Alienation Reconsidered

Alienation Reconsidered:
Thinking with Césaire and Fanon

Bedour Alagraa

Thursday, June 24, 2-5 PM EST.
(See time zone converter if you’re in a different location to make sure you get the time right.)

This seminar focuses on the problem of alienation as a predicament for Black radical anticolonial thought and politics.

In this seminar, we will trace the genealogy of this ‘problem’ to the humanist tradition(s), in which the figure of the human is the site for considerations regarding both alienation and freedom. We will endeavour to consider a different theoretical strand for understanding alienation, drawn from radical Black transnational thought, which attempts to de-link from Enlightenment conceptions of Man in order to consider how alienation and freedom might be conceptualized differently.

Via these theorizations, we will explore some of the key ‘problems’ of Man, which include his overrepresentation (Wynter, 2006), and the problems of alienation, labour, colonial violence. We will also consider some key paradigms which refuse these problematics, including rebellion/revolution, marronage, Black Marxist thought, and others.

The readings will be structured around two of Frantz Fanon’s texts, Black Skin White Masks, and The Wretched of the Earth, and Aimé Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism. (Texts are available on registration at Eventbrite.)

Facilitator: Dr. Bedour Alagraa is Assistant professor of Political and Social Thought in the Department of African and African diaspora studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her PhD from the department of Africana Studies at Brown University in the Spring of 2019, and was an Andrew W. Mellon Graduate Fellow during her time at Brown. She also holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and a Masters in Race, Ethnicity, and Post-Colonial Studies from the London School of Economics.

Her book manuscript is entitled The Interminable Catastrophe: Fatal Liberalisms, Plantation Logics, and Black Political Life in the Wake of Disaster, and charts a conceptual history of catastrophe as a political category/concept (rather than Event), via its inauguration in early modern natural science and empiricist debates, and subsequent crystallization as a concept on the plantation.

More broadly, she is interested in Black Political Thought, especially Caribbean political thought, African anti-colonial thought, and Black Marxism(s). Prof. Alagraa has been published in several journals, including Critical Ethnic Studies, Contemporary Political Theory, The CLR James Journal of Caribbean Philosophy, Small Axe, and Souls. She is also co-editor, alongside Anthony Bogues, of the Black Critique book series at Pluto Press, with whom she is also co-editing an edited volume of Sylvia Wynter’s unpublished essays.

Seminar Cost:

  • $30 – Member Ticket for Incite Seminars Patreon Supporters at any level
  • $45 – Non-Member (True Cost) Ticket
  • $90 – Generous Supporter Ticket
  • $15 – Student/Contingent Scholar/Activist Ticket
  • Solidarity pay-what-you-can tickets are also available for those who cannot afford any of the above tiers. Please email us.

Registration

Please register by buying a ticket at our Eventbrite page. We are committed to making all our offerings accessible to those who are eager to learn, regardless of financial means. If you have any questions or concerns, please email inciteseminarsphila@gmail.com.

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