Lectures, conversations

Calling (on) Wynter: A Few Responses

With Demetrius Eudell, Jon Solomon, Che Gossett

Thu, Dec 1, 2022
Auditorium, exhibition hall
6–8.30 pm
Free admission

In English

Updates and program information:
HKW Newsletter

Mariana Castillo Deball, Coatlicue, 2010, courtesy the artist

If it is currently easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism, Sylvia Wynter’s call for a “counter-cosmogony” provides a far-reaching proposition to break out of such closure. Wynter asks: how does an order have to be known in order for its reproduction to be interrupted? Significant systemic and social change must always entail an unsettling and redrafting of origin stories, and that is particularly true for the origin stories of the modern world.

6 pm
Anselm Franke, Elisa Giuliano, Denise Ryner, Claire Tancons, Zairong Xiang

6.15 pm
Toward a Wynterian (Auto)Poetics to Overturn the ‘Active Creation’ of Chaos
Demetrius L. Eudell

This presentation will employ Wynter’s delineations of Black cultural and political formations as a heuristic device, or as a “deciphering practice” (Wynter, On Disenchanting Discourse, 1992), to analyze contemporary examples of anti-Black racial subjugation in both the United States and Europe, phenomena which she defined in The Ceremony Must Be Found as systemic to “the active creation of the type of Chaos, which the dominant model needs for the replication of its own system.”

7 pm
Wynter Outside and the Defeat of the Left
Jon Solomon

Sylvia Wynter’s critique of the romantic horizon of colonial-imperial modernity and the importance she attaches to both social reproduction and anthropological figuration provide important clues about how the capital relation organizes the “outside.” These are crucial lessons for re-evaluating the failure of the Left to imagine an alternative world schema not based on the areal/aerial form of capitalist and colonial modernity.

7.30 pm
Black Metamorphosis: Blackness and “Unsovereign” Indigeneity
Che Gossett (via video)

“Sylvia Wynter’s yet to be published manuscript Black Metamorphosis, held at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, bears the subtitle New Natives in a New World. I build on my prior published and forthcoming work on blackness and indigeneity, as well as the work of Frank Wilderson and Fred Moten, to show how blackness radicalizes indigeneity. Thinking with Wynter, I explore the meta-morphology of blackness, especially in relation to indigeneity. Blackness unhouses indigeneity, provokes a reconsideration of its coordinates, re-routed not through the sovereign treaty, but rather, through the void of the slave ship’s abyss and the forced deportation of the Middle Passage.”

Conversation with Demetrius L. Eudell, Che Gossett and Jon Solomon, moderated by Denise Ryner and Zairong Xiang