Asian American Studies

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Postcolonial Theory: A Lecture by Shona N. Jackson

Event Type
creole, indigenous peoples, postcolonial studies, unit for criticism
Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory
1090 Lincoln Hall
Oct 16, 2018   5:15 - 6:45 pm  
Shona N. Jackson

Join the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory for the next talk in the Modern Critical Theory Lecture Series, a lecture on Postcolonial Theory by Shona  N. Jackson (Texas A&M). The readings for the talk are available on the Unit for Criticism website and are password-protected. Please email Sarah Richter or Alyssa Bralower for the password. We will be meeting on Tuesday, Oct 16, in Lincoln 1090, from 5:15-6:45 pm.

Jackson’s talk is focused on the excision and unthinkability of Indigenous labour in the Caribbean. It is part of a larger work that seeks to formulate amethod for a new labour history of the Caribbean in which indigeneity is centrally figured and within which Creole and Indigenous forms of racialized labour can be understood as co-constitutive rather than antagonistic. To achieve this reading, Jackson works at the limits of postcolonial theory to re-contextualize 1492 as possibility and articulation rather than as impasse or aporia for thinking together, in particular, black-native labour and resistance. Jackson argues that 1492 is not singularly the commencement of modern labour history in the region, but is one divergent point in a prior and extant history. Moreover, despite the absence of strong consideration of Indigenous labour in the black radical tradition, her work suggests that Indigenous labour does exist within the tradition as a tension that, when read for rather than against, rejects the limits of emancipatory politics for the possibilities of sovereign ones.

Born in Guyana and raised in Georgetown and in the United States Virgin Islands, Shona N. Jackson is associate professor of English at Texas A&M University where she teaches courses in Caribbean and Black Diaspora Studies and Postcolonial Theory. She received her PhD from the interdisciplinary Program in Modern Thought & Literature at Stanford in 2005. She was founding co-editor of the book series in Caribbean Studies at University Press of Mississippi, and is a member of the Editorial Review Board of Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, & Society, and an advisory and contributing editor for Callaloo, for which she co-edited the first 30th anniversary volume, “Reading Callaloo, Eating Callaloo” and a special section on “Postcoloniality and Blackness.” Her publications include book chapters and journal articles in the following: Theory & Event, Small Axe, Caribbean Quarterly, The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature (winner of the 2017 MLA Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Languages), Caribbean Literature and the Environment: Between Nature and Culture, among others. Her first book, Creole Indigeneity: Between Myth and Nation in the Caribbean (Minnesota 2012) was the object of a stand-alone panel on its contributions to the field of Indigenous Studies, at the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association’s (NAISA) annual meeting in May 2014. She is currently at work on a book titled Marxism, History, and Indigenous Sovereignty in the Caribbean and another titled, Dialectics of the Flesh: Being and Teaching in the Academy.


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