Political Theory Workshop with Ella Myers
DateDecember 12, 2014
4357 Bunche Hall
Belinda SunnuPhone email@example.com
Presenter:Ella Myers, University of UtahRespondent:Kye Barker, UCLATitle: “Invisible Men: Racial Indifference in Theories of Neoliberalism”About the presenter:Ella Myers (Ph.D. 2006, Northwestern) is assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Utah with a joint appointment in Gender Studies. Her research is primarily in the area of democratic theory. She is especially engaged with questions regarding citizen participation, the distribution of political power, and practices of collective resistance. Myers’ current research agenda focuses on contemporary economic conditions in the United States and she is working on a book manuscript entitled Radical Capitalism, which argues that today’s economic regime is both continuous and discontinuous with previous forms of capitalist society.Abstract:Scholarly work on neoliberalism often fails to address the specific workings of racial caste in the U.S. Too often such work presents a grand narrative of capitalist exploitation in the 21st century which overlooks racial domination or implies that it is simply a sub-category of class domination. Drawing on work by Michelle Alexander and Loic Wacquant, this paper argues that racial caste functions today to position black men in the U.S. not merely as exploitable, but expendable. The problem of black men’s disposability – expressed most graphically in the social acceptance of the state-sanctioned use of discriminatory force, imprisonment, and disenfranchisement – points to “the incompleteness of abolition.” The paper argues that understanding the effects of racial caste on black men today requires investigating how capitalism and white supremacy have been linked historically not only by relations of boss/worker but also by relations of owner/owned.Paper:Click here to download.
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