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Mors Mystica

Mors Mystica

DARKMATTER

Announcing the publication of a special issue of Darkmatter Journal, “Reflections on Dispossession: Critical Feminisms” eds. Brenna Bhandar and Davina Bhandar, with contributions from Sara R. Farris, Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller, Alyosha Goldstein, Leticia Sabsay and Rafeef Ziadah.

This collection traces a path for contemporary critiques of neoliberal capitalism and colonial dispossession. The authors show the compelling need for complex strategies and tools to evaluate the interlocking or intersectional practices of dispossession, and their particular effects on racialised, Indigenous, sexualized, and gendered subjects.

 

Darkmatter is an open access journal, and the special issue can be accessed here:

http://www.darkmatter101.org/site/category/issues/14-dispossession/

 

Praise for “Reflections on Dispossession”:

“Crossing centuries, oceans, continents, and disciplines, this ambitious and extraordinary collection shows how the logic of dispossession and its productions of difference reach into a present that avows colorblindness and erases coloniality. In its courtrooms, border checkpoints, intimacies, reform impulses, prisons, refugee camps, and regimes of accumulation, the neoliberal order is shown to draw on and recalibrate histories of gendered colonial oppression as long as they are deep.” – David Roediger (University of Kansas)

 

First Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/special-issue-of-the-journal-darkmatter-reflections-on-dispossession-critical-feminisms-out-now

 

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

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Taweret

POST-RACIAL IMAGINARIES

Darkmatter Journal is Calling for Papers for a …

Special Issue on Post-racial Imaginaries

http://www.darkmatter101.org/

Increasing reference to the notion of ‘post-race’ is suggestive of an emergent discursive framework in critical approaches to race and racism. ‘Post-race’, ‘post-racial’, ‘post-black’, and associated ideas, are being mobilized in various theoretical, cultural and political discourses to describe new racial formations. Post-race requires us to question in new ways the precepts of race thinking, positing the end of race as a point with which to think racial futures. The imprecise nature of much ‘post-’ talk means there has yet to be a rigorous assessment of the significance of post-race and its cognate terms, beyond simple endorsement or dismissal.

This special issue of darkmatter Journal is interested in delineating the contours of the ‘post-racial’ turn by asking: what is the post-racial? What are the conditions of its emergence? What assumptions and claims does it make about the logics of racism? What critical and political work is the term doing? What does the ‘post’ in post-race mean? How is racism theorized in post-race? What is the relationship between colonial history and the post-racial? When and where is the post-racial? Who claims post-raciality?

Given the multiple registers of post-race talk, these fundamental questions might be addressed in relation to:
  – The shifts from race to ethnicity, cultural difference and multiculturalism;
  – The ontology and epistemology of race;
  – Obama and the politics of anti-racism;
  – Utopia and the end of racism;
  – Modernity, history, nation and racial memory;
  – After whiteness;
  – Feminism, sexual politics and multiraciality;
  – Neoliberalism, Marxism and class politics;
  – Globalism, Orientalism, anti/post/de-colonialism;
  – Post-black aesthetics, popular culture and politics;
  – Digitalization, bio-technologies, genetic engineering and racial mutations

Submissions: between 1,500 – 8,000 words are welcome, as are alternative formats such as commentaries, reviews, audio, visual and digital contributions. Please email a 400 – 500 word abstract to submit@darkmatter101.org

Please note: submissions to darkmatter are now subject to external peer review. If your contribution is intended for the less formal (and non-peer reviewed) ‘commons’ section, indicate this on your submission.

