"Montauk Surf Club", Acrylic on board, 8 x 6 in
Maurice de Vlaminck (French, 1876-1958), Paysage au crépuscule [Landscape at dusk]. Oil on canvas, 54.5 x 65.5 cm.
Rinaldo Walcott’s paper will track the ways in which black life persists in the midst of practices, institutions, and knowledges meant to extinguish such life. The paper takes the geographies of the Americas as one zone in which black death is the foundation upon which institutions, modes of being, and other forms of life stake their claims on the world. In other words, the paper suggests that black death is a pre-condition for the common sense and being of contemporary life. The paper reflects on black death by drawing on the scholarship of Sylvia Wynter and a range of black radical thinkers whose intellectual project has been one of mapping the contours of black resistance to premature death as a mode of remaking what it means to be human. [video]