Robinson session 2: The Black Radical Tradition

Thursday 30 th November | 5:30 – 7:00pm | The Alumni Room (School of English) For this session, we will begin to explore Cedric Robinson’s notion of the Black Radical Tradition, which Robinson argues is that which is formed out of the rejection of racial capitalism as an “unacceptable” (p.28) value for life. Robinson spoke about writing and teaching Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition backwards, and it is in this spirit that we suggest Chapter 7 as a great introduction to this concept, condensed to a couple of pages. If you want to understand Robinson’s full reasoning and historical analysis, you can also extend this by reading  Chapter 6. Please read however much you have time for. In these chapters, Robinson focuses not on the major intellectual figures Black Marxism is usually associated with, but rather on a long tradition of anticolonial movements which produce from within their struggle different modes of being and producing knowledge. Everyone (at wha

CFP | Quilting Points 2024: Racial Capitalism and Cultural Resistance

  Quilting Points Call for Papers     CFP | Quilting Points 202 4 :    Racial Capitalism and Cultural Resistance     01 st Ma y 2024    Call for Papers – PGR-led symposium   Deadline: 15th December     Abstracts: 250 -words    The development, organization, and expansion of capitalist society pursued essentially racial directions, so too did social ideology. As a material force, then, it could be expected that racialism would inevitably permeate the social structures that emerged from capitalism (2)   Cedric Robinson – Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition (2021)   Originally published in 1983, Cedric Robinson’s work Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition has proved critical in thinking through the relationship between race and capitalism in a global context . It has experienced a renewed wave of interest over the last decade because of the purchase that some of his concepts such as ‘racial capitalism’ and the ‘Black Radical Tradition

Robinson session 1: Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition

Tuesday 24th October | 5:30 – 7:00pm | The Alumni Room (School of English) We will begin exploring Cedric Robinson's work by reading both Chapter 1 of his most famous book Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition published 40 years ago this year, and a 2013 interview with Cedric and his partner Elizabeth Robinson from the edited collection Futures of Black Radicalism .  In this first chapter Robinson gives a novel historical reading of the development of capitalism to emphasise what he terms 'racial capitalism'.  In his own words: "Racism [...] was not simply a convention for ordering the relations of European to non-European peoples but has its genesis in the "internal" relations of European peoples. As part of the inventory of Western civilization it would reverberate within and without, transferring its toll from the past to the present." We want to use this chapter to think about the ways in which Robinson uses history as a vessel f

Reading Cedric Robinson

We are very pleased to announce the return of the interdisciplinary critical and cultural theory reading group Quilting Points for its twelfth consecutive year!  This year we will be thinking with the work of Black Radical theorist Cedric Robinson.  Photograph of Cedric Robinson in a black jacket with his finger on his chin. Widely reproduced image but unknown date and photographer. Robinson has risen to increased prominence in the last few years partly due to the 2021 republication of his 1983 classic Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition by Penguin Books, and the purchase that some of his concepts such as ‘racial capitalism’ and the ‘Black Radical Tradition’ have had within activist communities around the Black Lives Matter movement. Our reading group will provide an opportunity to look at this work in-depth but also a rare opportunity to situate it in the context of Robinson’s entire oeuvre. Through a regular reading group, film screenings, artist talks, and othe

Screening Event: 'The Big Pride' (1961)

Tuesday 13th June | 17:30 - 19:00 | Room 3.01, Clothworkers South We look forward to welcoming you to our next session in which we will be screening The Big Pride   (1961), a television drama written by Sylvia Wynter and her then-husband, Guyana-born writer Jan Carew. Originally written as a BBC radio play, in 1961 Wynter and Carew were commissioned to adapt the play (originally titled The University of Hunger ) for ITV's Drama '61 anthology series.   Johnny Sekka and William Marshall in The Big Pride (1961) Based on real events, The Big Pride is about three escaped convicts in British Guyana attempting to escape not only 'their past but the harsh reality of their lives'. Almost entirely forgotten until it was discovered and restored by the British Film Institute in the 1990s, The Big Pride is described by writer and historian Stephen Bourne as 'a unique visual record of the work of two important dramatists'. While our discussion will be focused on the film,

Sylvia Wynter and The Tempest: 'Beyond Miranda's Meanings'

Thursday 18 May | 5:30 - 7:00pm | Meeting Room G01 Written as an afterword to Out of the Kumbla (1994), the first edited collection of critical essays on Caribbean women’s literature, ' Beyond Miranda's Meaning: Un/silencing the "Demonic Ground" of Caliban's "Woman" ' analyses the ways in which race complicates gender, taking a discussion of Shakespeare’s The Tempest as a point of departure. According to Sylvia Wynter, this play not only posits Caliban as ‘the irrational native subject’ but in doing so also relegates 'Caliban’s "woman"' to a space of non-being. As such, the play reenacts the founding structure of the onto-epistemic order of Western Man. Analysing the function of the “ontological absence” of the Black female subject position, it is in this essay that Wynter coins the term “demonic ground”, which has since been taken up by various scholars in different ways, most notably by Katherine McKittrick. As always this sessio

Sylvia Wynter, Franz Fanon, and The Consciousness We Need

Tuesday 25 April | 17:30 - 19:00 | Room G01, House 10, School of English  Join us for a discussion of Sylvia Wynter’s work on diasporic ‘double consciousness’, black resistance, and what both mean for us and our perspectives on the world. ​ In ' Towards the Sociogenic Principle: Fanon, the Puzzle of Conscious Experience of "Identity" and What it's Like to be "Black" ', Wynter argues that humans are not biologically determined bodies, but beings for whom there is something which it is 'like' to be them. This consciousness is not universal, but depends on social position and the stories told about self and other. These issues have been acute for racially discriminated people, and form an entry-point for Fanon and Wynter’s ‘sociogenic principle’ in the experience of identity.​ Combining sociology with history, psychology with philosophy of mind, continental with analytic tradition, and ethnography and postcolonial thought, Wynter’s rich, complex tex