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Premesh Lalu, "Undoing Apartheid"

Please join the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute for a lecture by Premesh Lalu!

Undoing Apartheid:

Accounts of apartheid in South Africa often neglect the persistence of a political rationality of race that took shape in the idea of petty apartheid. Instituted as a technique of ordering everyday life towards the requirements of a society of control in South Africa, petty apartheid reveals what is often obscured in critiques of apartheid. Cohering around discourses of the sensory order and vitalism, the virulent and intractable strand of petty apartheid might yet teach us something hitherto repressed to describe the relationship between race and modernity. Taking my cue from a recently published book titled Undoing Apartheid, this lecture explores how we apprehend this minor but enduring problem of racial formation in South Africa. More importantly, I ask whether an aesthetic education offers the only hope to deal with what is repeated in apartheid and help us steer to a further shore of post-apartheid freedom.

Professor Premesh Lalu is a Research Professor and former director of the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa. He completed a doctoral study titled "In the Event of History" with the support of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in the ICGC at the University of Minnesota in 2003. As director of the CHR at UWC, Lalu oversaw the establishment of the first South African Department of Science and Innovation-National Research Foundation Flagship initiative in 2016, following a national competition across the fields of the Humanities and Natural and Physical Sciences.

Lunch will be served. RSVP at!