There will be more on this soon, in this blog or in http://www.infrapolitica.com. But I wanted to mark the moment. Frank Wilderson III’s Afropessimism has just been published by Liveright, from the Norton group, and it adds itself to a growing bibliography which includes books by Fred Moten, Saidiya Hartman, and others. We have tried–we tried very hard about one year and a half ago–to have a real conversation with afropessimists and black ops people, but it proved impossible for reasons that were no doubt conjunctural. It is however a pending project. Gerardo Muñoz just put on Facebook the following quotation from the book:
… in the solicitation of hegemony, so as to fortify and extend the interlocutory life of civil society, ultimately accommodate only the satiable demands and legible conflicts of civil society’s junior partners (such as immigrants, White women, the working class), but foreclose upon the insatiable demands and illegible antagonisms of Blacks. In short, whereas such coalitions and social movements cannot be called the outright handmaidens of anti-Blackness, their rhetorical structures, political desire, and their emancipatory horizon are bolstered by a life- affirming anti- Blackness; the death of Black desire.
What I wanted to register here is that this is exactly the argument for posthegemony from a marrano perspective. In other words, it is not specific to blackness in my opinion, although it is certainly fully consistent with it. To me this is the real legacy of subaltern studies. It is a legacy that should be fully discussed and developed, and we can only note and celebrate the importance of its recognition by Wilderson and others. It is also the legacy Latin Americanist and Latinx Studies people have been disavowing from day one and counting. Don’t ask me why, because I would not be able to tell you. Perhaps there is a conjunctural reason as well. In any case, there is work to be done.