16 Apr Re-Theorizing the African Diaspora: Metaphor, Revelation, Recognition and Consciousness
Percy C. Hintzen (African American Studies, UC Berkeley)
Friday, April 16 / 4:00 PM
It is critical for the theorizing and conceptualizing of African diaspora to ask the question: “Why Diaspora?” There is much to be gained from an examination of the work the term does and why its currency has grown in the arena of black consciousness and representation. I argue that a focus on “Diaspora” as metaphor or analogy allows examination of the critical practice of blackness, both analytically and politically. Such practice is engaged with forms recognition and consciousness as central analytics in any scholarly engagement with blackness. Diaspora does the work of calling “into awareness” what is “unrecognized.” In this sense, it is a critical practice of revelation of black subjecthood against the ideological forces of misrecognition. These are forces of “miscognition” that represent blacks as incapable of reason and rationality as enlightened subjects, denying them claims to civilization and modernity. They naturalize claims to black inferiority and inhumanity and are the necessary conditions of black abjection. The paper focuses on Diaspora as critical practice through which the civilized modern black subject is revealed against these distorting ideological forces of white supremacy and against difference as a product of statist distortions. I will attempt to do this through engagement with the emotive experiences (structures of feeling) of black familiarity across time, space, and place.
This event is organized by the UC Multi-Campus Research Group in African Studies, with support from the Center for Black Studies Research, the Department of Black Studies, the History Department, and the IHC’s African Studies RFG.