June 8th Lecture – Dr. David L. Eng

Lecture by Dr. David L. Eng  

“Race as Relation”

Introduced by Dr. David Murray

Thursday, June 8, 2017
519 Kaneff, YorkU

This lecture begins with the premise that race is not a “thing” as it is commonly understood—an unchanging biological trait, a bodily attribute, a difference of blood quantum or color, a static identity. Rather, race is a relation—a continuous, modulating relationship among subjects mediating processes of social inclusion and exclusion. This talk investigates “race as relation” in both law and psychoanalysis. It begins with an account of the idea of race as it emerged from the Transatlantic slave trade and the objectification of the slave as property. While property is conventionally thought of as a subject-object relationship, it might be better understood as a subject-subject relationship, a set of rights and privileges shaping histories of racial inclusion and exclusion in U.S. law and society among subjects. The lecture then turns to psychoanalytic theories on subject-object relations in order to consider how they rework fundamental assumptions about race and property in U.S. law and society and, in turn, how histories of race challenge ideas of the universal subject in psychoanalytic theory.

Click here for Dr. Eng’s bio

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