Professor George Lipsitz
"From Plessy to Ferguson: The Racialization of Time and Place"
Public lecture (all welcome)
Book through Eventbrite: http://plessytoferguson.eventbrite.co.uk
Thursday 21 April, 5 - 7pm
Arts Lecture Theatre, Samuel Alexander Building, Lime Grove, University of Manchester
The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, along with the callous official responses to it, exemplifies what by now has come to be a familiar pattern. Phobic fantasies of monstrous Black criminality stand at the center of the political imaginary of the United States. They fuel a seemingly insatiable sadism in search of a story, dismissing the testimony of the aggrieved before they even begin to speak. This is a legacy of slavery unwilling to die, an institutionalized mendacity enshrined in culture, custom and even law as the Plessy v. Ferguson case illustrates. Yet this is no ordinary time. Masses in motion mobilized under the banners of #BlackLivesMatter and #SayHerName are forging an oppositional conjuncture based on collective refusal of an unlivable destiny. They see attributing criminality to Black people, to immigrants, to the homeless, to immigrants, to queer and transgender people, to those in debt, and to many others is a way of dividing society into two groups: the exceptional and the disposable. The disposable control nothing but are blamed for everything. The exceptional control everything and are blamed for nothing. Their struggle is generating new ways of knowing and new ways of being that seek to reorganize social relations from the bottom up.
Biography George Lipsitz is Professor of Black Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His publications include:
How Racism Takes Place (2011), Midnight at the Barrelhouse (2010), The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics (2006), American Studies in a Moment of Danger (2001), A Life in the Struggle (1995), Dangerous Crossroads (1994) and Time Passages (1990). Lipsitz is senior editor of the journal Kalfou, editor of the Insubordinate Spaces series at Temple University Press and co-editor of the American Crossroads series at the University of California Press. He was awarded the Angela Y. Davis Prize for Public Scholarship by the American Studies Association in 2013. Lipsitz is president of the board of directors of the African American Policy Forum and a member of the board of directors of the Woodstock Institute.
Professor Lipsitz is a visiting Taylor Fellow in the Division of English, American Studies and Creative Writing (EAC) at the University of Manchester.
This public lecture is co-hosted by the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre.