Fevered Brain

Warning: everything in this post is half-baked!

Has anyone here read Denise Ferreira da Silva? Is her thesis, that raciality is essential to the production of the modern subject, so that racialization and racial thinking are inevitable in the modern episteme, correct?

If it is, does that mean that in liberalism/modernity (coming from the Enlightenment, late example: Habermas) antiracist work is necessarily working at the more superficial levels of things — since our very subjectivity depends upon racial differentiation and hierarchy?

What does one then do/say about race in the premodern eras, if one is not to posit that this is either (a) a completely different world or (b) just a staging area for modernity? Can one talk seriously at a theoretical level about race in the Western world without considering this period as background?

Note that if Silva is right, then not only is Author A, whom I critique, wrong, but so is my critique, because both author A and I assume that human rights can be extended to the subaltern.

Finally: what would C.L.R. James say to Silva? I understand him to suggest that the Enlightenment could not be extended to the subaltern, and to disagree with Toussaint who thought it could. I really need to check on this and I need to figure out all of these things. I request help.


This entry was posted in Colonialisms, Enlightenment, Race. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fevered Brain

  1. profacero says:

    Rephrase: Toussaint thought the Enlightenment rights WOULD be extended to the subaltern and then discovered they were not.

    He also did not extend all of them, and retracted some, because of the economy.

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