Search results for: critique-of-black-reason

Critique of Black Reason

Author : Achille Mbembe
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In Critique of Black Reason eminent critic Achille Mbembe offers a capacious genealogy of the category of Blackness—from the Atlantic slave trade to the present—to critically reevaluate history, racism, and the future of humanity. Mbembe teases out the intellectual consequences of the reality that Europe is no longer the world's center of gravity while mapping the relations among colonialism, slavery, and contemporary financial and extractive capital. Tracing the conjunction of Blackness with the biological fiction of race, he theorizes Black reason as the collection of discourses and practices that equated Blackness with the nonhuman in order to uphold forms of oppression. Mbembe powerfully argues that this equation of Blackness with the nonhuman will serve as the template for all new forms of exclusion. With Critique of Black Reason, Mbembe offers nothing less than a map of the world as it has been constituted through colonialism and racial thinking while providing the first glimpses of a more just future.

Critique of Black Reason

Author : Achille Mbembe
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Eminent critic Achille Mbembe offers a capacious genealogy of the category of Blackness-from the Atlantic slave trade to the present-to critically reevaluate history, racism, and the future of humanity. Mbembe teases out the intellectual consequences of the reality that Europe is no longer the world's center of gravity while mapping the relations among colonialism, slavery, and contemporary financial and extractive capital. Tracing the conjunction of Blackness with the biological fiction of race, he theorizes Black reason as the collection of discourses and practices that equated Blackness with the nonhuman in order to uphold forms of oppression. Mbembe powerfully argues that this equation of Blackness with the nonhuman will serve as the template for all new forms of exclusion. Mbembe offers nothing less than a map of the world as it has been constituted through colonialism and racial thinking while providing the first glimpses of a more just future.--Publisher description.

Race Reason and the State

Author : Stefan Michael Wheelock
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History 4 Celsius

Author : Ian Baucom
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In History 4° Celsius Ian Baucom continues his inquiries into the place of the Black Atlantic in the making of the modern and postmodern world. Putting black studies into conversation with climate change, Baucom outlines how the ongoing concerns of critical race, diaspora, and postcolonial studies are crucial to understanding the Anthropocene. He draws on materialist and postmaterialist thought, Sartre, and the science of climate change to trace the ways in which evolving political, cultural, and natural history converge to shape a globally destructive force. Identifying the quest for limitless financial gain as the primary driving force behind both the slave trade and the continuing increase in global greenhouse gas emissions, Baucom demonstrates that climate change and the conditions of the Black Atlantic, colonialism, and the postcolony are fundamentally entwined. In so doing, he argues for the necessity of establishing a method of critical exchange between climate science, black studies, and the surrounding theoretical inquiries of humanism and posthumanism.

The Minoritarian and Black Reason

Author : D. Nandi Odhiambo
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The Minoritarian and Black Reason: A Philosophico-Literary Investigation looks at philosophical texts and novels from the early modern and modern periods to examine the problem of representational language, the Black-figure, and the imagined blackness that willfully looks away from the African presence.

The Meanings of Violence

Author : Gavin Rae
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Violence has long been noted to be a fundamental aspect of the human condition. Traditionally, however, philosophical discussions have tended to approach it through the lens of warfare and/or limit it to physical forms. This changed in the twentieth century as the nature and meaning of ‘violence’ itself became a conceptual problem. Guided by the contention that Walter Benjamin’s famous 1921 ‘Critique of Violence’ essay inaugurated this turn to an explicit questioning of violence, this collection brings together an international array of scholars to engage with how subsequent thinkers—Agamben, Arendt, Benjamin, Butler, Castoriadis, Derrida, Fanon, Gramsci, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, and Schmitt—grappled with the meaning and place of violence. The aim is not to reduce these multiple responses to a singular one, but to highlight the heterogeneous ways in which the concept has been inquired into and the manifold meanings of it that have resulted. To this end, each chapter focuses on a different approach or thinker within twentieth and twenty-first century European philosophy, with many of them tackling the issue through the mediation of other topics and disciplines, including biopolitics, epistemology, ethics, culture, law, politics, and psychoanalysis. As such, the volume will be an invaluable resource for those interested in Critical Theory, Cultural Studies, History of Ideas, Philosophy, Politics, Political Theory, Psychology, and Sociology.

