CSC: Death Beyond Disavowal: The Impossible Politics of Difference

Grace Hong, University of California, Los Angeles

Thursday, January 22, 2015 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Merten Hall (formerly University Hall), Room 1203

Join us for the first Cultural Studies Colloquium (CSC) of the new year and listen to a talk by Grace Hong, an Associate Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.  As always, refreshments will be served.  

Drawing from Hong's forthcoming book, this presentation engages the concept of “difference” as theorized by women of color feminists as a powerful antidote to the erasures of contemporary neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is first and foremost a structure of disavowal enacted as a reaction to the successes of the movements for decolonization, desegregation, and liberation of the post-World War II era. This mode of disavowal emphasizes the selective and uneven affirmation and incorporation of subjects and ideas that were formerly categorically marginalized, particularly through invitation into reproductive respectability. It does so in order to posit that racial, gendered, and sexualized violence and inequity are conditions of the past, rather than the very foundations of contemporary neoliberalism’s exacerbation of premature death. Neoliberal ideologies hold out the bad-faith promise of protection from premature death in exchange for complicity with this pretense. The presentation will read Audre Lorde's foundational collection of essays, Sister Outsider, as an alternative vision of the political that refuses the protection of life for oneself at the expense of others.