Conferences & lectures

ATMOSPHERES: Atmospheric Pressures: On Race and Affect

Friday, September 25, 2020
1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Renisa Mawani (Sociology, University of British Columbia)


This event is free




Allison Peacock



CISSC ATMOSPHERES virtual lecture series

In this presentation, Renisa Mawani places Frantz Fanon's brief comments on atmosphere in conversation with more recent efforts to theorize affect through the ephemeral, mutable, and material impress of atmosphere. In so doing, Mawani initiates a close reading of Fanon's essay, "Racism and Culture" alongside his better known and more widely read The Wretched of the Earth.

Mawani considers Fanon's reflections on the psycho-affective traumas of colonialism, racism, and colonial violence through affective registers rather than the more conventional and established psychic ones. In so doing, Mawani's objective is not to recuperate an authentic Fanonian voice. Nor is it to dispute phenomenological and psychoanalytic readings of Fanon that have been so influential in postcolonial studies, critical race theory, and beyond. Rather, the goal is to consider how Fanon's brief remarks on atmosphere might be reworked and expanded toward an affective materialist account of race.

About Renisa Mawani

Renisa Mawani is Professor of Sociology at The University of British Columbia, located on the unceded territories of the Musqueam Peoples. She is the author of Colonial Proximities (University of British Columbia Press, 2009) and Across Oceans of Law (Duke University Press, 2018), which was a finalist for the U.K. Socio-Legal Studies Association Theory and History Book Prize (2020) and won the Association of Asian American Studies Book Prize for Outstanding Contribution to History (2020).

With Rita Dhamoon, Davina Bhandar, and Satwinder Bains, she is co­ editor of Unmooring the Komagata Maru (University of British Columbia Press, 2019); and with Antoinette she is co-editor of Animalia: An Anti-Imperial Bestiary of Our Times (Duke University Press, 2020).

All lectures and ensuing discussions will be live on zoom at the designated hour and last about 90 minutes.

Please write to Allison Peacock to register (include ATMOSPHERES in the subject line). You will be sent a zoom link by return email.

This Virtual Lecture series is curated by David Howes, the outgoing director of CISSC. It is co-sponsored by the Centre for Sensory Studies and the CISSC Gardens, Sensing Atmospheres, and Colonial, Racial and Indigenous Ecologies (CRIE) Working Groups.

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