Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis (2015)

14 July 2020, dusan

“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.”

Essays by Katherine McKittrick, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Walter D. Mignolo, Bench Ansfield, Nandita Sharma, Rinaldo Walcott, Carole Boyce Davies, Demetrius L. Eudell, and a conservation with Sylvia Wynter.

Edited by Katherine McKittrick
Publisher Duke University Press, Durham and London, 2015
ISBN 9780822358343, 0822358344
xiii+290 pages

Reviews: Anthony Bayani Rodriguez (Antipode, 2015), Lea Hülsen (Kult, 2016), Kaiama L. Glover (Contemporary Women’s Writing, 2016), Inge Mathijssen (philoSOPHIA, 2018), Lauren Nelson (E3W Review of Books, 2019).

Publisher
WorldCat

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Alexander G. Weheliye: Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity (2005)

9 June 2020, dusan

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.”

Publisher Duke University Press, Durham, NC, 2005
ISBN 0822335778, 9780822335771
xii+286 pages

Reviews: Matthew Somoroff (NewBlackMan, 2006), Greg Tate (Souls, 2007), Emma Louise Kilkelly (Journal of American Studies, 2007), George Lipsitz (Journal of the Society for American Music, 2008).

Commentary: Alexander G. Weheliye (Small Axe, 2014), Tavia Nyong’o (Small Axe, 2014).

Publisher
WorldCat

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Arturo Escobar: Territories of Difference: Place, Movements, Life, Redes (2008)

19 April 2020, dusan

“In Territories of Difference, Arturo Escobar, author of the widely debated book Encountering Development, analyzes the politics of difference enacted by specific place-based ethnic and environmental movements in the context of neoliberal globalization. His analysis is based on his many years of engagement with a group of Afro-Colombian activists of Colombia’s Pacific rainforest region, the Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN). Escobar offers a detailed ethnographic account of PCN’s visions, strategies, and practices, and he chronicles and analyzes the movement’s struggles for autonomy, territory, justice, and cultural recognition. Yet he also does much more. Consistently emphasizing the value of local activist knowledge for both understanding and social action and drawing on multiple strands of critical scholarship, Escobar proposes new ways for scholars and activists to examine and apprehend the momentous, complex processes engulfing regions such as the Colombian Pacific today.

Escobar illuminates many interrelated dynamics, including the Colombian government’s policies of development and pluralism that created conditions for the emergence of black and indigenous social movements and those movements’ efforts to steer the region in particular directions. He examines attempts by capitalists to appropriate the rainforest and extract resources, by developers to set the region on the path of modernist progress, and by biologists and others to defend this incredibly rich biodiversity “hot-spot” from the most predatory activities of capitalists and developers. He also looks at the attempts of academics, activists, and intellectuals to understand all of these complicated processes. Territories of Difference is Escobar’s effort to think with Afro-Colombian intellectual-activists who aim to move beyond the limits of Eurocentric paradigms as they confront the ravages of neoliberal globalization and seek to defend their place-based cultures and territories.”

Publisher Duke University Press, 2008
New Ecologies for the Twenty-first Century series, 1
ISBN 9780822343271, 0822343274
xvi+435 pages

Reviews: Laura Fano Morrissey (Development, 2009), Christopher L. Chiappari (Latin American Politics & Society, 2010), Pierre Hamel (American Journal of Sociology, 2010), Lilly U. Nguyen (Interactions, 2010), Rodrigo A. Lima de Medeiros & Guilherme F. W. Radomsky (Sociedade e Estado, 2010, BR-PT), Manuel J. Prieto (Revista de geografía Norte Grande, 2010, ES), Jeffrey S. Juris (American Anthropologist, 2011), Cornelia Butler Flora (J Agric Environ Ethics, 2011), Claudia Steiner (Americas, 2011), Paul Routledge, Juanita Sundberg, Marcus Power, & Arturo Escobar (Progress in Human Geography, 2012).

Publisher
WorldCat

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