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Note From The Editor

  • Introduction: (De) Fatalizing the Present
    Anna M. Agathangelou, York University (Department of Political Science)
    Kyle D. Killian, York University (Faculty of Health)

I. Contemporary Problematiques: Tensions Slavery, Colonization, and Accumulation

II. Intimate Poetics

Poems

Works

III. Erotics of Co-Existance: Paintings/Photography

Call For Papers⁄Art


(De) Fatalizing the Present and Creating Radical Alternatives

Edited by: Anna M. Agathangelou, York University (Department of Political Science) and Kyle D. Killian, York University (Faculty of Health)

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[1]i This special issue, (De) Fatalizing the Present and Creating Radical Alternatives, brings critical theorists, artists, and poets together to engage systematically the temporal structure of the relationship of politics and violence with a focus on the tensions between slavery and colonization. These theorists show that disrupting dominant theorizations and their generated contingent affects begins with exposing the epistemologies and methods that call for a monitoring of each other’s activities in the aggregate without taking into account the current politico-ontologico-structural condition of world politics, inscribing the slave condition as a primary one, while also continually and constantly changing. This special issue expands the postcolonial critique that challenges the idea of the “West” and the “Global North” as primary analytical sites and their citizens the agents of politics against which everybody else is to be measured. Such critiques open up the space for us to take time as the primary object of focus in our analyses of the global, problems in world politics, ethics, and possible expressions of revolutionary practices.

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[2] Much theorization about understanding and explaining the past and the future has been undertaken in world politics, some of it seeking, in the name of ethics, to make the multiplicity of world relations present and visible and therefore intelligible and governable.ii Yet many explanations generated in different sites (i.e., the state, the market, the university) seem to violate the principles of ethical reason. Guided by a desire to maintain a “jurisdiction” in the production of knowledge in time, such theorists seem to be turning their approaches/ theories into sharpened prediction tools binding with, and feeding into, accrued commonsensical and dominant circulating narratives, models, and affects which insert people, desires, and even requests into familiar systems and categories. Instead of a conversation about a ruptured present whose relationship to time and space is one of “telling the truth”iii about current problems (i.e., acknowledging these problems as effects of our current relations), including an attempt to tap into the creative possibility that is productive of historical time, space, and life itself, much of this theorization takes temporal “breaks” for granted. This presumed interruption in the flow of historical social relations turns past and present into discreet temporalities, each possessing distinct regimes of order: pre-colonial and colonial, slavery and colonization, liberal and neo-liberal. These dominant approaches to treating life literally or familiarly (i.e., facticity, legalized violence, the use of arbitrary force and violence, assumptions about “human nature”) also take for granted a “totalized metaphysics of order” as their starting point of analysis without ever creatively accounting for problems or asymmetrical power relations and violences.iv

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[3] In such approaches, time is inserted into systems and categories, reducing time into a succession of instances, thus quantifying it as a measuring unit that can be grasped. And yet, time or the present does not seem to be grasped or conquered. It seems to escape repeatedly this dominant attempt at its conquest. While the present is a decisive relation in the finitude of existence, making time crucial in world politics, the non-graspable present and the “rupture” processes seen in the constitution anew of historical forces and social relations are never examined long enough to see how the “rather irretrievable” past and the rather non-graspable present emerge together under a new temporality, expressing how we give time to time by shaping and spatializing it.

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[4] Focusing on the processes that make possible this emerging and intertwined temporality must be centralized if we are to think systematically what it means to defatalize the present, to constitute multiple worlds that do not avail us of ethical possibilities for political action against enslavement, colonization, originary accumulation, and existential elimination all in the name of a segregated image of a modern “zombified” world.v Therefore, engaging Fanon and Hartman’s meditations on the relationship of violence, law, and ethics, this special issue examines the idea and practice of defatalizing the present, that is, producing creatively one’s life towards the generation of ecologies/conditions on behalf of one’s assemblage as the place of the relation with multiple other kinds of assemblages in the face of powerful dehumanizing and slaughtering conditions.

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[5] Fanon and Hartman grapple with two simultaneous registers of violence: fungible slave terror and colonial violence. Challenging the view that the rule of law within a liberal framework guarantees protection against both gratuitous terror and colonial violence, they theorize how to disrupt functional surrogacies,vi “metaphoric transfers,” “structural adjustments,” and “disqualification of black resistance”vii to authorize social claims about violence and suffering that have agonistic politics as their constitutive element. Taking the forces of exploitation and ontological extinction inscribed in the multiple worlds of the present as their starting point, Fanon and Hartman examine the manifold ways people inhabit multiple worlds, or put otherwise, their being in the world as becomingsviii rather than countable collections. Unlike Benjamin, and more like Deleuze, both interrogate the present as a political question and an elusive spatial and temporal entry point. For them, this present emerges out of a vulnerable space; accordingly, the multiple violent logics of our social life could be questioned and dramatically modified.

