SISS 2017: Race as Relation - Public Lecture by Dr. David L. Eng

June 8, 2017 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
519 Kaneff, York University
4700 Keele St
Toronto, ON M3J 1P0

The Centre for Feminist Research at York University presents:

Summer Institute in Sexuality Studies (SISS) 2017
Perversion at the Crossroads of Critical Race Studies, Psychoanalysis, and Queer Theory

Race as Relation
Public Lecture by Dr. David L. Eng

Introduced by Dr. David Murray

Thursday, June 8th
519 Kaneff, YorkU

Race is not a “thing” as it is commonly understood—an unchanging biological trait, a bodily attribute, a difference of blood quantum or color, a static identity. Rather, race is a relation—a continuous, modulating relationship among subjects mediating processes of social inclusion and exclusion.

This talk investigates “race as relation” in law and psychoanalysis. It begins with the idea of race as it emerged from the Transatlantic slave trade and the objectification of the slave as property. How did property, as a relationship and a set of rights and privileges, shape histories of racial inclusion and exclusion in U.S. law and society? In turn, how do psychoanalytic theories on subject-object relations rework fundamental assumptions about race and property? Finally, how do histories of race challenge ideas of the universal subject in psychoanalysis?

Dr. David L. Eng is Richard L. Fisher Professor and Graduate Chair in the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania. Eng is author of The Feeling of Kinship: Queer Liberalism and the Racialization of Intimacy (Duke, 2010) and Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America (Duke, 2001). His forthcoming book Reparations and the Human investigates the relationship between political and psychic genealogies of reparation in Cold War Asia.

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With support from a SSHRC Connection Grant and York University: Office of the Vice President Academic & Provost; Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation; the Faculty of Education; the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies; the Faculty of Graduate Studies; the Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies; the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies; Glendon Gender and Women’s Studies Program; the Sexuality Studies Program; Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at Osgoode Hall Law School; Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought; Department of Anthropology; Department of History; Department of Political Science; Department of Social Science; and the Centre for Feminist Research.

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