From early Marxism until today, critical stances to classical and liberal political theory have sought to renew conceptualizations of “power” and the “subject.” The following questions have been addressed: how does power operate? Under what forms and in which locations? How does it affect individual and collective subjects? How can one understand the relationship between power and its subject? How do subjects oppose, resist, (re)produce, or escape constellations of power? This seminar explores such questions from perspectives that place “race” and (post)colonialism as central institutions of modernity. Such perspectives focus on epistemic, historical, and discursive processes that produce, differentiate, and hierarchize humanity by articulating markers of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, and sexuality. We will track and discuss displacements and radical redefinitions of power and the subject within the context of key contributors to the constellation of postcolonial, critical race, and black feminist theories. We will also devote attention to the methodological and political challenges that emerge through such displacements and redefinitions.
• Hartman, Saidiya V. Scenes of Subjection. Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteeth-Century America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
• Goldberg, David Theo. The Threat of Race; Reflections on Racial Neoliberalism. Maden, MA, Oxford ; Victoria: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.
• Mbembe, Achille. "Necropolitics." Public Culture 15, no. 1 (2003): 11-40.
• Weheliye, Alexander G. Habeas Viscus : Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014.