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[6] This special issue attempts to defatalize the present via the examination of various struggles, methods, and forms. It brings scholars and artists together who look at different worlding expressions (i.e., becomings),ix asking how people participate in and disrupt such violent strategies and methods of expediency as the laws, constitutions, and democracy that abstract their everyday struggles, betraying them and the constitution of their lives. By starting with an examination of these shattering experiences of betrayal,x we can trace how imaginations become captive and how the everyday politics of expediency re-animates dead paradigms to invest them with a kind of faith that amputates creative inquiries into how to live one’s life while intervening to bring into being radically different temporal experiences, thereby systemically modifying the dominant and not-so-dominant reified substrate logics that turn sites into disaster zones.

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[7] A crucial component in defatalizing the present is tracing the connection between the latest round of struggles and prior protests throughout the world. Hence, the collection of authors and artists here look at both then and now to examine the various logics of violence, including wars, imprisonments, slaughtering, and increasing levels of unemployment and poverty. They engage with slavery, social death, and revolutions in the US, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa; they analyze how people and things are transformed, how bodies inhabit streets and squares, and how streets and squares, in turn, are affected by uprisings’ transformative energies. They look at global uprisings and shattering experiences of living that lead people to organize against and intervene in repressive mechanisms. The social, historical, and existential affects of doubt and palpable powerlessness push people to publically disrupt the most deadly of all relations: the closures and experimentations that foreclose “unruliness” at its start. If the project of radical transformation demands disruption and unruliness as its starting point to avoid the familiar expediency of officialdom, institutionalization, and appropriations of relations, then defatalizing the present demands creative and aesthetic politics, including creative imaginaries and theorizations that sustain at the forefront alternative ontologies and fragments of imaginations.

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[8] Our main stake in thinking the global lies in our interest in the structural political ontology that generates the idea that subjects are sovereign. Of special interest here is Levinas’ excellent work on time in which he states that “time…is the very relationship of the subject with the Other.”xi We agree with him that time is a relationship but not necessarily between two sovereign subjects. Hence, in our theorization about the defatalization of the present, we deem it important to ask about the production of the global, starting from time. What is the time of the global? What does it look like, and what does it enable us to do? Are the time of the global and the world itself indissolubly related, so that to speak of the global is to speak of a specific mode of temporality? Is there a global without its own time? What, in the idea of a global time, can those who are interested in a (de) fatalizing of the present draw upon to help them develop a radical global politics?

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[9] The authors herein engage time from different entry points into the “global” struggles and contestations against violence and social death, including the slave, the colonized other, the transnational subject, the Palestinian, and the aboriginal. Such multiple becomings/expressions are, ultimately, becomings/expressions of time or the temporality structuring them; when properly inflected, they may inspire such diverse fields as international relations, African studies, performance theories, feminist theory, race theory, art, political science, and poetry studies to rethink violence, ethics, and revolution. All these authors respond to several questions in writing their pieces. What are the shattering experiences that send people to the streets and the squares? Are these uprisings a response to the implementation of a centralized worldwide Neo-Feudal economic order? What does it mean to have been “sold out” by the present?xii With what effects? What does it mean to have been “sold out” by democracy and the law? How do analyses of the tensions of slavery and colonization enable new temporal structures and insights into these struggles and the defatalization of the present and in a “global” way? How do people produce meaningful and non-fatal lives amidst the multiple violences that they inhabit? How do different people in different parts of the world respond to the terrors of the times that are intertwined with mutuality, pleasure, solidarity, and seductive promises of a life that could be possible at a later time?

