Sunday, April 18, 2010


Program in American Studies, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis
New York University, 20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor

This symposium is an effort to think through both the past and contemporary history of capitalist development in the United States and beyond. It follows from the recognition, as Cedric Robinson writes, that "the development, organization and expansion of capitalist society pursued essentially racial directions, and so too did social ideology. As a material force then, it could be expected that racialism would inevitably permeate the social structures emergent from capitalism." (Black Marxism, 2) The term "racial capitalism" refuses the idea of a pure capitalism external to, or extrinsic from the racial formation of collectivities and populations. While 'race' may be a key lens through which to consider the relationship between the value-form and the aggregation of socially significant identities in modernity, the term racial capitalism also suggests that capitalism is always more than an economic project. Actually existing capitalism leverages cultural forms, norms and identities: it is lived through the uneven social formations of race, gender, nationality, sexuality and ability, among others. Our goal in this symposium then is to begin to think through relationships between capitalist economy and culture in the United States and beyond, particularly as they develop from histories of racial slavery, colonial expansion, ghettoization, mass incarceration, and overseas warfare, but also as these histories are broadly constituted in the entanglements and intersections of cultural difference.

Thursday April 29, 6-9pm
Introductory Remarks, Andy Cornell

Film Screening and Discussion: "Finally Got the News" and "EP Thompson and CLR James in Conversation"

Friday, April 30th, 9:30am-5pm
9:45-10:00: Opening Remarks, Nikhil Singh

10:00-12:00am: Panel I
David Roediger, Race and the Management of Labor
Alys Weinbaum, Neo-Slavery, Human Reproduction and Biocapitalism
David Kazanjian, Atlantic Speculations
Jennifer Morgan, Comment

2:00-1:30: LUNCH

1:30-3:00pm: Panel II
Betsy Esch, White Rights: What Apartheid South Africa Learned from the US
Penny Von Eschen, Connecting Colonialisms
Michael Ralph, Comment

3:00-5:00pm: Panel III
Marisol LeBron Controlled Access: Mano Dura and the Policing of Space in Puerto Rico, 1993-1997
Stuart Schrader Debt and Credit: Studying Up, Studying Down, and Still Missing Racial Capitalism
Zenia Kish The New 'Scramble for Africa': Food Security, Exploitation, and the Agricultural Land Grab
Comments, Symposium Participants

5:00-7:00pm: RECEPTION

Saturday, May 1, 10am-12pm
10-11:30am: Panel IV
Fred Moten, The Sub-Prime and the Beautiful
Ruthie Gilmore, Life in Hell
Lisa Duggan, Comment

11:30-12: Closing Remarks
Brent Edwards and Nikhil Singh


sticky said...

this looks like an amazing symposium! will any of the discussions or materials be made available online post amazing symposium for those of unable to attend?

Marisol LeBron said...

I'm actually not sure if the materials will be made available. In the past these events have been recorded and put up online. If I hear that we'll be making the the symposium available I'll post it on this site.

Thanks for your interest!

StraightupSHANANIGANS said...

hey there, definitely interested in attending this. any idea if it's open to the public / do i have to register anywhere to attend?

Marisol LeBron said...

The event is free and open to the public, you just have to show up!