Renowned author, filmmaker Frank Wilderson III to present workshop and talk

York University, together with the Department of Political Science and Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto, will present a workshop and plenary event featuring Frank B. Wilderson III, author, filmmaker and professor.

Frank B. Wilderson III
Frank B. Wilderson III

Wilderson is an award-winning author and one of the founders of the Afro-pessimism movement and is currently a professor of drama and African-American studies at the University of California, Irvine. He has produced one short film, Reparations Now, and written two books – one a memoir and one a film studies monograph.

He will visit York University on Nov. 30 for “Afro-Pessimism and the Ruse of Analogy” that includes a workshop from 10:30am to 12:30pm and a plenary talk from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Both events will take place in South 674 Ross Building on the Keele campus.

The workshop, geared to graduate and undergraduate students, will include a screening of his film Reparations Now followed by a discussion revolving around it. Wilderson will also do selective readings. Registration is required for this workshop at

The talk delivered by Wilderson will explore the expanding field of Afro-pessimism and how it elaborates a paradigmatic critique of the human that reckons civil society’s perverse and parasitic relation to the hydraulics of anti-black violence.

This talk will explain how this regime of anti-black violence elaborates and positions black people as internal enemies of civil society; and why an anti-black regime of violence cannot be analogized with the regimes of violence that elaborate and position the Gramscian subaltern, the post-colonial subaltern, the coloured but non-black western immigrant, and even the non-black woman.

Frank B. Wilderson, III, is an award-winning writer, activist and critical theorist who spent five-and-a-half years in South Africa, where he was one of two Americans to have held an elected office in the African National Congress (ANC) during the country’s transition from apartheid. He also worked clandestinely as a member of the ANC’s armed wing Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK).

In his novel, Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid, he writes that he investigated massacres as a field worker for an ANC peace commission, risking his life in war-torn squatter camps.

The event is sponsored by Women & Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto and by the following sponsors at York University: the Departments of Political Science, Humanities, and African Studies, the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design and The Harriet Tubman Institute.