english race reading note

memos, Joy Ann James Keynote Speech

Duchess Harris quote: (not exact)

I’m the chair of American Studies, we deal with comparative Racial Formations and we are excited to be part of the curriculum

ow! existential crisis!

African American Studies Conference
Incarcerated Intelligence: African Americans and the Prison Industrial Complex

Joy Ann James keynote speech: Democracy and Captivity


James shows two maps that were oft used during and after the 2004 elections to make the point that republicans were racist: a map of 19th century “free states” and “slave states” matching in color with the blue/color divide in the 2004 elections. This was a discourse used by democratic, reformist, radical and otherwise whites to make the point that a similar ideology ran undercurrent in the so called “left”. Too simplistic!

A more meaningful comparison is the distribution and sprawal of prisons across the U.S., with a slide from 1900, 1950, 1990 and 2004. The process of expansion was gradual and did not make a distinction between the so-called “blue” and “red” states. I think I saw a main hub going from MA to MN, another one sweeping the southern coast, and another circular sprawal around L.A.

What is at stake in the whole rhetoric concerning “racist republicans”, James explains, is a neoslave narrative. A Neoslave narrative is defined as a recylcing of the fear/hate of the black body.

19th c slave narrative, as expounded by the likes of Harriot Jackobs, Frederick Douglas.
in the process of reproduction, prisoner’s bodies become commodified.
the narrative promises a redemption, or a reborn, if the slave crosses over to the “free” states.

James did not push this point forward, as it was obvious, but similarly in a neoslave narrative, the slave can be redeemed by simply voting democrat. (An epistemiological singularity)

Jackobson: it’s not just the prison that is the problem, it’s the prison-state. [is he twistinc the nation-state here?]

[I kept thinking it was a “pheno-state” where she was saying “penal” state]

new abolitionists

in the narrative: master, abolitionist, slave

emancipation is “given”
freedom is “taken” <- ontological individual


plantation – place/sites – modern prison
similarities: argument to restrict the body, substandard health (HIV) – criticism that touches upon the CDC's rather plain report on black women and AIDS and p6's comment, forced migration, dnial of birth family and kin,

more on women: high rates due to males coming back from prison and transmitting the disease – thus prison walls are permeable.

slave narrative is imagined as an antebellum reality.

def of slave is contended (ref to Matthe Man Siems) slavery and social debt

existential wealth of the white.
political currency

  • vote
  • to be "tough" on crime (nixon)

upperstate NY: movement of black bodies from NYC to prisons in the rural area. now, because the population increases, white dwellers in those rural areas get more congressional votes, but they become more influential because these black prisoners, who count as inhabitants, can't vote (thus white residents cast their votes in lieu of the black prisoners)

electoral college


Paul Dosh: in CA prison system, prisoners separated as black, white, mexican, and others. when a black prisoner does a wrong, every black prisoner is punished. thus reinforcement of categories..
RE: collective punishment, used also in international politics. In Ittaca, prisoners resisted this by calling themselves "the prison race", which is not to ignore the races within, but to present themselves as a prison race

Ben Mearns: it's great that you pulled that map, because it really counters what white liberals are saying about how they are supposedly less racist for the sole fact of being liberals [or something of that order: we later chatted on how Ben put it more blatantly for those so-called-do-goodie-"liberals" at Mac, and he references a former email of his: ]
RE: localize "evil" as embodied by republicans. once you locate racism in the south, it's very easy for whites in the north to just sit and blame everything to the southerners. they don't have to do anything, they "become antiracist" for the sole fact of not being located in the south. for instance, the south was known for having "chain gangs". now AZ, which is not the "deep south" establishjed chain gangs. further reference on chattel slavery, reoncstruction, convict prisoner, segregation & jim crow, prison state

slave traume syndrome

[here I followed an idea of the core white business center/ inner ring/suburbs as an economic model that allows the production of surplus value as there is abundant unemployed black body + not yet legalized immigrant bodies available at a very low cost, surrouding the business downtowns; also relating to early industrial development of the u.s. also, how the killing of blacks might be related to postindustrialization, as excess labor is not needed?]

two bush things:
bush talked about working with churches for social justice, such as fostering children whose parents went to prison. there is no mention of the structural forces incarcerating children, but simply sending children to foster centers. now, there's something Dorothe comparingfostering with captivity, because the links are lost.
in the 2005 state of the union address, he talks about death penalty [I missed her point on this one, but James talked about Bush's killing record and how Alberto Gonzales simply "forgot" the fact that those on the death row were actually innocent, with purges from the police, the accusers, etc etc]

Hmong man Killing several people in december 2004
RE: before emancipation, victims of lynching and prisoners were mostly white. after emancipation, they became black. so, one body representing all (insofar as it is symbolic) when charles mason killed a bunch of people, no one from the "white community" stood up and said "that's not a typical behavior of a white person", for there is no social pressure. in another case, (chicago park?) where a group of black youngsters were charged with raping a white woman, where at the end it was found to not be true, but the audience was mostly black and latino, but they would not look at the youngsters into their face for fear of association. they wanted to dissociate themselves from those feautrees.

Alessandra Williams: so what do they fear?
RE: affluent white body is assumed to be aesthetic to the space, unlike the black body which destabilizes it. I start with Foucault because he cannot deal with the black body. He talks of the normative body [missed the line here]. So whites are building an identity of supremacy through the lack thereof in the black body. They fear realizing that it's actually what's missing in the whites.

