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Spring 2015

Margo Natalie Crawford, “This Flesh That We Might Call Diaspora”

Monday, March 23, 2015 - 2:45pm

Toboggan Lodge, Cornell University
ICM New Conversations Series

Associate Professor, English, Cornell University

Fred Moten, echoing Hortense Spillers, describes the flesh created through the middle passage as “this flesh that we might call a body.” Crawford proposes that the “fleshwork” of black diasporic feminism recasts the political as the process of imagining the unimaginable. We often think that black bodies will be fully liberated when the bodies are no longer politicized, but Richard Iton’s theory of the black fantastic pushes past the sense that the state of non-politicized bodies is the goal, as if we are only struggling with erasing the ideology that has been written on black bodies. Iton pushes us to the illegible work of resistance and struggle performed as black subjects reanimate the overwritten black body and denaturalize the notion that political resistance cannot be tied to pleasure and play. This lecture is situated at the crossroads of 21st century African and African American women’s cultural productions. Crawford shows a black diasporic feminist urge to pay tribute to black women’s seizure of their right to animate flesh and to practice a type of proud flesh that is too excessive for normative texts of black feminism.

Vijay Prashad, “The Futures of Indian Communism”

Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 2:45pm

Kaufmann Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall (April 16th)
ICM Lecture Series

George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History; Professor, International Studies, Trinity College

Do the Lok Sabha elections of 2014 signal the end of the road for the Left? Over the past twenty years, the Indian political climate has shifted decidedly to the Right—with the BJP and the Congress dragging India into a growth trajectory that squanders the hopes of working people. The old consensus on Indian socialism is threadbare, and socialist parties are in disarray. The future of Indian communism is rooted in the popular hopes for a better tomorrow and in the popular discontent with the bitter present. The lecture will provide a critical examination of the past of Indian Communism and an assessment of its future.