Professor Denise Ferreira da Silva (The University of British Columbia) will be delivering a keynote address “Unpayable Debt” as part of the Other Universals Consortium's 2022 public engagements on Theorizing Aesthetics and Politics from Postcolonial Locations. Date: Friday, May 20th. Time: 7 pm SAST
The Other Universals Consortium’s seminars and colloquia currently revolve around three key themes: The Question of the Political: Thinking Difference in the Aftermaths of the Colonial Political Economy, The Minority Question: Formations and Futures, and Aesthetics and Politics.
Professor Denise Ferreira da Silva is an academic and practicing artist. She is the author of Toward a Global Idea of Race (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), A Dívida Impagavel (Oficina da Imaginaçāo Política and Living Commons, 2019), Unpayable Debt (Stenberg/MIT Press, 2022) and co-editor (with Paula Chakravartty) of Race, Empire, and the Crisis of the Subprime (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). Her several articles have been published in leading interdisciplinary journals, such as Social Text, Theory, Culture & Society, PhiloSOPHIA, Griffith Law Review, Theory & Event, The Black Scholar, to name a few. Her artistic works includes the films Serpent Rain (2016), 4Waters-Deep Implicancy (2018), Soot Breath/Corpus Infinitum (2020), in collaboration with Arjuna Neuman; and the relational art practices Poethical Readings and Sensing Salon, in collaboration with Valentina Desideri. She has exhibited and lectured at major art venues, such as the Pompidou Center (Paris), Whitechapel Gallery (London, MASP (Sāo Paulo), Guggenheim (New York), and MoMa (New York). She has also written for publications for major art events (Liverpool Biennale, 2017; São Paulo Biennale, 2016, Venice Biennale, 2017, and Documenta 14) and feature (essays and interviews) in art publishing venues, such as Canadian Art, Texte Zur Kunst, and E-Flux.
Other Universals: Thinking about Politics and Aesthetics from Postcolonial Locations is a supra-national project supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, convened by the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape. The project creates a consortium of scholars across universities in South Africa (UWC, UCT, and Witwatersrand), Ethiopia (the University of Addis Ababa), the Middle East (American University of Beirut), the Caribbean (University of West Indies: Cave Hill), and West Africa (the University of Ghana-Legon).
About Unpayable Debt:
In this talk, Prof. Da Silva will describe the image of Unpayable Debt, what it does, what it does and how that which it does figures in the larger confrontation with post-Enlightenment thought. A tool of black thought, Unpayable Debt, is offered as a contribution to the arsenal of the Black Radical Tradition, as described by Cedric Robinson and as practiced by Hortense Spillers, Saidiya Hartman, Fred Moten, and Nahum Chandler to name a few. A tradition that also includes poetry, music, fabulations as well as the confabulations engaged by those engaged in antislavery and anticolonial marron practices across the Americas and the Caribbean and their resonances in the anticolonial struggles in European and the African continent in the twentieth century and even before.
20 May 2022
5pm GMT (Ghana); 7pm EST (Lebanon);
8pm EAT (Ethiopia) 1pm AST (the Caribbean)
and 10am PST (Vancouver)