Black Feelings

Author : Lisa M. Corrigan
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In the 1969 issue of Negro Digest, a young Black Arts Movement poet then-named Ameer (Amiri) Baraka published “We Are Our Feeling: The Black Aesthetic.” Baraka’s emphasis on the importance of feelings in black selfhood expressed a touchstone for how the black liberation movement grappled with emotions in response to the politics and racial violence of the era. In her latest book, award-winning author Lisa M. Corrigan suggests that Black Power provided a significant repository for negative feelings, largely black pessimism, to resist the constant physical violence against black activists and the psychological strain of political disappointment. Corrigan asserts the emergence of Black Power as a discourse of black emotional invention in opposition to Kennedy-era white hope. As integration became the prevailing discourse of racial liberalism shaping midcentury discursive structures, so too, did racial feelings mold the biopolitical order of postmodern life in America. By examining the discourses produced by Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, and other Black Power icons who were marshaling black feelings in the service of black political action, Corrigan traces how black liberation activists mobilized new emotional repertoires

Revolution and Non Violence in Tolstoy Gandhi and Mandela

Author : Imraan Coovadia
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The dangers of political violence and the possibilities of non-violence were the central themes of three lives which changed the twentieth century—Leo Tolstoy, writer and aristocrat who turned against his class, Mohandas Gandhi who corresponded with Tolstoy and considered him the most important person of the time, and Nelson Mandela, prisoner and statesman, who read War and Peace on Robben Island and who, despite having led a campaign of sabotage, saw himself as a successor to Gandhi. Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Mandela tried to create transformed societies to replace the dying forms of colony and empire. They found the inequalities of Russia, India, and South Africa intolerable yet they questioned the wisdom of seizing the power of the state, creating new kinds of political organisation and imagination to replace the old promises of revolution. Their views, along with their ways of leading others, are closely connected, from their insistence on working with their own hands and reforming their individual selves to their acceptance of death. On three continents, in a century of mass mobilization and conflict, they promoted strains of nationalism devoid of antagonism, prepared to take part in a general peace. Looking at Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Mandela in sequence, taking into account their letters and conversations as well as the institutions they created or subverted, placing at the centre their treatment of the primal fantasy of political violence, this volume reveals a vital radical tradition which stands outside the conventional categories of twentieth-century history and politics.

Preaching in and the Borderlands

Author : J. Dwayne Howell
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What is to be the church's response to the immigrant? Most immigrants in American society are seeking a better life. They are among the most vulnerable, possessing little and at the mercy of those they work for in the communities where they live. The essays in this book address issues for churches to consider as they seek to better understand how to respond to immigration. The book examines biblical, ethical, theological, and homiletical areas of the topic and includes contributions from experienced pastors, theologians, legal experts, and activists. With contributions from: Sarah Ellen Eads Adkins Claudio Carvalhaes Jason W. Crosby Miguel A. De La Torre Rebecca Hensley Robert Hoch Melanie A. Howard Maha Kolko Gerald C. Liu Joy Moore Heidi Neumark Owen K. Ross Lis Valle Michael Waters

Black Age

Author : Habiba Ibrahim
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"Black Age argues that age tracks the struggle between the abuses of black exclusion from western humanism, and the reclamation of non-normative black life"--

i ek on Race

Author : Zahi Zalloua
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Slavoj Žižek's prolific comments on anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, scapegoating, popular nationalism, the refugee crisis, Eurocentrism, the War on Terror, neocolonialism, global justice, and rioting comprise a dizzying array of thinking. But what can we pull out of his various writings and commentaries on race in the contemporary world? Is there anything approaching a Žižekian philosophy of race? Zahi Zalloua argues here that there is and that the often polemical style of Žižek's pronouncements shouldn't undermine the importance and urgency of his work in this area. Zalloua not only examines Žižek's philosophy of race but addresses the misconceptions that have arisen and some of the perceived shortcomings in his work to date. Žižek on Race also puts Žižek in dialogue with critical race and anti-colonial studies, dwelling on the sparks struck up by this dialogue and the differences, gaps, and absences it points up. Engaging Žižek's singular contribution to the analysis of race and racism, Žižek on Race both patiently interrogates and critically extends his direct comments on the topic, developing more fully the potential of his thought. In a response to the book, Žižek boldly reaffirms his theoretical stance, clarifying further his often difficult-to-work-out positions on some of his more controversial pronouncements.