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I. Ruptured Temporalities and Humanities of the “Global”

[10] In a nuanced and incisive analysis written in 1981, Dirlik shows that the Chinese Cultural Revolution “provided a new model of development to socialism,” conjuncting it with the present conditions/discursive policy discussions in China. Dirlik argues that this approach addresses the basic relationship of politics and violence:

[The Cultural Revolution] captured the imagination not of Chinese revolutionaries alone but of revolutionary socialists around the world because it addressed a basic problem of socialism in power: that socialist societies are as vulnerable as any other to producing structures of power that attenuate the revolutionary vision of freedom and equality. It was not simply a mindless pursuit of revolution, but an effort to resolve the ossification of the socialist power structure that underlay the Cultural Revolution, as well as the conviction that continued revolution was fundamental to achieving socialism.xiii

Dirlik goes on to argue that in today’s China, the people are faced with the same questions on politics and violence. Even so, the many “global” disjunctures point to revolutionary moments:

A history, therefore, that can serve at once as a guide to the future and a burden that holds the society back. One might observe that this is what is at the crux of disagreements over China’s future presently, just as it was three decades ago. That the question has refused to go away in spite of the momentous changes of the last thirty years is remarkable, but it is also a cause for some hope. China’s development through incorporation in global capitalism has brought enormous benefits as well as unprecedented problems. As a major player in the globalization of capital, the case of China may provide the most dramatic proof of the impossibility of sustaining capitalist development as we have known it for the last two centuries. The limits are no longer just social and political; they are terminally ecological. Socialism may serve as a reminder under the circumstances of the necessity of finding a different path into the future—not just socially, but in terms of redefining development itself.

In reading Dirlik’s text to understand his reading of the Chinese leadership/party with regards to the contemporary moment, we are faced with the tensions of the multiple-worlding projects and limits that emerge either in the implementation of a model of socialist-one-party-neoliberal-development or in the model of laissez-faire-neoliberal development. Dirlik describes, without theorizing it, how socialist development through incorporation of global capital (and we will say neo-liberal development) adds to the ecological unsustainability of our planet. While the laissez-faire-neoliberal model of development is charting out various worlds that are entangled in shifting terms of “newer” beneficiaries (in this case, transnational Chinese capital), the changes we see, at the very least, demonstrate ample state capacity for adaptability, with most developed states structurally adjusting their economic composition to profit a very small number of people from the evolving forms of international capital accumulation and circulation.xiv

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[11] Echoing Dirlik’s analysis of the ecological unsustainability of the “socialist development” model, Beck (2000) argues that global modernity and its global outcomes are undermining their own material benefits––or at least increasingly have the potential to do so:

By virtue of its inherent dynamism, modern society is undercutting its formations of class, stratum, occupation, sex roles, nuclear family, plant, business sectors and of course also the prerequisites and continuing forms of natural techno-economic progress.xv

In Risk Society Beck argues that industrial modernity is undermined by what he calls an emerging reflexive modernity. Globalization of capital is “a power-play between territorially fixed political actors (government, parliament, unions) and non-territorial economic actors (representatives of capital, finance, trade)” and results in the “political economics of uncertainty and risk.” Capital flight, capital offshore production and outsourcing challenge the economic security of both the state and its citizensxvi with cascading and increasing risk effects, along with a growing individualization and “the disintegration of the certainties of industrial society as well as the compulsion to find and invent new certainties for oneself.”xvii

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[12] Thus, while modernity structured social orders in terms of class, gender, and work patterns and defined the relationship between capital, class, and the welfare state, under reflexive modernity, these relationships are breaking down. The corporatist relationship between capital, labor, and the state, which secured full employment, low inflation, and reduced individual risk through welfare entitlements in return for labor stability and productivity growth, has evaporated; individuals are now exposed to fickle labor markets, flexible labor practices, and casualized employment practices, with the onus on the individual to continually invent him/herself to meet the changing needs of capital and the workplace.

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[13] The gender revolution under modernity is another part of the unfolding of the process of individualization. Beck argues that while this revolution broadens opportunities for women, the destabilization of the patriarchal institution generates a paradox. On the one hand, it accords women access to educational and employment opportunities; on the other hand, it generates more risks for them. The family, for example, shifts by relieving men of their paternal ties and familial obligations, relegating responsibility to women. This newer condition generates stratiated economically disadvantaged single-parent women families, leaving women exclusively to find jobs, attend to their and their families’ economic security, and raise their children alone.xviii

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[14] Beck articulates reflexive modernity as a systemic transformation, a mechanism that produces a “social surge of individualization.” He argues: “We do not yet live in a risk society, but we also no longer live only within the distribution conflicts of scarcity societies.”xix The consequences of radicalized modernization involve the constitution of new forms of social risk, the outcomes of which make social security and individual well being more problematic than ever before, especially with technological progress which can be used in ways that are unforeseen, unintended, and unknowable. This global risk society, Beck writes, “describes a phase of development of modern society in which the social, political, ecological and individual risks created by the momentum of innovation increasingly elude the control and protective institutions of industrial society.”xx For Beck, time and place is being transcended through great risks, with technological hazards and mishaps becoming international or global in scope and intergenerational in space. As a result, orderly control and distribution of risk across and within populations become both impossible and meaningless. For Beck, this represents a unique historical time, one that is capable of its own technological annihilation:

