- Faculty & Staff
- Graduate Students
This seminar investigates the enduring interplay between speculation and Blackness. In recent years, speculation has emerged as a key term in Black and African American Studies with speculation emerging as the site where Blackness gets refracted, refined, and (re)imagined. Speculation, Saidiya Hartman reminds us, activates a methodological approach to reading and writing Black histories that both evade and are erased from the historical record. But speculation is also the economic engine of racial capitalism and a mode of creative dissent and art making. Taking up this capacious understanding of speculation and the speculative, this seminar will explore how writers, scholars, artists, and cultural producers across historic periods mobilize speculation as an analytic, a creative praxis, and an interventionist strategy. Over the course of this year-long seminar, we will investigate various iterations of speculation – creative, financial, economic, methodological – and the forms it takes. We will place questions of speculation at the center of our discussion of public policy, histories of racial capitalism, aesthetics, performance, and literary genre. How, we will ask, do those figures who are made to secure exploitative systems of economic and ideological values forecast alternative civic and social futures? And how has speculation emerged as extractive economic practice and an insurgent praxis? This series will bring together scholars, artists, and writers from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, all of whom think diversely about speculation in their work, their method, and their practice.
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The Seminar is not open to the public and is only for Princeton University faculty, students and staff. Register for the seminar here.