A discussion of Lisa Lowe‘s The Intimacies of Four Continents (2015, Duke University Press), with Susan Buck-Morss, Kandice Chuh, and Eric Lott.
October 15 | 4:30–6:30pm
Skylight Room, CUNY Graduate Center
In this uniquely interdisciplinary work, Lisa Lowe examines the relationships between Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth- centuries, exploring the links between colonialism, slavery, imperial trades and Western liberalism. Reading across archives, canons, and continents, Lowe connects the liberal narrative of freedom overcoming slavery to the expansion of Anglo-American empire, observing that abstract promises of freedom often obscure their embeddedness within colonial conditions. Race and social difference, Lowe contends, are enduring remainders of colonial processes through which “the human” is universalized and “freed” by liberal forms, while the peoples who create the conditions of possibility for that freedom are assimilated or forgotten. Analyzing the archive of liberalism alongside the colonial state archives from which it has been separated, Lowe offers new methods for interpreting the past, examining events well documented in archives, and those matters absent, whether actively suppressed or merely deemed insignificant. Lowe invents a mode of reading intimately, which defies accepted national boundaries and disrupts given chronologies, complicating our conceptions of history, politics, economics, and culture, and ultimately, knowledge itself.
Lisa Lowe is Professor of English and American Studies at Tufts University, and a member of the Consortium for Studies in Race, Colonialism and Diaspora. She is the author and coeditor of books on orientalism, immigration and globalization, including Critical Terrains: French and British Orientalisms (Cornell UP, 1991), Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics (Duke UP, 1996), The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital (Duke UP, 1997), and most recently, The Intimacies of Four Continents (Duke UP, 2015).
Lisa Lowe: The Intimacies of Four Continents
Date: October 15, 2015
Time: 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Location: CUNY Graduate Center, Skylight Room
Address: 365 Fifth Avenue, New York 10016 (View Map)