Theory Certificate Presents: Blackness and Apocalypse

Professor Matthew Garrett writes in:

“Blackness and the Politics of Apocalyptic Imaginaries,” a lecture by Axelle Karera (Philosophy, Wesleyan):

Though to deny the geological impact of human force on nature is now essentially quasi-criminal, many theorists (mostly in the humanities) remain, nonetheless, unimpressed with what this “new era” has afforded us in terms of critical potential. From accusations that what we now call the “Anthropocene” has merely established a hegemony of brute facts at the expense of critique, to concerns about the multiple ways in which the term continues to obscure socio-ecological relations of catastrophic nature, it is fair to say that the many scenes of the Anthropocene are still contested terrains. In this paper, Prof. Karera is concerned with what Srinivas Aravamudan deems “the escapist philosophy of various dimension of the hypothesis concerning the Anthropocene”. Following Erik Swyngedouw’s recent indictment of apocalyptic discourses’ vital role in displacing social antagonisms and nurturing capitalism, Prof. Karera argues that the new regime of Anthropocenean consciousness has been powerful in disavowing racial antagonisms. Prof. Karera discuss the ways in which it has foreclosed proper political framings while, simultaneously, it has continued to construct and maintain growing numbers of both new and old enemies along racial lines. Prof. Karera contends that the “political Anthropocene” (if there is or ought to be one) will remain an impossibility until it is able to wrestle with the problem of black suffering.

Date: Wednesday, November 30
Time: 4:30-6PM
Place: Downey 113