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Glissant's Medusa: Sovereign Cosmopoiesis and Unworldly Abjection

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Friday, March 29, 2024
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Ronald Mendoza-de Jesús

March 29th at noon (lunch to follow)
"Glissant's Medusa: Sovereign Cosmopoiesis and Unworldly Abjection"
Blue Parlor, East Campus, Duke University

Building on Rizvana Bradley's suggestion that the critical humanities has undertaken a "turn to the world," this talk argues that this turn is enabled by an idealization of the concept of worlding that disavows the desire for sovereignty that structures the process of world-constitution, however piously or altruistically the latter may be construed. To make this case, the talk will provide a rhetorical reading of Glissant's "La barque ouverte" to show how Glissant's poetics of worlding otherwise generates the semblance of a "New World" of relationality and non-totalitarian unity-in-diversity by obfuscating the structural role that the production and appropriation of racialized/sexed abjection plays within cosmopoiesis.

The seminar has one, very short, suggested pre-read: Éduoard Glissant's "La barque ouverte" or "The Open Boat" from Poetique de la Relation/Poetics of Relation. The French and English can be found here:

Co-Sponsored by The Program in Literature, The Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South, The Franklin Humanities Institute, and the Department of Romance Studies