The seminar will be a discussion on the denial of anti-blackness. It will be based on my latest book of the same title. Why is it so difficult to focus on the specific experiences of Black people (that is, without having to draw relations to or analogies with experiences of other oppressed social groups), and what does this difficulty say about the ways in which we understand Black suffering, multiracial alliances, and the place of Black people in the world. The public lecture will be on the difference between racism and anti-blackness. I will propose that anti-blackness, because it is fundamental to the constitution of the modern world — how we think of ourselves, how we relate to others, how we organize our society and distribute resources — is a radically distinct phenomenon than racism. While racism is often thought as a social and institutional defect that can be repaired or at least ameliorated, anti-blackness is unmovable and final. It is the very concept of the human that depends on anti-blackness.
Mon, Oct 7, 20196:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Tue, Oct 8, 20196:30 pm to 8:30 pm
João Costa Vargas is a professor of Anthropology at the University of California – Riverside. His publications include Catching Hell in the City of Angels (2006), Never Meant to Survive (2008), State of White Supremacy, co-edited by Moon-Kie Jung, and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva (2011), and the soon to be released The Denial of Antiblackness: Multiracial Redemption and Black Suffering (2018). His written work is a result of engaging individuals and collectives combating gendered antiblackness. It draws from collaborative projects in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Salvador (in Brazil), and in Austin and Los Angeles (in the United States.) The projects focus on and attempt to propose alternatives to the current dynamics of social death and early physical death by preventable causes. Such dynamics include juvenile and adult imprisonment, repressive policing, punitive schooling, residential hypersegregation, exposure to environmental hazards, and blocked access to health care and well-being. Exploring the possibility and terms of Black-nonblack collaboration, the projects aim at contributing to the imagination and practice of viable Black life worlds.