality, the affects, emotional states, cognitive appetites, and other organs and bodies in ways not fully appreciated in the feminist literature. Whether reflecting on Simon LeVay’s hypothesis about the brains of gay men, Peter Kramer’s model of depression, or Charles Darwin’s account of trembling and blushing, Wilson is able to show how the neurosciences can be used to reinvigorate feminist theories of the body.
Posted in Psychology

On the Postcolony

Author: J.-A. Mbembé

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520204355

Category: Social Science

Page: 274

View: 1903

Refreshing a stale debate about power in the postcolonial state, this book addresses a topic debated across the humanities and social sciences: how to define, discuss, and address power and the subjective experience of ordinary people in the face of power?
Posted in Social Science

Phonographies

Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity

Author: Alexander G. Weheliye

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822386933

Category: Music

Page: 299

View: 7009

Phonographies explores the numerous links and relays between twentieth-century black cultural production and sound technologies from the phonograph to the Walkman. Highlighting how black authors, filmmakers, and musicians have actively engaged with recorded sound in their work, Alexander G. Weheliye contends that the interplay between sound technologies and black music and speech enabled the emergence of modern black culture, of what he terms “sonic Afro-modernity.” He shows that by separating music and speech from their human sources, sound-recording technologies beginning with the phonograph generated new modes of thinking, being, and becoming. Black artists used these new possibilities to revamp key notions of modernity—among these, ideas of subjectivity, temporality, and community. Phonographies is a powerful argument that sound technologies are integral to black culture, which is, in turn, fundamental to Western modernity. Weheliye surveys literature, film, and music to focus on engagements with recorded sound. He offers substantial new readings of canonical texts by W. E. B. Du Bois and Ralph Ellison, establishing dialogues between these writers and popular music and film ranging from Louis Armstrong’s voice to DJ mixing techniques to Darnell Martin’s 1994 movie I Like It Like That. Looking at how questions of diasporic belonging are articulated in contemporary black musical practices, Weheliye analyzes three contemporary Afro-diasporic musical acts: the Haitian and African American rap group the Fugees, the Afro- and Italian-German rap collective Advanced Chemistry, and black British artist Tricky and his partner Martina. Phonographies imagines the African diaspora as a virtual sounding space, one that is marked, in the twentieth century and twenty-first, by the circulation of culture via technological reproductions—records and tapes, dubbing and mixing, and more.
Posted in Music

Sylvia Wynter

On Being Human as Praxis

Author: Katherine McKittrick

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822375850

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 9405

The Jamaican writer and cultural theorist Sylvia Wynter is best known for her diverse writings that pull together insights from theories in history, literature, science, and black studies, to explore race, the legacy of colonialism, and representations of humanness. Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis is a critical genealogy of Wynter’s work, highlighting her insights on how race, location, and time together inform what it means to be human. The contributors explore Wynter’s stunning reconceptualization of the human in relation to concepts of blackness, modernity, urban space, the Caribbean, science studies, migratory politics, and the interconnectedness of creative and theoretical resistances. The collection includes an extensive conversation between Sylvia Wynter and Katherine McKittrick that delineates Wynter’s engagement with writers such as Frantz Fanon, W. E. B. DuBois, and Aimé Césaire, among others; the interview also reveals the ever-extending range and power of Wynter’s intellectual project, and elucidates her attempts to rehistoricize humanness as praxis.
Posted in Social Science

Scenes of Subjection

Terror, Slavery, and Self-making in Nineteenth-century America

Author: Saidiya V. Hartman

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780195089837

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 281

View: 8392

In the tradition of Eric Lott's award-winning Love and Theft, Hartman's new book shows how the violence of captivity and enslavement was embodied in many of the performance practices that grew from, and about, slave culture in antebellum America. Using tools from anthropology and history as well as literary criticism, she examines a wealth of material, including songs, dance, stories, diaries, narratives, and journals to provide new insights into a range of issues. She looks particularlyat the presentations of slavery and blackness in minstrelsy, melodrama, and the sentimental novel; the disparity between actual slave culture and "managed" plantation amusements; the construction of slave culture in nineteenth-century ethnographic writing; the rhetorical performance of slave law and slave narratives; the dimension of slave performance practice; and the political consciousness of folklore. Particularly provocative is her analysis of the slave pen and auction block, which transmogrified terror into theatre, and her reading of the rhetoric of seduction in slavery law and legal cases concerning rape. Persuasively showing that the exercise of power is inseparable from its display, Scenes of Subjection will interest readers involved in a wide range of historical, literary, and cultural studies.
Posted in Literary Criticism

