On Race, Species and Becoming Human

On Race, Species and Becoming Human
Online via Zoom

March 25th, 2021

Zakiyyah Iman Jackson shares with us her innovative thinking on the intricate relations between race, species and the idea of ‘the human’.

In her thought-provoking book Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World (NYU Press, 2020) Jackson scrutinizes key African American, African and Caribbean cultural texts. She argues they generate conceptions of ‘being’ that disrupt the human-animal distinction that persistently reproduces the racial logics and orders of Western thought. Unlike most black studies scholars, Jackson questions the emancipatory promise of ‘humanization’. Instead, she turns to texts by leading scholars and writers like Sylvia Wynter, Audre Lorde, Octavia Butler and others. She uses their work to drive a creation of a new understanding of being that neither relies on animal abjection to define the human, nor reestablishes the need to be recognized as ‘proper human’ within liberal humanism as an antidote to racialization.


20:00: Introduction by Tundé Adefioye
20:10: Zakiyyah Iman Jackson: ‘Architectures of the Flesh'
20:40: Q&A with the Zoom-audience, facilitated by Tundé Adefioye
21:10: Closing words by Tundé Adefioye

This program is organized by the Race & Research Network at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in cooperation with RHEA, VUB Crosstalks, Kaaitheater and the Race-Religion Constellation project at Radboud Universiteit in the Netherlands. As such this event is part of A series of More-Than-Human Encounters developed by VUB Crosstalks and Kaaitheater, as well as a continuation of the yearly tradition to highlight the International Day Against Racism at the VUB initiated by the Race & Research Network in 2020.

For Tickets, see: https://crosstalks.vub.ac.be/event/race-species-and-becoming-human