For further inquiries about the ‘Post-racial Imaginaries’ special issue, email: editors@darkmatter101.org

Deadline for Abstracts: 1st Feb 2011
Deadline for Articles: 1st Aug 2011
Publication date: Nov 2011

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Pirates Only

PIRATES AND PIRACY – MATERIAL REALITIES AND CULTURAL MYTHS

Editorial Notes: Pirates and Piracy – Material Realities and Cultural Myths

By Andrew Opitz

This special issue of darkmatter sets out to examine the complicated and often incongruous cultural meanings assigned to pirates and piracy in the twenty-first century. Debates about piracy have long featured certain telling contradictions. At different times, pirates have been seen as both violent monsters and colorful folk heroes. They have been cast by historians and cultural critics as both capitalist marauders and militant workers fighting for a restoration of the commons. How can we account for these seemingly incompatible visions? Of course, it is important to observe that pirates were hardly uniform in their social and political orientations. Some were greedy opportunists. Some were desperate sailors and slaves driven to mutiny. Others were somewhere in-between. We should also recognize that our understanding of piracy is powerfully shaped by our economic interests and our relationship with the law. The propertied targets of piratical theft are quick to view pirates as criminal actors outside the bounds of civilized behaviour, but the dispossessed are inclined to take a more nuanced approach that admires the defiance of the pirates at the same time as it fears their violence.

It is also important to note that pirates now have a symbolic importance that transcends the basic material conditions behind their banditry. Our enduring cultural fascination with pirates is tied to their status as celebrated figures of rebellion and nonconformity in popular novels and films. Although the actual history of maritime robbery is sordid and contradictory, the pirate has become a compelling symbol of freedom: freedom from oppressive work routines; freedom from polite behaviour; freedom from institutional controls; freedom from restrictive property laws; freedom from unjust social conventions surrounding race and gender roles. We now apply the pirate label to an assortment of activities – from the formation of transgressive sexual identities to the technology-assisted defiance of copyright law – that have little or nothing to do with the sea or those who “go down to it in ships.” The articles assembled in this special issue take a broad approach to the study of pirates and piracy, examining diverse subjects ranging from the working-class politics of transatlantic piracy in the eighteenth century to the actions of Nigerian media pirates in the twenty-first century and recent debates about Somali pirates within East African immigrant communities in North America.

The authors who contributed to this special issue of darkmatter have approached the cultural politics of pirates and piracy from different angles. They are historians, literary critics, legal scholars and media/cultural theorists. However, their scholarship is linked by the shared understanding that modern piracy, like the modern world itself, is inextricably bound to the history of colonial and neo-colonial relations of production and the legacy of racial and class conflict that they produced – a history that forged the global capitalist order that continues to shape our everyday relationships with other people. 

Pirates are often dismissed in the media as exotic anachronisms – colorful characters out of step with present realities. But the forces that produced, and continue to produce pirates – global shipping, the extraction of resources from colonial and neocolonial holdings, the mobilization and control of labor in the service of investment capital – still drive our world today. Studying pirates and their ongoing cultural resonance is hardly a frivolous activity. It is necessary for a true understanding of the socially uneven, violent and unstable world in which we live – a world that is still very much at sea.

Andrew Opitz
Guest Editor

Editorial Notes: Pirates and Piracy – Material Realities and Cultural Myths by Andrew Opitz • 20 Dec 09

Revolution Bootlegged: Pirate Resistance in Nigeria’s Broken Infrastructure by Jason Crawford • 20 Dec 09

Digital Pirates and the Enclosure of the Intellect by Irmak Ertuna • 20 Dec 09

Where’s the Booty?: The Stakes of Textual and Economic Piracy as Seen Through the Work of Kathy Acker by Paige Sweet • 20 Dec 09

Life Under the Jolly Roger: Reflections on Golden Age Piracy – Interview with Gabriel Kuhn by Nora Räthzel • 20 Dec 09

Hostis humani generis. History of a multi-faceted word by Salvatore Poier • 20 Dec 09

Atlantic Orientalism: How Language in Jefferson’s America Defeated the Barbary Pirates by Angela Sutton • 20 Dec 09

Voyage of the Black Joke: Piracy and Gallows Humor in an Era of Primitive Accumulation by Andrew Opitz • 20 Dec 09

The Pirate and the Colonial Project: Kanhoji Angria by Derek L. Elliott • 20 Dec 09

Unravelling Narratives of Piracy: Discourses of Somali Pirates by Muna Ali and Zahra Murad • 20 Dec 09

‘Liberty or Life!’: The Convict Pirates of the Wellington by Erin Ihde • 20 Dec 09

See: http://www.darkmatter101.org/site/category/journal/issues/5-pirates-and-piracy/

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