Department of Sociology presents lecture ‘Atmospheric Pressures: On Race and Affect’

York University’s Department of Sociology will hold its annual lecture on Feb. 26 with guest speaker Renisa Mawani, professor and Chair of the Law & Society program at UBC.

Renisa Mawani
Renisa Mawani

Mawani will deliver the talk “Atmospheric Pressures: On Race and Affect,” which explores Frantz Fanon’s comments on atmosphere with more recent efforts to theorize affect through the ephemeral, mutable and material impress of atmosphere.

In this lecture, Mawani aims to initiate a close reading of Fanon’s essay “Racism and Culture” alongside his better known and more widely read The Wretched of the Earth.

She will consider Fanon’s reflections on the pyscho-affective traumas of colonialism, racism and colonial violence through affective registers, rather than the more conventional and established psychic ones. In doing so, her objective is not to recuperate an authentic Fanonian voice, nor is it to dispute the phenomenological and psychoanalytic readings of Fanon that have been so influential in postcolonial critical race theory; rather, her goal is to consider how Fanon’s remarks on atmosphere might be reworked and expanded toward an affective and nonanthropocentric account of race.

Mawani’s numerous publications include Colonial Proximities (UBC Press, 2009) and Across Oceans of Law (Duke University Press, 2018).

The event is open to all and it runs from 4 to 6 p.m. at 305 Founders College.