In the final of four talks presented in conjunction with Cameron Rowland’s exhibition 3 & 4 Will. IV c. 73, writer and cultural historian Saidiya Hartman is joined by fellow scholar Anthony Bogues and Rowland to discuss “Black Metamorphosis,” a highly influential but as yet unpublished text from the 1970s by Caribbean theorist Sylvia Wynter.
Currently accessible only as a 900-page manuscript housed at the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York, “Black Metamorphosis” is nonetheless considered as a vital text for its articulation of ‘plantation societies’ in the Americas from the 17th century onwards as fundamental to the emergence of capitalism and the making of the modern world. Reaching through and beyond this historical process, Wynter’s expansive text seeks “to explore… the socio-economic sea-change, the cultural metamorphosis by which the multi-tribal African became the native of that area of experience we term the New World.” While articulating the violent production of black ‘non-norms’ and the negation of black humanity, Wynter simultaneously locates the generation of rebellious cultural action and participation that marks the affirmation of black life.
Plotting the importance of this work and its marking of the limits of Marxism, “Black Metamorphosis” posits the ways in which black cultural production reimages the possibilities of new forms of revolt and living. This conversation between Hartman, Bogues and Rowland will focus on intersections between their individual areas of research and practice, and Wynter's text.
Wed, 09 Dec 2020
Free, booking required
This event will take place online through zoom. Bookers will be provided with a link to follow to access the talk. The option to access live captioning will be available. Please contact email@example.com if you require support accessing this event.
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