Spill

Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity

Author: Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822373572

Category: Social Science

Page: 184

View: 5303

In Spill, self-described queer Black troublemaker and Black feminist love evangelist Alexis Pauline Gumbs presents a commanding collection of scenes depicting fugitive Black women and girls seeking freedom from gendered violence and racism. In this poetic work inspired by Hortense Spillers, Gumbs offers an alternative approach to Black feminist literary criticism, historiography, and the interactive practice of relating to the words of Black feminist thinkers. Gumbs not only speaks to the spiritual, bodily, and otherworldly experience of Black women but also allows readers to imagine new possibilities for poetry as a portal for understanding and deepening feminist theory.
Posted in Social Science

Assuming a Body

Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality

Author: Gayle Salamon

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231149581

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 226

View: 6855

We believe we know our bodies intimately--that their material reality is certain and that this certainty leads to an epistemological truth about sex, gender, and identity. By exploring and giving equal weight to transgendered subjectivities, however, Gayle Salamon upends these certainties. Considering questions of transgendered embodiment via phenomenology (Maurice Merleau-Ponty), psychoanalysis (Sigmund Freud and Paul Ferdinand Schilder), and queer theory, Salamon advances an alternative theory of normative and non-normative gender, proving the value and vitality of trans experience for thinking about embodiment. Salamon suggests that the difference between transgendered and normatively gendered bodies is not, in the end, material. Rather, she argues that the production of gender itself relies on a disjunction between the "felt sense" of the body and an understanding of the body's corporeal contours, and that this process need not be viewed as pathological in nature. Examining the relationship between material and phantasmatic accounts of bodily being, Salamon emphasizes the productive tensions that make the body both present and absent in our consciousness and work to confirm and unsettle gendered certainties. She questions traditional theories that explain how the body comes to be--and comes to be made one's own--and she offers a new framework for thinking about what "counts" as a body. The result is a groundbreaking investigation into the phenomenological life of gender.
Posted in Literary Criticism

Toward a Global Idea of Race

Author: Denise Ferreira Da Silva

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 9781452913186

Category:

Page: 334

View: 9795

In this far-ranging and penetrating work, Denise Ferreira da Silva asks why, after more than five hundred years of violence perpetrated by Europeans against people of color, is there no ethical outrage? Rejecting the prevailing view that social categories of difference such as race and culture operate solely as principles of exclusion, Silva presents a critique of modern thought that shows how racial knowledge and power produce global space. Looking at the United States and Brazil, she argues that modern subjects are formed in philosophical accounts that presume two ontological moments—historicity and globality—which are refigured in the concepts of the nation and the racial, respectively. By displacing historicity’s ontological prerogative, Silva proposes that the notion of racial difference governs the present global power configuration because it institutes moral regions not covered by the leading post-Enlightenment ethical ideals—namely, universality and self-determination. By introducing a view of the racial as the signifier of globalit y,Toward a Global Idea of Race provides a new basis for the investigation of past and present modern social processes and contexts of subjection. Denise Ferreira da Silva is associate professor of ethnic studies at University of California, San Diego.
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A Body Worth Defending

Immunity, Biopolitics, and the Apotheosis of the Modern Body

Author: Ed Cohen

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822391112

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 7411

Biological immunity as we know it does not exist until the late nineteenth century. Nor does the premise that organisms defend themselves at the cellular or molecular levels. For nearly two thousand years “immunity,” a legal concept invented in ancient Rome, serves almost exclusively political and juridical ends. “Self-defense” also originates in a juridico-political context; it emerges in the mid-seventeenth century, during the English Civil War, when Thomas Hobbes defines it as the first “natural right.” In the 1880s and 1890s, biomedicine fuses these two political precepts into one, creating a new vital function, “immunity-as-defense.” In A Body Worth Defending, Ed Cohen reveals the unacknowledged political, economic, and philosophical assumptions about the human body that biomedicine incorporates when it recruits immunity to safeguard the vulnerable living organism. Inspired by Michel Foucault’s writings about biopolitics and biopower, Cohen traces the migration of immunity from politics and law into the domains of medicine and science. Offering a genealogy of the concept, he illuminates a complex of thinking about modern bodies that percolates through European political, legal, philosophical, economic, governmental, scientific, and medical discourses from the mid-seventeenth century through the twentieth. He shows that by the late nineteenth century, “the body” literally incarnates modern notions of personhood. In this lively cultural rumination, Cohen argues that by embracing the idea of immunity-as-defense so exclusively, biomedicine naturalizes the individual as the privileged focus for identifying and treating illness, thereby devaluing or obscuring approaches to healing situated within communities or collectives.
Posted in Science

