12/10/2020: “Black Feminist Hauntology: Rememory the Ghosts of Abolition?” by Viviane Saleh-Hanna

Today’s #AntiAbleistComposition feature is “Black Feminist Hauntology: Rememory the Ghosts of Abolition?” by Viviane Saleh-Hanna. The article is published in Champ penal/Penal field‘s vol. 12 (2015) and is available via open access.

From the abstract:

This paper uses what Toni Morrison named ‘rememory’ in Beloved (1987) to redefine what Jacques Derrida named ‘hauntology’ in Specters of Marx (1994) to produce Black Feminist Hauntology: a counter-analysis to broken conceptions of time and bodies that critiques dominant, White supremacist constructions of colonized/colonizing, enslaved/enslaving and imprisoned/imprisoning bodies, lives, deaths, and histories. Black Feminist Hauntology is a socio-philosophical study of ghosts through whom we can locate the abusive and morally bankrupt nature of structural race relations as they manifest through the violent race-making and land-grabbing conquests of colonialism. If, as Baucom (2001, 80) proposes, “time does not pass, it accumulates”, then what does it mean to live within a system of incarceration in the United States where the majority of those shackled and locked up are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans, while the majority of those who lock them up and profit from their confinement are the direct descendants of European slave holders and colonists? This localized inquiry can be applied to varying contexts, namely White nation-states and their systems as they occupy lands and resources across the globe. Black Feminist Hauntology provides a framework intent upon exorcizing Colonial Systems of Control (Saleh-Hanna, 2008) through which race, class, gender, and sexuality are constructed, conquered and enforced. To facilitate the application of this exorcism the article introduces three intersecting shape-shifting methodologies: transcendent, metamorphic, and structural. Each is inspired by Egyptian mythology, reawakening a point of vision and definition born in analytic spaces dwelling well beyond the shadows and reaches of colonial slavery.

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