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Fall 2015

Saida Hodžić, "Against Sovereign Violence: Feminist Activism and Law in Ghana"

Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 4:45pm

Toboggan Lodge, Cornell University
ICM New Conversations Series

Assistant Professor, Anthropology; Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Cornell University

This talk draws on Saida Hodžić’s forthcoming book, How Cutting Ended: An Ethnography of African Activism. By shedding light on how Ghanaian activists and civil servants both fetishize the law and reckon with its violence, this work invites attention to the ordinary and to practice as sites where feminist critiques of liberalism are both challenged and reinvigorated.

MANTHIA DIAWARA - "Négritude: A Dialogue between Senghor and Wole Soyinka"

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 4:45pm

Africana Studies and Research Center, Multipurpose Room

Filmmaker, Africana Studies and Comparative Literature, New York University

4:45 p.m. Film Screening
5:45 p.m. Panel Discussion  

Salah M. Hassan (Moderator)
Africana Studies and Research Center and History of Art, Cornell University

Natalie Melas
Comparative Literature, Cornell University

Olúfémi Táíwò
Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University

Edward E. Baptist, “Abolitionism, Modern ‘Anti-Slavery,’ and #BlackLivesMatter”

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 4:45pm

Kaufmann Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall
ICM Lecture Series

Associate Professor, History, Cornell University

In recent years, concerns about forms of human trafficking in the neoliberal global economy have led to the emergence of a movement that defines itself as “anti-slavery.” While consciously identifying itself with historic abolitionist movements against the nineteenth-century enslavement of Africans in the Atlantic world, modern ‘anti-slavery’ has not drawn the lessons of abolitionists’ failure to reconstruct the racial economy of the Western world.

Spring 2015

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.

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.

Fall 2014


Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 2:30pm

Africana Studies and Research Center


Panel Discussion, 2:30 p.m.

Manthia Diawara
Africana Studies; Comparative Literature, New York University
Grant Aubrey Farred
Africana Studies and Research Center; English, Cornell University
Fouad Makki
Development Sociology, Cornell University

Film Screening, 4:30 p.m.
John Akomfrah, filmmaker


Monday, October 6, 2014 - 10:00am

A.D. White House, Cornell University

Raymond Craib - "Subversive Santiago, 1920"

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 4:45pm

Kaufman Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall

RAYMOND CRAIB (Associate Professor, Department of History, Cornell University)

Spring 2014

Jasbir K. Puar - "Disabled Diaspora, Rehabilitating State: The Queer Politics of Reproduction in Israel/Palestine"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 4:45pm

Toboggan Lodge, Cornell University

JASBIR K. PUAR (Associate Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University; Fellow, Society for the Humanities, Cornell University)

This paper situates the intersections of sex, disability, and reproductive politics within the history of homonationalism in Israel/Palestine. I focus specifically on the use of disability—especially as the Israeli state was founded on a narrative of rehabilitating dispersed, traumatized diasporas into bodily health and national wholeness--as part of a biopolitical assemblage of control that instrumentalizes a spectrum of capacities and debilities for the use of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Thus I seek to rearticulate sexual rights and the debates on “pinkwashing” within biopolitical frames by linking them to the slow rise of disability rights platforms in Israel, the convergence of eugenic selective abortion practices on the one hand and the pro-natalist attitudes of the state, supported by its stellar Assisted Reproductive Technology industry, on the other, and the growing population of LGBT parents and families in Israel.

Enzo Traverso - "Marxism and Memory: from Teleology to Melancholy"

Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 4:45pm

Toboggan Lodge, Cornell University

ENZO TRAVERSO (Susan and Barton Winokur Professor in the Humanities, Romance Studies, Cornell University)

At the beginning of the 1980s, the rise of memory in the field of the humanities coincided with the crisis of Marxism, a current of thought that had deeply shaped the historiography of the previous decades. Consequently, Marxism did not contribute to the “memorial moment” characteristic of the turn of the twenty-first century. The Marxist vision of history, nevertheless, included a memorial prescription: to select the events of the past in order to inscribe them into the future. It was a “strategic” memory of past revolutions, a future-oriented memory. Today, the end of real socialism has broken this dialectic between past and future, and the eclipse of utopias engendered by our “presentist” time has extinguished Marxist memory. The dialectical tension between the past as a “field of experience” and the future as a “horizon of expectation” (Koselleck) becomes a kind of mutilated, “negative dialectic.” In this context, a melancholic vision of history as remembrance (Eingedenken) of the vanquished—Walter Benjamin was its most significant interpreter—that had belonged to a marginal Marxist tradition suddenly reappears.