Jodi Melamed, 2 December 2011!

Dear Everyone:

On Friday, 2 December, we will discuss chapters from Professor Jodi Melamed’s forthcoming book, REPRESENT AND DESTROY: RATIONALIZING VIOLENCE IN THE NEW RACIAL CAPITALISM (from 12:30-2, in 8201) in the Graduate Center.  Professor Melamed has generously provided us with pdfs of uncorrected page proofs for the purposes of our seminar — please see the Center for Humanities site for a copy of the readings, or email either of us.  At the seminar, and at the public lecture at 4pm that afternoon, a limited number of copies of her book will be available to attendees — we have the privilege of seeing the book first!

In light of current events — and we do mean *current* — the kinds of issues Professor Melamed takes up in her work takes on highlighted urgency.  Her public talk, Ghosting Human Capital: Neoracial Logics in Neoliberal Times, will take place at 4 in 4406 in the Graduate Center, and is cosponsored by the PhD Program in English and the American Studies Certificate Program.  The description of it is as follows:  “Between the old and the new racial capitalism, the era of white supremacy and that of a formally antiracist liberal modernity, the trick of racialization has remained the same: racial procedures constitute human value and valuelessness differentially in accord with reigning geopolitics and economic orders. These procedures do this even as they appear “merely” to sort human beings into rationally inevitable categories of difference.  Jodi Melamed (English and Africana Studies, Marquette University) will examine the post-World War II history of dominant antiracisms as generative forces for global capitalist development, focusing especially on our neoliberal era, whose hallmark is an aggressive recursivity between procedures of race and hyper-speculative capitalism, which speedily and flexibly fixes extreme differentials of value to forms of humanity in any given instance.”

We look forward to seeing many of you for these events.

Looking head, our final session of the semester, 9 December, will be a space dedicated to thinking through such matters as the relationship of (police) power and the university; historicizing contemporary events; and what it means to be a scholar-teacher in this context.  This, we’re imagining as an open forum, without prior reading, as an occasion for anyone who might want to talk about these kinds of issues to be able to do so.  In some respects, it returns us to pick up the ideas that inaugurated the RevAmStudies initiative last spring, organized around Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s Golden Gulag.  We’ll meet in our usual space — 8201.01 — at our usual time — 12:30-2.

As always, looking forward to being in conversation with you all, and best wishes to you as the holiday season gets under way.

Kandice & Duncan

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