Geographies of Racial Capitalism: Labor, Caste, and Dispossession

Geographies of Racial Capitalism: Labor, Caste, and Dispossession

Neelofer Qadir, University of North Carolina Greensboro
United States
From - Until
08.04.2021 - 11.04.2021
Connections Redaktion, Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics, Universität Leipzig

Inviting papers for participation in a seminar on racial capitalism at the annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association (Apr 8-11). We especially encourage early career scholars, including graduate students and colleagues in contingent positions to apply.

Geographies of Racial Capitalism: Labor, Caste, and Dispossession

We understand racial capitalism as a global phenomenon hinged on long, connected histories of dispossession and labor across geographies and temporalities. Cedric Robinson’s pioneering Black Marxism emphasizes the tendency for capitalism “not to homogenize but to differentiate–to exaggerate regional, subcultural, and dialectical differences into racial ones.” Investigating how capital draws upon differences within Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean attunes us to otherwise obscured dynamics. What histories, archives, literatures, and methods expand the vocabulary for racial capitalism to account for the specificities of diverse contexts? How do we apprehend the relationship of race, caste, casta and their articulation with labor and dispossession?

Robinson, W.E.B. DuBois, C.L.R. James, and Eric Williams showed how race and capitalism constitute one another. Lisa Lowe, Shona Jackson, Glen Coulthard, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Paula Chakravartty, and Sumit Guha rethink political economy as entangled with not only race, but also caste, indigeneity, nationality and gender. We build on these conversations, contributing to da Silva and Chakravartty’s claim that the dispossession of racialized subjects from their land and labor is a central, ongoing feature of global racial capitalism. Possible topics include: primitive accumulation; (post)colonial archives; Connected histories of Atlantic, Indian, Pacific Ocean worlds; Indentureship & chattel slavery; race & caste.

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Neelofer Qadir

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