Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Quote: Alexander G. Weheliye

"I emphasize the family ties between political violence and suffering not because they are nobler or more worthy than other forms of suffering, but because they usher us away form the liberal notion of wounding that that is at the core of modern western politics and culture. Given the prominence of political violence within the histories of colonialism, indigenous genocide, racial slavery, internment, de jure segregation, and so on, black studies and other incarnations of racialized minority discourse offer pathways to distinctive understandings of suffering that serve as the speculative blueprint for new forms of humanity, which are defined above all by overdetermined conjurings of freedom. Overall, I am asking whether there exists freedom (not necessarily as a commonsensically positive category, but as a way to think what it makes possible) in this pain that most definitely cannot be reduced to mere recognition based on the alleviation of injury or redressed by the laws of the liberal state, and if said freedom might lead to other forms of emancipation, which can be imagined but not (yet) described."
- Alexander G. Weheliye, Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human, Durham: Duke University Press, 2014, pp. 14-15.

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