Keynote Address by Cajetan Iheka (Yale U), “Uncommon Ruptures”

July 14, 2022 from 9:00 am to 10:30 am

Room Number: TRS 1-067

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The colonial logic underpinning the commonwealth and the literatures that the term enframes effaced multiplicity for the rule of the singular, for the uncommon common. And when it comes to the commons, the shared features of space that made it inhabitable, colonialism and its neocolonial manifestations engendered destruction, but more importantly activated the hyper-separation of humans from nonhuman beings, therefore eroding the fundamental principle of ecological relationality. In this lecture, I describe colonialism’s instantiation of a violent common in its erasure of heterogeneity, and the rupture of the human-nonhuman bind that undergirds indigenous societies from Africa to the Americas to Asia, resulting in ecological trauma. I then use the writer Aminatta Forna’s latest novel Happiness to illustrate how decolonial artists have sought to revise a monolithic common for a pluriverse of difference while reinstating the commonality between humans and nonhumans that the colonial process ruptured.

Chair: Feisal Kirumira (U Alberta)

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