She talked about love, and how there are infinite ways to resist oppression.

english race

so andrè carrington is coming to mac on…

so andrè carrington is coming to mac on the af-am conference, if i heard it well in class!

so tawanda was saying back in spring:

you won’t bring him NOW. the school better pay him some heavy bucks if you plan on bringing a NYU scholar, after messing with him while being an undegrad.

i wonder, though? with AMS being the main sponsor?

will rosenberg try to pay off back to the “colored camp”, so to say, in admin speech, after we (they?) maintained a neutral stand? what’s the deal with joi? with nick? do they talk to each other?


too much speculating.

class notes english Freedom Movements

Bamboozled, Mandela, and the Dialectics of Racism-Capitalism. class notes

AMST394-11 Freedom Movements. Class notes, Feb 7

music played: Mbongan Nugema.

how to find articles on Safundi, which spans a broader spectrum of research done on sa . rachleff )the dept?) purchased a semester-long access for the whole class. username: school, pass: here

will announced first diversity weekend meeting. thursday 9pm, cc215

african american studies conference. rachleff: don’t need to go to all of them, but that would be nice. write something creative and tie it together with the class materials.


Will: issues of working middle class and racial representation
Peter: agreed, but the two issues not related causally.
Zach: capitalism creates racial caegories by need (black athletes)
ref: Augusto Bael (theater of the oppressed)
church (ft Spike lee)
is the movie a self-criticism?
born black in SA is being political
Alex F: careful in process of reclamation

creation of representation
appropriation -> make money
how to connect material culture
know to resist

eric la black minstrelsy-> post industrialization
white working class, use of slavery as a reference point
“at least I’m not a slave”
strong denial — (needs) –> reinforcement of perfoming the other
30’s Dubios wrote a bio of John Brown

20th C Baudeville & Broadway, black people playing minstrelsy
Chapelle Show
Lily L: hegemony: marginalize people’s participation, compromise peronsal for greater goals

Zach: even in the black communities it is a tbaoo to go into “culture” fields
Alex Rubinstein: structures of white supremacy alienate communties
Alex F: (disagrees) families follow capital regardless
Tennis Guy
AFLO: but the colored/white divide in “artists”?
E. hist.
mau mau

Rachel: david wolpes & spike lee
Alessandra: Mandela on oppressive systems cannot be reformed, nikey commercials
women not part of movements

Peter: watch 4 girls, susan rose park
AFLO: Delacroix assisted the process of PAC criticizing the ANC
Will: p.20, Mau Mau reactionary masculinity women burning passes

wolpe -> single women in towns
Eugene Debs: sick Salvatore with Debs Hopes to go back what people react

E. Hutchinson: Mandela is in prison, black consciousness -> young people come to him

Rachel: Mandela’s position as a listener, heoized, did the PAC leave out of will or were they expelled from the movements?

Alex Rubinstein: 1 million dollar corruption case, ANC is sinking

Peter: last week we agreed capitalism has a role in white supremacy, has anyone challenged that?

Camilo paris: b link,

Patrick Bond is a white american who came to south africa for a citizenship

Alex Rubinstein: W-A-R? Move your stretch
journalist’s account in SA
different exp
need for violent protest
how the black leadership was constructed intot the white government (homelands)
use capital to alienate people

Rachel: skilled/unskilled divide out of question in south africa

P: in the 70’s two big issues: racism and vietnam. one group said those were “mistakes”

issue: to understand the “mistakes” as integral part of the U.S. society

P: what do we mean by “liberal”? approach to capitalism/racism
Jared: National Liberation as a paradox
Nicole: alternate systems. masculinity as part of a package
Roladn McKay: Frederickson, Herrenvolk Democracy

Alyssa: p.121 dialectical materialism, but Mandela doesn’t take on that anymore further in his actions

WIll Clarke: National liberation, communist party black belt
nation of islam in the ’30s.

P: Mandela’s operating from a minority status. Pan-African nationalism

Will: inside/outside the system. quote: within the system is the hierarchies of competition
same situation in the u.s. capitalism

too much crime, too much work ethic
adanise, chinese

(are stus less dev?)
both movements from challenging capitalism
are they engaging capitalism?
oft overlooked
shana, economic and social agency
sam great to move “up” sustains capitalism
safety/ scarcity
eti lewis “home sphere” (church)
Julia: Tarzan Ujama, 1950-60s

no cognitive diffence between “reform” and “revolution”
Sophie: Mandela’s otrobro not solely as reflection -> intended to soothe allies
compassionate to oppressor (prison guard)
R1 jaito: runs the workshop

PR: tip

def what is a liberal via park?
cart transcripts -> only where to talk + nachie
Nkrumah, Lumumba,

english race reading note

aurora levins morales

aurora levins morales talk, 12:00pm

sense of history -> resistance

destruction of memory -> subjugation (makes oppressedness seem like a natural aspect of the peoples lives)

self as an counterexample “adwomenster (sp)”
Nelson Myers 1898, spanish war, great plains, arabian peninsula, immigrants

Puerto Rico, intermediaries, the work of women, produce ginger, used for the working class (ginger bread) in Shakespeare’s England

tiva arriving out of africa -> geographical/racial?

Railroad women
labor movement, struggles as anyone else

antiwar activist
67 left PR
denied tenure in UPR
76 Berkeley CA

communication english Freedom Movements techie

RE: Freedom Movements Technology

EDIT: good reference

blah, I got tired of writing this. kind of pointless, anyway, now that the blog is up there. it’s just another semester of classes.

english Freedom Movements reading note

film notes, bamboozled

is Delacroix playing the west indian?
misrep people?

why is his room (the white boss) full of “negro” stuff?
“variety skit show”

boss at the middle, evaluators to the side, the performer in the middle
is he wearing the arab stuff on purpose?