This distinguishes our epoch not only from the early phase of the industrial revolution, but also from all other cultures and social forms, no matter how diverse and contradictory… If a fire breaks out, the fire brigade comes; if a traffic accident occurs, the insurance pays. This interplay between before and after, between the future and security in the here-and-now, because precautions have been taken even for the worst imaginable case, has been revoked in the age of nuclear, chemical and genetic technology. In their brilliant perfection, nuclear power plants have suspended the principle of insurance not only in the economic but in the medical, psychological, cultural, and religious sense. The residual risk society has become an uninsured society, with protection paradoxically diminishing as the danger grows.xxi

Beck’s gesture to annihilation is supported by his focus on the ways industrialism and the spread of the city as a primary gathering point for commerce, work, and living space, along with the spread of genetic technologies as applied in various areas of medicine, food, and animal breeding, work together to generate unintended intergenerational and ecological consequences and risks.

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[15] We choose these two theorists, but there are many others, including Frederick Jameson, Saskia Sassen, Anthony King, David Harvey, Anthony Giddens, Arjun Appadurai,xxii Stephen Gill, who enter the conversation on social and ecological risks and threats. From different analytical positionalities, they all point to the ways Global Capitalism is a “compressed global timespace, organized by the new global finance and division of labor, and propelled by the regime of flexible production and accumulation.”xxiii While these theorists differ in the ways they explain shifts and changes of global capitalism, they all articulate “globalization as a totality—to be more exact, as an economically driven, all-encompassing, homogenizing force, and as a space that transcends the divisions of nation-states.”xxiv This narrative’s temporal structure is linear and teleological punctuated epistemologically in this way even by the most critical interlocutors of the historical global project of capitalism: first comes European imperialism, then independence movements and so-called Third World nationalisms, followed by the collapse of the Soviet empire and the creation of truly global economic, political, and social systems headed up by China and India. While several postcolonial scholars are wary of this narrative of the global because it privileges the moment of European exploration and imperial conquest as the originary site of a transnational polity, many ignore it as if it is going to go away. Only a few notable theorists like Frederick Cooper problematize both the narrative coherence and perdurability of imperialism and “globalization” which according to him are never attained. He reminds us that the historical narratives attached to the current discourse of globalization tend to de-emphasize European imperialism’s internal and external limits: the times it could and could not conquer; the times and places it could and could not conquer; the times it could and could not alter practices; and the times its imaginaries limited its possibilities. In his words:

Colonial conquests imposed territorial borders on long-distance trading networks within Africa and monopolies on what was then a growing external trade, damaging or destroying more articulated trading systems crossing the Indian Ocean and the Sahara desert and along the West African coast… [transnational theory today does not allow us to] watch history unfold over time, producing dead ends as well as pathways leading somewhere, creating conditions and contingencies in which actors make decisions, mobilized other people, and took actions which both opened up and constrained future possibilities.xxv

In the case of Beck, for example, the processes of individualization and globalization seem to be antithetical to the logic of industrial modernity, the nation-state, and state-based mechanisms for risk control. For him, globalization has multiple dire effects upon state autonomy and institutional capacity which are disrupted by complex interdependence, the globalization of markets, heightened communications connectivity, capital mobility, and the emergence of supranationalism. What if Beck followed Cooper’s theoretical framework long enough, pushing his analysis to foreground temporally the formation and emergence of politico-ontological structures by paying special attention to not only contingencies and conflicts in the history of empires, past and present, but also to its limits? What if Beck recognized that much of what he calls reflexive modernity depends on gratuitous terror to erect it anew? Could such a focus on the production of time and place help us understand the unfolding of the contemporary world and the range of responses at our disposal?