Starve and Immolate

The Politics of Human Weapons

Author: Banu Bargu

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231538111

Category: Philosophy

Page: 512

View: 9269

Starve and Immolate tells the story of leftist political prisoners in Turkey who waged a deadly struggle against the introduction of high security prisons by forging their lives into weapons. Weaving together contemporary and critical political theory with political ethnography, Banu Bargu analyzes the death fast struggle as an exemplary though not exceptional instance of self-destructive practices that are a consequence of, retort to, and refusal of the increasingly biopolitical forms of sovereign power deployed around the globe. Bargu chronicles the experiences, rituals, values, beliefs, ideological self-representations, and contentions of the protestors who fought cellular confinement against the background of the history of Turkish democracy and the treatment of dissent in a country where prisons have become sites of political confrontation. A critical response to Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish, Starve and Immolate centers on new forms of struggle that arise from the asymmetric antagonism between the state and its contestants in the contemporary prison. Bargu ultimately positions the weaponization of life as a bleak, violent, and ambivalent form of insurgent politics that seeks to wrench the power of life and death away from the modern state on corporeal grounds and in increasingly theologized forms. Drawing attention to the existential commitment, sacrificial morality, and militant martyrdom that transforms these struggles into a complex amalgam of resistance, Bargu explores the global ramifications of human weapons' practices of resistance, their possibilities and limitations.
Posted in Philosophy

Poetics of the Flesh

Author: Mayra Rivera

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822374935

Category: Religion

Page: 216

View: 907

In Poetics of the Flesh Mayra Rivera offers poetic reflections on how we understand our carnal relationship to the world, at once spiritual, organic, and social. She connects conversations about corporeality in theology, political theory, and continental philosophy to show the relationship between the ways ancient Christian thinkers and modern Western philosophers conceive of the "body" and "flesh.” Her readings of the biblical writings of John and Paul as well as the work of Tertullian illustrate how Christian ideas of flesh influenced the works of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Michel Foucault, and inform her readings of Judith Butler, Frantz Fanon, and others. Rivera also furthers developments in new materialism by exploring the intersections among bodies, material elements, social arrangements, and discourses through body and flesh. By painting a complex picture of bodies, and by developing an account of how the social materializes in flesh, Rivera provides a new way to understand gender and race.
Posted in Religion

Eating Right in America

The Cultural Politics of Food and Health

Author: Charlotte Biltekoff

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822377276

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 224

View: 2299

Eating Right in America is a powerful critique of dietary reform in the United States from the late nineteenth-century emergence of nutritional science through the contemporary alternative food movement and campaign against obesity. Charlotte Biltekoff analyzes the discourses of dietary reform, including the writings of reformers, as well as the materials they created to bring their messages to the public. She shows that while the primary aim may be to improve health, the process of teaching people to "eat right" in the U.S. inevitably involves shaping certain kinds of subjects and citizens, and shoring up the identity and social boundaries of the ever-threatened American middle class. Without discounting the pleasures of food or the value of wellness, Biltekoff advocates a critical reappraisal of our obsession with diet as a proxy for health. Based on her understanding of the history of dietary reform, she argues that talk about "eating right" in America too often obscures structural and environmental stresses and constraints, while naturalizing the dubious redefinition of health as an individual responsibility and imperative.
Posted in Health & Fitness

Writing Human Rights

The Political Imaginaries of Writers of Color

Author: Crystal Parikh

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 1452954674

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 344

View: 4848

The legal texts and aspirational ideals of human rights are usually understood and applied in a global context with little bearing on the legal discourse, domestic political struggles, or social justice concerns within the United States. In Writing Human Rights, Crystal Parikh uses the international human rights regime to read works by contemporary American writers of color—Toni Morrison, Chang-rae Lee, Ana Castillo, Aimee Phan, and others—to explore the conditions under which new norms, more capacious formulations of rights, and alternative kinds of political communities emerge. Parikh contends that unlike humanitarianism, which views its objects as victims, human rights provide avenues for the creation of political subjects. Pairing the ethical deliberations in such works as Beloved and A Gesture Life with human rights texts like the United Nations Convention Against Torture, she considers why principles articulated as rights in international conventions and treaties—such as the right to self-determination or the right to family—are too often disregarded at home. Human rights concepts instead provide writers of color with a deeply meaningful method for political and moral imagining in their literature. Affiliating transnational works of American literature with decolonization, socialist, and other political struggles in the global south, this book illuminates a human rights critique of idealized American rights and freedoms that have been globalized in the twenty-first century. In the absence of domestic human rights enforcement, these literatures provide a considerable repository for those ways of life and subjects of rights made otherwise impossible in the present antidemocratic moment.
Posted in Literary Criticism