Elemental Difference and the Climate of the Body

Author : Emily Anne Parker
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In nineteenth-century Europe, differences among human bodies were understood to be matters of scientific classification. At the height of scientific acceptance, it was unthinkable that race or sex or diagnosis or indigence were invention. Today, however, differences among human bodies are understood as matters of social construction. The philosophy of social construction understands differences among humans to be matters of human imposition. Social constructionism's way of understanding the origin of differences among humans is so well-established as to have no currently viable alternatives, even among new materialists, social constructionism's most ardent critics. This book argues that new materialists and social constructionists share a distinction between the political and the ecological. Emily Anne Parker centers her argument on the philosophical concept of the polis, according to which there is one complete human form. It is this form that is to blame for our current political and ecological crisis. Political hierarchies and ecological crises are often considered to be two different problems: for example, many speak of parallel problems, climate change and racial injustice. Parker argues that these are not parallel crises so much as one problem: the polis. The philosophy of the polis asserts that there is one complete human body, and that body is meant to govern all other things. In that sense there are not two crises, but instead one concern: to perceive the ways in which this tradition of the polis constrains the present. Elemental difference in the polis is appreciated in the fact that "empirical bodily non-identity," an Aristotelian concept, can be called upon to elevate one group of bodies among the rest. Parker builds from Sylvia Wynter, who argues that the very idea of empirical bodily non-identity begins with the modern science of racial anatomy, or what Wynter calls biocentrism. Parker argues that biocentrism is a feature of the polis, according to which the one complete body was defined by its capacity for disembodied thought. The sciences of racial anatomy are a more explicit commitment to biocentrism, but the ranking of matter with respect to one complete human, a body that is the site of supra-natural thinking, is a practice that has always characterized the polis. In this way, the polis is responsible for both political and ecological hierarchy. It is as responsible for what is euphemistically called climate change as it is for the political hierarchy that constitutes it. Elemental Difference and the Climate of the Body ultimately bridges the insights of social constructionism and new materialisms to create a philosophy of elemental difference. Difference, rather than needing to be either dismissed based on its social construction or reified in keeping with the hierarchies of the polis, is crucial for addressing contemporary crises of the polis.

Affective Justice

Author : Kamari Maxine Clarke
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Since its inception in 2001, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been met with resistance by various African states and their leaders, who see the court as a new iteration of colonial violence and control. In Affective Justice Kamari Maxine Clarke explores the African Union's pushback against the ICC in order to theorize affect's role in shaping forms of justice in the contemporary period. Drawing on fieldwork in The Hague, the African Union in Addis Ababa, sites of postelection violence in Kenya, and Boko Haram's circuits in Northern Nigeria, Clarke formulates the concept of affective justice—an emotional response to competing interpretations of justice—to trace how affect becomes manifest in judicial practices. By detailing the effects of the ICC’s all-African indictments, she outlines how affective responses to these call into question the "objectivity" of the ICC’s mission to protect those victimized by violence and prosecute perpetrators of those crimes. In analyzing the effects of such cases, Clarke provides a fuller theorization of how people articulate what justice is and the mechanisms through which they do so.

The Unfinished Revolution

Author : Karen Salt
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The Unfinished Revolution: Haiti, Black Sovereignty and Power in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World addresses post-revolutionary (and contemporary) sovereignty in Haiti. Working through an archive of black politics, The Unfinished Revolution examines the charged upheaval that Haiti's arrival caused in the Atlantic world. Salt revisits this site of contestation in order to critically reflect on the ways that brokers from Haiti and across the Atlantic responded to the political existence of a nation forged from the fires of revolution and consistently racialized as black by other nation-states. These sovereign bodies - who Salt argues took their political cues regarding who can be sovereign from the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) - struggled to accept the existence of the independent nation-state of Haiti. Examining Haiti through the lens of blackness and sovereignty, Salt produces an original and compelling account of the challenges and constraints Haiti has encountered in fighting for its continued political existence. Assembling a wide range of materials - from photographs, newspaper articles, letters, diplomatic documents, essays and objects - Salt produces a cogent and nuanced book that moves beyond the revolutionary period of Haiti's history in order to argue that Haiti remains in the midst of an unfinished revolution over its sovereignty. An Open Access edition of this work is available on the OAPEN Library.

Zero to Blaque

Author : Kelvin Jonathan Monroe
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This study takes up an intentionally aggressive polemic with what we might call Black Reason. It does so on several registers. The first is that it proceeds from a speculative observation made by comedian Paul Mooney. Vis-a-vis Mooney, we take what I call the figure of Mammy as our point of entry and subsequently our point whereby a reconfiguration of criticality might occur. Thus, in taking Mooney seriously, our thesis therefore proceeds on yet another register: that of the anthropological structures of the imaginary. In other words, to grasp these preliminary procedures we must take, as given, two additional corollary propositions and points of departure: 1) that we exist in an antiblack sociohistorical reality; and 2) that this antiblack sociohistorical reality is a primary feature of Western Modernity. The questions of "why?", "to what avail?", and "what determines its persistence?" are our underscoring imperatives and motives for theoretical combat.