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[16] In the case of Dirlik (2011), we see this expressed current totality of the global moment/globalization in his critique of a socialism articulated by Chinese elites today, both leftists and nationalists:

What could socialism in China mean under these circumstances, material as well as cultural and ideological, which would seem to be at odds with any serious conception of socialism? Presently, there is widespread speculation that, barring some natural or human catastrophe; China may well end up as the next stopping place for an evolving capitalist world-system… While China has succeeded in capitalism beyond the wildest dreams of cheerleaders for capitalism, becoming a force of globalization first as the workshop for global capitalism and increasingly at the present as a market for capital (emphasis ours), it has done this on its own terms, drawing strength not only from its long historical legacy but from the legacy of the socialist revolution as well. The insistence on “socialism with Chinese characteristics” often sounds quite vacuous, and yet it is a constant reminder of the Chinese resistance to dissolution into capitalism and the continued reaffirmation of one kind of socialist past in the search for another kind of socialist future. The will to difference still finds expression in the language of socialism in this postsocialist society that has confounded the meaning of socialism and yet has managed to keep it alive as a political myth…to describe socialism as a political myth is not to degrade it but to endow it with a different kind of power, the power of inspiration against the rigid blueprint of a utopianism that claims scientific validity. A history, therefore, that can serve at once as a guide to the future and a burden that holds the society back. One might observe that this is what is at the crux of disagreements over China’s future presently, just as it was three decades ago.xxvi

Dirlik’s analysis of the contemporary Chinese contestations of “socialism” is useful, but we must push further to gain a nuanced understanding of the time that signifies this global and query it in ways that does not “assume it a priori as a globalxxvii and a finished product, a monolithic, expansive economic force, or the sum of geographic locales.”xxviii

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[17] In what follows in this introduction, we examine the relationships between time and understandings of the global from a postcolonial/real standpoint. On one hand, we explore the concept of time from the point of view of experiences usually characterized as “slave” and “colonial.” On the other hand, we think through what the “slave” and the “colonial” could mean from the standpoint of a general concept of time (i.e., becomings). We begin by drawing on feminist critics who have articulated the idea of multiple worldings.xxix

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[18] Many theorists argue that when we employ the concept of global in phrases like the “global era,” “global context,” “globalization,” “global times,” we do not always “know what this thing called ‘the global’ is, and that we always mean the same thing”xxx or that we understand and “treat the ‘local’ “as invariably the focal site of culture and cultural difference where the global is fragmented and transformed into something particular and where global flows are consumed, incorporated, and resisted.”xxxi

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[19] So too, we argue that paying close attention to “how politics … are produced and reinscribed through—not outside or in spite of—knowledge- and world-making projects that are always partial, uneven, and contingent” enables us to focus on the “constant making, unmaking, and remaking of the histories and routes through” which practices and ideas move and even “take on new and sometimes unexpected meanings and forms” and shapes.xxxii We inquire about the meaning of time in its relation to the ways this global unfolds, especially constitutions of ideas of time in the history of slavery and colonization—with several manifestations in the form of modernity, postcoloniality, and neoliberalism. We highlight time and temporality as primary objects of analysis in the relation of politics and violence, politics and ethics, politics and revolution, as these relations appear in the writings of the authors in this issue. For these authors, the question of time is a question about “lives” and social death as problems of history. What is at stake is life itself, and the practical/existential life becomings/expressions are an unparalleled source of both gratuitous terror and creativity for them (see Sexton and Wilderson in this issue).

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[20] We draw on critical International Relations theoristsxxxiii  to make space for time as the primary object of our analyses of the unfolding of these multiple worlds. We agree with Steele that “Because [time] has received significantly less critical attention than sovereignty and has thus become more naturalized or taken for granted, Western standard time in many ways is a hegemonic organizing principle of the international realm.”xxxiv Steele’s approach to reading dominant IR theorists and their “naturalization” of time makes it possible for him to offer an alternative point of entry into an empirical, and epistemological examination of how various IR theorizations are—and can be—made in contingent ways to prioritize a unified and state “present.” In the words of Hom:

[P]ositivist IR is founded on an assumption of the primacy of the present …xxxv  Both empiricism and phenomenalism imply that the present is more reliable than the (recollected) past or the (imagined) future. Only what we can see before us can be reliably ascertained, granting epistemological privilege to the present … By exposing the illusory nature of the present, critical theory can also emancipate the past and future from the margins of IR, giving time in IR a more egalitarian character while further expanding the discipline beyond the presentist horizon of positivist social science.xxxvi

Horn’s nuanced analysis of time in International Relations pushes for IR as a discipline, practice, and way of being to enter the conversation about the global and the formation of global polities an alternate entry into an empirical and epistemological examination of the present that is simultaneously not a unified (i.e., linear) or prioritized (i.e., the primacy of the state’s time). Following Giddens, he theorizes that “similarly, the self is not an ‘I’ acting in the present now; it is the sum of forms of recall that the social agent uses to characterize the origins of its actions.”xxxvii Thus, memory, perception, and social subjectivity extend the superficial present both backwards and forwards, “granting a kind of symmetry to time. Temporal symmetry relates inversely to the epistemological and ontological status of the present, and this relationship holds crucial implications for IR as a social science.”xxxviii

