The seminar takes as its central premise that disposability is at its core an epistemological and discursive project. Thus, the seminar will examine the particular knowledge regimes–from the colonial period through the present–that produce the logic of racial disposability in a variety of forms. It considers how this logic is reflected in the rhetoric produced by the state and civil society, and within traditional academic disciplines. Rather than centering privileged sites of knowledge production, however this seminar will engage with scholars whose work excavates the subjugated knowledges of racially marginalized communities and how their alternative epistemologies contest the violent knowledge claims of the state. This track asks: How is the logic of disposability produced through our normative structures and practices of knowledge production? How is it produced through state policy and rhetoric? How has this logic become a naturalized part of historical and contemporary racial commonsense? What methodological tools might scholars utilize to examine the ruptures and continuities of this logic in distinct historical moments and in diverse geopolitical locations? And finally, what political possibilities might become visible if we take seriously the alternative archives and knowledge claims of those marked as disposable?
Featured image credit: Sarah Stefana Smith. “Satellite MLK Blvd, Baltimore.” 2015. Digital composite. (sarahstefanasmith.com)