Melancholia Africana

The Caribbean Philosophy Association and The Marxist Education Project present

Melancholia Africana: The Indispensable Overcoming of the Black Condition

With author Nathalie Etoke and conversation with fellow panelists Lewis R. Gordon and Souleymane Bachir Diagne

This year marks the publication of the English translation of Nathalie Etoke’s Melancholia Africana: The Indispensable Overcoming of the Black Condition. In richly poetic prose Etoke considers pain singing the happiness to come, memories of forgetting, and on va faire comment? She argues that Africana melancholy is distinct. Rooted in collective and historical experiences of enslavement, colonization, and neocolonialism marked by loss of land, freedom, language, culture, and self. Put differently, expropriation of labor and of land also annihilated age-old cycles of life. Considering what to do in the wake of such annihilation, Etoke explores how diasporic Africans reconcile that which has been destroyed with what is newly introduced, framing this inherent tension as the character of Africana historical becoming. On October 30th, Etoke will read from and speak about her newly translated work while Lewis R. Gordon, who authored its new foreword, and Souleymane Bachir Diagne will address the continued relevance of its searching diagnoses.

Nathalie Etoke is Associate Professor of Francophone and Africana Studies at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her articles have appeared in Research in African Literatures, French Politics and Culture, Nouvelles Études Francophones, Présence Francophone, International Journal of Francophone Studies, and Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy. She is the author of L’Écriture du corps féminin dans la littérature de l’Afrique francophone au sud du Sahara and of Melancholia Africana l’indispensable dépassement de la condition noire, which won the 2012 Frantz Fanon Prize from the Caribbean Philosophical Association. In 2011, she directed Afro Diasporic French Identities, a documentary on race, identity and citizenship in contemporary France.

Lewis R. Gordon co-edits Rowman & Littlefield International’s Global Critical Caribbean Thought series.  He is Professor of Philosophy at UCONN-Storrs; Honorary President of the Global Center for Advanced Studies; the 2018–2019 Boaventura de Sousa Santos Chair in Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra, Portugal; and Chair of Global Collaborations for the Caribbean Philosophical Association.  His public Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/LewisGordonPhilosopher/ and he is on Twitter @lewgord.

Souleymane Bachir Diagne is Professor and Chair of French and Romance Philology at Columbia University and recipient of the Edouard Glissant Prize. He is the author of Boole, l’oiseau de nuit en plein jour (a book on Boolean algebra); Islam and the Open Society: Fidelity and Movement in the Philosophy of Muhammad Iqbal; African Art as Philosophy: Senghor, Bergson, and the Idea of Negritude; The Ink of the Scholars: Reflections on Philosophy in Africa; and Open to Reason: Muslim Philosophers in Conversation with Western Tradition. An English version of his book, Bergson postcolonial: L’élan vital dans la pensée de Senghor et de Mohamed Iqbal, which was awarded the Dagnan-Bouveret prize by the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences for 2011, is forthcoming with Fordham University Press.

All tickets are sliding scale

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Weekend Special Pass: Austin, Gordon, Marx

For a special price of $10 you can attend all three weekend activities of January 25, 26 and 27.

a. Friday, January 25, 7 to 9:30 pm at The Peoples Forum: Dread Poetry and Freedom: Linton Kwesi Johnson and the Unfinished Revolution
author David Austin
with an introduction by Lewis Gordon

In Dread Poetry and Freedom — the first book dedicated to the work of this ‘political poet par excellence’ – David Austin explores the themes of poetry, political consciousness and social transformation through the prism of Johnson’s work. Drawing from the Bible, reggae and Rastafari, and surrealism, socialism and feminism, and in dialogue with Aime Cesaire and Frantz Fanon, C.L.R. James and Walter Rodney, and W.E.B. Du Bois and the poetry of d’bi young anitafrika, Johnson’s work becomes a crucial point of reflection on the meaning of freedom in this masterful and rich study.

b. Saturday, January 26, 12 noon to 3 pm at Unnameable Books, 600 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, Capital, Volume 1 with the Capital Studies Group

Karl Marx’s Capital remains the fundamental text for understanding how capitalism works. By unraveling the commoditized forms of our interactions with nature and each other, it provides tools to understand capitalism’s astounding innovativeness and productivity, intertwined with growing inequality and misery, alienation, stunting of human potential, and ecological destruction all over the globe.

c. Sunday, January 27, 1 to 3:30 pm at The Peoples Forum: Moving Against the System:The 1968 Congress of Black Writers and the Making of Global Consciousness
With author and editor David Austin

 

This is a special one ticket price of $10 which is admission to two events and one class. Both Friday and Sunday at The Peoples Forum, Saturday class at Unnameable Books.

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