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Work & Water: Thinking Indigenous Labour With/In the Radical Tradition

Thursday Lecture Series, Ambivalence

dateMarch 18, 2021 timeThursday, 12:30pm EDT locationVirtual Event
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.

“Work & Water” explores the absence of Indigenous labour in the black radical tradition. It stems from a larger project, Marxism, Method, and Sovereignty, that reframes the radical tradition in the Caribbean and its entanglement in Marxism’s genealogies through questions about Indigenous labour and sovereignty. Extant histories construct Indigenous peoples’ actions in the Caribbean as external to plantation work. Rather than surplus, they are instead beyond labour, an orientation that reinforces their complex position as extra-sovereigns and internal citizens, and their collective maintenance as an internal South. Excluded from labour histories, they are also denied claim to the postcolonial, Caribbean nation-state as workers in the same way as its Creole citizens. Jackson addresses this unthinkability of Indigenous labour by formulating a new understanding of labour history of the Caribbean, in which indigeneity is centrally figured. Through attention to the ways in which the complications or ambivalences around what is defined as productive work and unproductive labour inform labour history, Jackson argues that not only can the radical tradition be more capaciously rendered, but that we can shift from the limits of emancipatory politics to the possibilities of sovereign ones.

Guest lecturer: Shona N. Jackson, Texas A&M University
Associate Professor of English

Please note that registering for this event will sign you up for the entire Thursday Lecture Series for the Spring 2021 semester.

Organized by SOF Fellow Fernando Montero.

Talks in this series will be followed by discussion, including a Q&A session with the audience.

Please email [email protected] to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.