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Wesleyan University | Center for the Humanities


Spectrality, Mestizaje, and the Afterlife of Racial Necropolitics

Spectrality, Mestizaje, and the Afterlife of Racial Necropolitics

Laura Grappo • Wesleyan University

NOVEMBER 6 @ 6 P.M. | Daniel Family Commons, Usdan University Center

In her work on the spectral Avery Gordon posits that what is "distinctive about haunting is that it is an animated state in which a repressed or unresolved social violence is making itself known." This talk considers the phenomenon of haunting as a way of understanding current social and political narratives of Latinidad, examining the subject position of Latinxs as mired in the spectral and made manifest as phantasmic presences, including ghostly workers, "living in the shadows," and haunted figures of imperial violence. Using the spectral as an animating analytic, the talk then interrogates the concept of mestizaje as a cultural and political concept in the field of Latinx scholarship. Finally, the paper argues that we are currently living in a revenant moment, or a time in which the specters of the past have reemerged with a particularly violent vengeance, and employs a tactic of queer intellectual practice to best consider how to acknowledge and contend with this fraught inheritance.

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