Jane Anna Gordon: Creolizing Political Theory: Reading Rousseau through Fanon (2014)

25 March 2021, dusan

“Might creolization offer political theory an approach that would better reflect the heterogeneity of political life? After all, it describes mixtures that were not supposed to have emerged in the plantation societies of the Caribbean but did so through their capacity to exemplify living culture, thought, and political practice. Similar processes continue today, when people who once were strangers find themselves unequal co-occupants of new political locations they both seek to call “home.”

Unlike multiculturalism, in which different cultures are thought to co-exist relatively separately, creolization describes how people reinterpret themselves through interaction with one another. While indebted to comparative political theory, Gordon offers a critique of comparison by demonstrating the generative capacity of creolizing methodologies. She does so by bringing together the eighteenth-century revolutionary Swiss thinker Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the twentieth-century Martinican-born Algerian liberationist Frantz Fanon. While both provocatively challenged whether we can study the world in ways that do not duplicate the prejudices that sustain its inequalities, Fanon, she argues, outlined a vision of how to bring into being the democratically legitimate alternatives that Rousseau mainly imagined.”

Publisher Fordham University Press, New York, 2014
Just Ideas series
ISBN 9780823254811, 082325481X
xv+294 pages

Reviews: Anne Norton, Sharon Stanley, Fred Lee, Thomas Meagher (with author’s response, Contemporary Political Theory, 2018).
See also: Forum on Creolizing Theory (ed. Lewis R. Gordon, Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy, 2017), The Creolization of Education, Pedagogy, and Political Theory (ed. Lewis R. Gordon, Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 2018).

Publisher
WorldCat

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Sylvia Wynter: Black Metamorphosis: New Natives in a New World [1970s]

28 February 2021, dusan

Black Metamorphosis: New Natives in a New World is an unpublished manuscript written by Sylvia Wynter. The work is a seminal piece in Black Studies and uses diverse fields to explain Black experiences and presence in the Americas.

Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Wynter worked with the Center for Afro-American Studies (CAAS) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to complete the project which was to be published by the Institute of the Black World. The manuscript presents early iterations of Wynter’s Theory of the Human and explores how Black experiences are essential to understanding the history of the New World.”

The only part of this manuscript that has been published is Wynter’s 1979 essay “Sambos and Minstrels”, though excerpts of and allusions to many of the other texts she wrote in the 1970s can be found in the manuscript, particularly “Jonkonnu in Jamaica” (1970), “Novel and History” (1971), “Ethno or Socio Poetics” (1976), “The Politics of Black Culture” (1977), and “In Quest of Matthew Bondman” (1981). … In the final 935-page manuscript, the page numbers break at page 251 and resume with page 370. The 120 missing pages correspond exactly to the number of pages in a series of descriptions of revolts by enslaved persons in Jamaica, and it appears that they were meant to be inserted at this point in the text.” (Kamugisha 2016)

Manuscript, written throughout the 1970s
[935] pages (252-369 missing)

Commentary and analysis: Derrick White (C.L.R. James Journal, 2010), Aaron Kamugisha, Demetrius L. Eudell, Greg Thomas, Katherine McKittrick, Tonya Haynes, Nijah Cunningham (Small Axe, 2016).

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Cornelia Sollfrank, Felix Stalder, Shusha Niederberger (eds.): Aesthetics of the Commons (2021)

6 February 2021, dusan

“What do a feminist server, an art space located in a public park in North London, a ‘pirate’ library of high cultural value yet dubious legal status, and an art school that emphasizes collectivity have in common? They all demonstrate that art can play an important role in imagining and producing a real quite different from what is currently hegemonic; that art has the possibility to not only envision or proclaim ideas in theory, but also to realize them materially.

Aesthetics of the Commons examines a series of artistic and cultural projects—drawn from what can loosely be called the (post)digital—that take up this challenge in different ways. What unites them, however, is that they all have a ‘double character.’ They are art in the sense that they place themselves in relation to (Western) cultural and art systems, developing discursive and aesthetic positions, but, at the same time, they are ‘operational’ in that they create recursive environments and freely available resources whose uses exceed these systems. The first aspect raises questions about the kind of aesthetics that are being embodied, the second creates a relation to the larger concept of the ‘commons.’ In Aesthetics of the Commons, the commons are understood not as a fixed set of principles that need to be adhered to in order to fit a definition, but instead as a ‘thinking tool’—in other words, the book’s interest lies in what can be made visible by applying the framework of the commons as a heuristic device.”

Contributors: Olga Goriunova, Jeremy Gilbert, Judith Siegmund, Daphne Dragona, Magdalena Tyzlik-Carver, Gary Hall, Ines Kleesattel, Sophie Toupin, Rahel Puffert and Christoph Brunner.

Publisher diaphanes, Zürich, January 2021
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 License
ISBN 9783035803914
275 pages

Review: Gerald Raunig (transversal, 2021, DE).

Project website
Book launch
Publisher
WorldCat

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See also Open Scores: How to Program the Commons (2020).