Seminar 1 (November) in Oldebroek

A note on the Vibe of this Seminar, which is on the intersections between postcolonial theory, decolonising, and Afropessimism.

Please keep the following foremost in mind: All these issues, dynamics, and power relations are lived by people in different ways: As a queer male South Asian, born in India, raised as a “model minority” immigrant in the USA and as a postcolonial hangover in the UK, I am not positioned nor have the same psychological biography than you do. This does not mean I am more or less oppressed than you (who are also heterogeneous), but that I speak from the shifting contexts of these intersecting histories. When I speak I do not “represent” all South Asians, nor all queer folk nor all immigrants.

It is from this place of embodied knowledge, acknowledging our common and singular struggles as well as our various and contextual privileges, that I send this call to you: The aims of this seminar is to understand the future of solidarity, as we live, survive and care for each other in the unfolding presents of this seminar, let us ground our study in this potentiality and possibility of solidarity between us. The politics of authenticity (“Am I an authentic Indian?”), what I will refer to as a narrow identity politics, can produce very painful encounters, mired in the sad passions. Please, if you do believe that you are authentically this or that, be mindful that others sitting next to you perhaps may have in fact been excluded from belonging to that authentic identity by dynamics such as sexual, gender, cultural, class, racial, neuro-normal violence.

So please: Welcome! Let us move forward together in an unpredictable but care-ful experimentation in solidarity and liberatory pedagogy.



Wilderson, Frank B.. Afro-Pessimism. New York: W. W. Norton, 2020. Chapters 1, 5, 7, and Epilogue.

Hartman, S. V. Scenes of subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-making in Nineteenth-century America. London: Oxford University Press, 1997. Introduction.

McCarthy, J. Review of ‘Afropessimism’.” Los Angeles Review of Books. July 20, 2020.

Olaloku-Teriba, A. Afro-Pessimism and the (Un)logic of Anti-blackness. Historical Materialism 26, nr. 2 (2018): 96-122.


additional reading:

Marriott, David. “Corpsing; or, The Matter of Black Life.” Cultural Critique 94 (2016): 32–64.

Robinson, Cedric J. . Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. Chapel Hill: Univ of North Carolina Press: 2000.

Sexton, Jared. “People-of-Color-Blindness: Notes on the Afterlife of Slavery.” Social Text 28 no. 2 (2010): 31–56.

Sexton, Jared. “Ante-Anti-Blackness: Afterthoughts.” Lateral 1, no. 1 (2012).

Warren, Calvin L.. Ontological Terror: Blackness, Nihilism and Emancipation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.