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Unpayable Debt (Online Talk)

GEM Lab Events

MAR. 19, 2021

Friday, March 19th, 2021, 2pm (Online Event)

Denise Ferreira da Silva (UBC), moderated by Joshua Neves.


Introduction to Series and Speaker

Joshua Neves

Unpayable Debt (Talk)

Denise Ferreira da Silva

Q&A Start

Q&A 1

Topics: The relationship between space and time in your work. Linear time in the work of Octavia E. Butler. Relationship of time to our ancestors, but how does space relate to this discussion? Further elaboration on the topic of space as it relates to time.

Q&A 2

Topics: Financial Crisis of 2008 and relating that to the moralizing racist panic that ensued, and relating this to the current global health crisis. The relationship between Surplus and Debt, with violence as mediating force. “Socialism for the rich”, Tech billionaires gaining during the crisis. Ask to talk through the Surplus / Debt in the modern context.

Q&A 3

Topics: The very developed nature of your ideas. The term “Implicancy” in your work, speak a bit more to the meaning of the concept. The tension of significance of forms of “unrelation”. Working with this in a reframing of it, in which they become very central.

Q&A 4

Topics: Coming from a background of Sociology. Is it possible to relate the idea of constitutive entanglement to the idea of sovereignty as deffered genocide. Entangling the difference between a native background (settle colonialism) and being black (anti blackness). Sovereignty of your own body, but also agency? What are your thoughts?

Q&A 5

Topics: The relationship between the Unpayable Debt, and what is meant by healthcare? Insights from the course she is teaching? If value is liberated from the dialectic, it seems like a return to raw mater at a time where so many organic bodies are being abandoned or obliterated.

Q&A 6

Topics: Thinking through the figure of Debt. The paradox of the need for reparations and legibility of socio historical identity, as well as for the legibility for the purposes of social justice. Complex material ancestry. The debt of reparations, the debt of spirit with our entanglement with matter. The inseparability of the economic and ethical elements of the debt.

Q&A 7

Topics: The ideas that don’t make it to the level of the talk; imaging, coincidence, resonance. The Global Health Crisis, the Global Financial Crisis, are there other nodal events that fall within that field of entanglement for you? That are in that web.


Link to original event post.

A presentation/conversation with Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva on the topics of her forthcoming book “Unpayable Debt”.

Unpayable Debt examines the relationships among coloniality, raciality, and global capital from a black feminist “poethical” perspective. Inspired by Octavia E. Butler's 1979 sci-fi novel Kindred, in which an African-American writer is transported back in time to the antebellum South to save her owner-ancestor, Unpayable Debt relates the notion of value to coloniality—both economic and ethical. Focusing on the philosophy behind value, Denise Ferreira da Silva exposes capital as the juridical architecture and ethical grammar of the world. Here, raciality—a symbol of coloniality—justifies deployments of total violence to enable expropriation and land extraction.

Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva is Professor and Director of The Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia. An academic and practicing artist, Dr. da Silva's work addresses the ethico-political challenges of the global present. She is the author of Toward a Global Idea of Race (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), A Dívida Impagavel (Oficina da Imaginaçāo Política and Living Commons, 2019), Unpayable Debt (Stenberg/MIT Press, forthcoming) and co-editor (with Paula Chakravartty) of Race, Empire, and the Crisis of the Subprime (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), among many others.

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