Global Origins of the Modern Self from Montaigne to Suzuki

Author : Avram Alpert
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Explores how writers across five continents and four centuries have debated ideas about what it means to be an individual, and shows that the modern self is an ongoing project of global history. In Global Origins of the Modern Self, from Montaigne to Suzuki, Avram Alpert contends that scholars have yet to fully grasp the constitutive force of global connections in the making of modern selfhood. Alpert argues that canonical moments of self-making from around the world share a surprising origin in the colonial anthropology of Europeans in the Americas. While most intellectual histories of modernity begin with the Cartesian inward turn, Alpert shows how this turn itself was an evasion of the impact of the colonial encounter. He charts a counter-history of the modern self, tracing lines of influence that stretch from Michel de Montaigne’s encounter with the Tupi through the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau into German Idealism, American Transcendentalism, postcolonial critique, and modern Zen. Alpert considers an unusually wide range of thinkers, including Kant, Hegel, Fanon, Emerson, Du Bois, Senghor, and Suzuki. This book not only breaks with disciplinary conventions about period and geography but also argues that these conventions obscure our ability to understand the modern condition. Avram Alpert is Lecturer in the Writing Program at Princeton University.

Barbaric Culture and Black Critique

Author : Stefan M. Wheelock
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In an interdisciplinary study of black intellectual history at the dawn of the nineteenth century, Stefan M. Wheelock shows how black antislavery writers were able to counteract ideologies of white supremacy while fostering a sense of racial community and identity. The major figures he discusses—Ottobah Cugoano, Olaudah Equiano, David Walker, and Maria Stewart—engaged the concepts of democracy, freedom, and equality as these ideas ripened within the context of racial terror and colonial hegemony. Wheelock highlights the ways in which religious and secular versions of collective political destiny both competed and cooperated to forge a vision for a more perfect and just society. By appealing to religious sensibilities and calling for emancipation, these writers addressed slavery and its cultural bearing on the Atlantic in varied, complex, and sometimes contradictory ways during a key period in the development of Western political identity and modernity.

Haiti s Paper War

Author : Chelsea Stieber
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Turns to the written record to re-examine the building blocks of a nation Picking up where most historians conclude, Chelsea Stieber explores the critical internal challenge to Haiti’s post-independence sovereignty: a civil war between monarchy and republic. What transpired was a war of swords and of pens, waged in newspapers and periodicals, in literature, broadsheets, and fliers. In her analysis of Haitian writing that followed independence, Stieber composes a new literary history of Haiti, that challenges our interpretations of both freedom struggles and the postcolonial. By examining internal dissent during the revolution, Stieber reveals that the very concept of freedom was itself hotly contested in the public sphere, and it was this inherent tension that became the central battleground for the guerre de plume—the paper war—that vied to shape public sentiment and the very idea of Haiti. Stieber’s reading of post-independence Haitian writing reveals key insights into the nature of literature, its relation to freedom and politics, and how fraught and politically loaded the concepts of “literature” and “civilization” really are. The competing ideas of liberté, writing, and civilization at work within postcolonial Haiti have consequences for the way we think about Haiti’s role—as an idea and a discursive interlocutor—in the elaboration of black radicalism and black Atlantic, anticolonial, and decolonial thought. In so doing, Stieber reorders our previously homogeneous view of Haiti, teasing out warring conceptions of the new nation that continued to play out deep into the twentieth century.

Critique in German Philosophy

Author : María del Rosario Acosta López
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Traces a conceptual history of critique in German philosophy from the eighteenth century to the present. Critique has been a central theme in the German philosophical tradition since the eighteenth century. The main goal of this book is to provide a history of this concept from its Kantian inception to contemporary critical theory. Focusing on both canonical and previously overlooked texts and thinkers, the contributors bring to light alternative conceptions of critique within nineteenth- and twentieth-century German philosophy, which have profound implications for contemporary philosophy. By offering a critical revision of the history of modern European philosophy, this book raises new questions about what it means for philosophy to be “critical” today. María del Rosario Acosta López is Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She has published several books, including Aesthetic Reason and Imaginative Freedom: Friedrich Schiller and Philosophy (coedited with Jeffrey L. Powell), also published by SUNY Press. J. Colin McQuillan is Associate Professor of Philosophy at St. Mary’s University. His previously published books include Immanuel Kant: The Very Idea of a Critique of Pure Reason.


Author : Achille Mbembe
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In Necropolitics Achille Mbembe, a leader in the new wave of francophone critical theory, theorizes the genealogy of the contemporary world, a world plagued by ever-increasing inequality, militarization, enmity, and terror as well as by a resurgence of racist, fascist, and nationalist forces determined to exclude and kill. He outlines how democracy has begun to embrace its dark side---what he calls its “nocturnal body”---which is based on the desires, fears, affects, relations, and violence that drove colonialism. This shift has hollowed out democracy, thereby eroding the very values, rights, and freedoms liberal democracy routinely celebrates. As a result, war has become the sacrament of our times in a conception of sovereignty that operates by annihilating all those considered enemies of the state. Despite his dire diagnosis, Mbembe draws on post-Foucauldian debates on biopolitics, war, and race as well as Fanon's notion of care as a shared vulnerability to explore how new conceptions of the human that transcend humanism might come to pass. These new conceptions would allow us to encounter the Other not as a thing to exclude but as a person with whom to build a more just world.