The Right to Maim

Debility, Capacity, Disability

Author: Jasbir K. Puar

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822372533

Category: Social Science

Page: 296

View: 1607

In The Right to Maim Jasbir K. Puar brings her pathbreaking work on the liberal state, sexuality, and biopolitics to bear on our understanding of disability. Drawing on a stunning array of theoretical and methodological frameworks, Puar uses the concept of “debility”—bodily injury and social exclusion brought on by economic and political factors—to disrupt the category of disability. She shows how debility, disability, and capacity together constitute an assemblage that states use to control populations. Puar's analysis culminates in an interrogation of Israel's policies toward Palestine, in which she outlines how Israel brings Palestinians into biopolitical being by designating them available for injury. Supplementing its right to kill with what Puar calls the right to maim, the Israeli state relies on liberal frameworks of disability to obscure and enable the mass debilitation of Palestinian bodies. Tracing disability's interaction with debility and capacity, Puar offers a brilliant rethinking of Foucauldian biopolitics while showing how disability functions at the intersection of imperialism and racialized capital.
Posted in Social Science

Posthuman Blackness and the Black Female Imagination

Author: Kristen Lillvis

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

ISBN: 0820351229

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 138

View: 2345

Cover -- Half Title -- Title -- Copyright -- Contents -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- Chapter 1 Temporal Liminality in Toni Morrison's Beloved and A Mercy -- Chapter 2 Posthuman Solidarity in Sherley Anne Williams's Dessa Rose -- Chapter 3 Afrofuturist Aesthetics in the Works of Erykah Badu, Janelle Monáe, and Gayl Jones -- Chapter 4 Posthuman Multiple Consciousness in Octavia E. Butler's Science Fiction -- Chapter Submarine Transversality in Texts by Sheree Renée Thomas and Julie Dash -- Notes -- Works Cited -- Index
Posted in Literary Criticism

Dark Matters

On the Surveillance of Blackness

Author: Simone Browne

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822375303

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 831

In Dark Matters Simone Browne locates the conditions of blackness as a key site through which surveillance is practiced, narrated, and resisted. She shows how contemporary surveillance technologies and practices are informed by the long history of racial formation and by the methods of policing black life under slavery, such as branding, runaway slave notices, and lantern laws. Placing surveillance studies into conversation with the archive of transatlantic slavery and its afterlife, Browne draws from black feminist theory, sociology, and cultural studies to analyze texts as diverse as the methods of surveilling blackness she discusses: from the design of the eighteenth-century slave ship Brooks, Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon, and The Book of Negroes, to contemporary art, literature, biometrics, and post-9/11 airport security practices. Surveillance, Browne asserts, is both a discursive and material practice that reifies boundaries, borders, and bodies around racial lines, so much so that the surveillance of blackness has long been, and continues to be, a social and political norm.
Posted in Social Science

Feminism is Queer

The Intimate Connection between Queer and Feminist Theory

Author: Mimi Marinucci

Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.

ISBN: 1783606789

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 7385

In Feminism is Queer, Mimi Marinucci provides a valuable introduction to the intimately related disciplines of gender and queer theory, and develops the innovative concept of queer feminism, which treats queer theory as being continuous with feminist theory. While there were significant conceptual tensions between second-wave feminism and traditional lesbian and gay studies, queer feminism offers a paradigm for understanding gender, sex and sexuality that overcomes this conflict in order to foster solidarity between those campaigning for women’s rights and those for LGBTQ rights. This updated and expanded edition engages with the latest developments in feminism and queer theory, including the new forms of both feminism and 'antifeminism' which have developed within online communities, the growing prominence of trans experiences in popular media, and the relevancy of queer feminism to a new generation of feminist activists. Feminism is Queer remains the indispensable guide for anyone with an interest in gender, sexuality, and the connections between feminism and queer issues.
Posted in Social Science