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Über dieses Buch

This book is a timely intervention in the areas of philosophy, history, and literature. As an exploration of the modern political order and its racial genealogy, it emerges at a moment when scholars and activists alike are wrestling with how to understand subject formation from the perspective of the subordinated rather than from dominant social and philosophical modes of thought. For Sawyer, studying the formation of racialized subjects requires a new imagining of marginalized subjects. Black subjectivity is not viewed from the static imaginings of social death, alienation, ongoing abjection, or as a confrontation with the treat of oblivion. Sawyer innovates the term "fractured temporality," conceptualizing Black subjects as moving within and across temporalities in transition, incorporated, yet excluded, marked with the social death of Atlantic slavery and the emergent political orders it etched, and still capable of exerting revolutionary force that acts upon, against, and through racial oppression.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
This section is principally concerned with framing the project and in particular elaborating the set of ten “Presuppositions” that together assemble the architecture of the structure of sovereignty as a temporal continuum that represents the centerpiece of the argument. Additionally, the notion of “liminality” is framed as (in many respects) remarkable in its difference from its popular employment in post-colonial thinking as a limiting circumstance but rather as a limit function in the sense of calculus that allows for the establishment of instantaneous values that foregrounds temporality as the central line through the project.
Michael E. Sawyer

Chapter 2. The Ontological Body

Abstract
This chapter takes up Genesis as the locus of foundations of Western political thought generally and in particular the creation of types of Beings that are produced from a generic materiality that then produces a generic form of being. This formation allows reconsideration of Jean-Luc Nancy’s assertion that the “ontological body (as a form) has yet to be thought.” The abstract being that is derived here is essential for exploring this thinking in that it is an account of the type of stripped down subjectivity that Fanon remarks upon in the introduction of Black Skin, White Masks that exists in his reformulation of the “zone of non-being” as proposed by Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty. This abstraction and emptiness, both a space and a subject, are constitutional of the title of the text, the homo liminalis. This chapter also examines panels of the Sistine Chapel as foundational to the Western imaginary of the human as ideally white and European.
Michael E. Sawyer

Chapter 3. It’s About Time

Abstract
This chapter is principally concerned with how the abstract body takes on typologies of internal and external temporality that establish the subject as variously Elemental, Abject, or Exalted. An essential intervention here is to reframe canonical Hegelian dialectics as a relationship between three actors; the Abject and Exalted that stand in as analogous to Hegel’s Slave and Master but are mediated by the presence of a third subject, the Elemental. In addition to Hegel, a close reading of Derrida’s Beast and Sovereign is an essential component of this section.
Michael E. Sawyer

Chapter 4. Othello the Negro

Abstract
This chapter relies upon a close reading of several texts: Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk, Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Othello the Moor of Venice, Melville’s Benito Cereno, and Ellison’s Invisible Man. The philosophical framework in this section is established by the thought of Sartre, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Lacan that are employed to assemble an account of the phenomenology of subaltern beings and their revolutionary ambitions.
Michael E. Sawyer

Chapter 5. The Genealogy of (Im)Morals

Abstract
This section endeavors to frame the Atlantic World’s plantation generally and Jefferson’s Monticello specifically as factories of particular types of Exalted and Abject beings. Sally Hemings, the property (enslaved woman) and mistress (mother of his children) of Thomas Jefferson, is examined as a particular type of revolutionary actor that captures agency through the self-alienation of her own freedom in order to secure that of her progeny. This is in counter-point to other modes of agency employed by enslaved women that included infanticide as presented in Morrison’s Beloved as a method of recapturing lost agency and shattering the essential genealogical logic of the enslaved condition.
Michael E. Sawyer

Chapter 6. Conclusion

Abstract
This chapter summarizes the work that has been done in the previous sections and proposes that, ultimately, consideration of the relationship of spatiality to temporality must be reintroduced at the “end” in order to trace the argument to its logical conclusion.
Michael E. Sawyer

Backmatter

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