Public Engagement

General Public

Genres of Speculation: Race, Fantasy, and Finance Capital

Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 11:00 am to 7:45 pm

Wollman Hall, Eugene Lang College 65 West 11th Street Room B500, New York, NY 10003

The New School's debate program is collaborating with University of California-Berkeley's debate team to host the first national high school policy debate round-robin for students who center critical black studies in their argumentation and advocacy along with a day-long symposium that brings into conversation the scholars who inspire their arguments.

This year's national high school topic is about increasing the U.S.'s economic engagement with China. Many black debaters who are refusing the terms of the topic are diagnosing America and the global economy's material and epistemological submergence in an ocean of anti-black violence as a prime site of intervention.

Genres of Speculation: Race, Fantasy, and Finance Capital opens a discussion concerning the modes of fantasy and forecast that lie at the heart of racialized economies of enjoyment and terror while also attending to the forms of imagination and fabulation that strain against these structuring relays of desire, knowledge and violence. 

How have enduring matrices of antiblack violence prefigured the epistemological protocols of supposedly "late" capitalism's financial speculations? What qualities of genre and representation are generatively distorted by the speculations pursued by modernity's dispossesed? How can these distortions angle at a future otherwise? Does liberatory or critical imagination and fabulation require an affirmative relation to futurity at all? 

Join us for a daylong symposium on these topics and more with leading scholars in the fields of critical Black studies, education, english, and international economics. Keynote speaker Saidiya Hartman (Columbia University) will close the evening.

This symposium is co-sponsored by The New School Debate Team, Lang Civic Engagement & Social Justice, and the UC Berkeley debate team.

Panel 1 - Solidarity and Thought at the Limit (8:00 AM – 9:30 AM)

High School Scholars

 * Please note that Panel 1 will take place at The New School University Center (63 Fifth Avenue)

Panel 2 - Race, Life, and Finance Capital (11:00 AM – 12:45 PM):

Anna Agathangelou, Political Science, York University

"A Transpacific Undercommons: Feminist, Decolonial Materialisms and Atomic Afterlives," - Aimee Bahng, English, Dartmouth College

"The Rhetoric of Race and Biopower: a Reading of Michel Foucault's Society Must Be Defended," - Donna V. Jones, English, UC Berkeley

"'Who Can Get the Colored Woman's Coin': African-American Women and Financial Citizenship in the First World War," - Julia Ott, History, The New School for Social Research

Panel 3 - Blackness and Speculation (1:30 PM – 3:15 PM):

"Theorizing in a Void," - Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, English, George Mason University

Tavia Nyong’o, Theater Studies, Yale University

Christina Sharpe, English, Tufts University

Jared Sexton (respondent), African American Studies, UC Irvine


Panel 4 - Black Educational Imaginations (3:30 PM – 4:30 PM)

Joshua Bennett, English, Harvard

Michael Dumas, Education, UC Berkeley

Shanara Reid-Brinkeley, Communication, University of Pittsburgh


Panel 5 - (Im)Possible Politics (4:45 PM – 6:15 PM)

High School Scholars from The New School, UC Berkeley, and other campuses


Keynote Address (6:30pm):

The Anarchy of Black Girls Assembled in a Riotous Manner

Saidiya Hartman - English, Columbia University


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Getting Here

Detailed Directions

By Train:
The 4, 5, 6, N, R, Q and L to 14th St./Union Square.
The A, C and E to 14th St. and 8th Ave.
The 1, 2 and 3 to 14th St. and 7th Ave.
The F and M to 14th St. and 6th Ave.
PATH train to 14th St. and 6th Ave.