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[21] While we agree that granting a kind of symmetry problematizes or rather disrupts the idea of a unified and a subject with an essentialized ontological status, we want to problematize this symmetry on both empirical and politically epistemological and ontological grounds. What we are indexing here is that temporality has space in multiple-worlding projects. This analytical approach which enters the conversation by asking and engaging with slavery as constitutive of multiple worlds without presuming a unified and total global pushes beyond a focus on territoriality or geographic specific sites as actual structures of presence. Instead, this approach engages with the unfolding of this multiple-world(ing) of the projects of territoriality or production of specific sites as objects of geopolitics. These projects are not actual structures of presence; they are integral parts of our being-in and expressing-to and of these multiple-worlds. Hence, the present here refers to multiple and intimate assemblages of affects and sensations where worlds of presence are consigned. These worlds are constituted at multiple and discrepant spatial and temporal sites. The use of war, for instance, as a political solution to current problems is as much about defining the scope of foreign policy and who is the friend and enemy as it is about reshuffling histories and memories and reimagining worlds of others. Juxtaposing two different moments of multiple-world(ing)s, we highlight that what comes to count as a political solution, what it prevents, and for whom it works are part and parcel of specific world-making projects and processes and are subject to negotiation, creative reinterpretation, and contestation.xxxix

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[22] When we juxtapose, let’s say, two different moments of how violence unfolds in multiple ways, do the forms it takes in the present engross us? Or do we attempt to understand how such unfoldings are being made possible and expressed in a particular manner along with other becomings? Understanding these conjuncted moments and expressions of violence and other expressed relations demands an awareness of how different sites generate changing trajectories of war (and not just that), as well as how the practices and discourses of violence (and not just that) have transformed expressions of violence. Such an understanding enables us to explore spaces and time, not as something that is metaphorical or a representation of “difference” but rather, as real practices, negotiations, mediations, disjunctures that makes these multiple-worlds possible and their expressed positionalities a reality.

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[23] Of course, for us, this relationship of time and the “global” is crucial, as it is our way of examining the extent to which there is a pleasurable or erotic element or an investment—for the multiple networks such as the state, the market, the subject in the source of transnational networks and sovereignty—that inheres in the everyday. Our goal is to provoke the reader to question the making and unmaking of these multiple worlds that recharge and perpetuate the desire for mass violence as means of verifying the moral purity of those who are not personally subject to it. Time, we argue here, conditions and grounds violence in its multiple formations. Indeed, in locating violence in a longer trajectory of politics and its formation, what Gregory calls the “colonial present,” we argue that violence, and not just any violence but slave violence, is one of the conditions for the possibility of time in understandings of the global (i.e., Beck and Dirlik).

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[24] Even since the 1970s, citizens of many of the world’s most developed states have witnessed a repudiation of social democratic forms of governance; there has been a diminution of welfare entitlements combined with an increasing use of user-pays and fee-for-service systems in the provision of previously universally provided public goods. Economic individualization has undoubtedly exposed some groups to greater vulnerabilities and reduced the level of equitable access to health and educational services. Theorists such as Beck have consistently argued that the burden of these changes has not been shared equally. The gulf between the rich and poor has been widening throughout the OECD; at the same time, new historical precedents have been established in the growing levels of interdependence, especially in terms of economic linkages. Dirlik notes:

Socialism, especially the Marxist variant of socialism, in the past has not done a very good job of discovering such alternatives because of its internalization of the developmentalist assumptions of capitalism. Chinese socialist leaders, from Mao Zedong to the present leadership, have shared in these assumptions. This has been the case especially over the last three decades, when the idea of making capitalism serve socialism has often ended up with the reality of socialism serving capitalism, as the socialist state has found itself in alliance with global capital against the welfare of its own people in the pursuit of national wealth and power, not to mention class interests old and new.

Dirlik brings to the fore the limits of socialism, pushing us to question the temporality of the global as articulated by these different projects of development. Of course, Dirlik does not go far enough here to expose the presumed temporal structure (which even Mao Zedong internalized), that politico-ontological structure that relegated the Chinese to be at once human and non-human with dire effects on the division of the world. In allowing for ambiguity (especially in the 1970s) and the segregation of the “global”xl between the three worlds, the divided temporality of the socialist second and third worlds have enabled the global and its contingent sovereign state projects to unfold violently and on the bodies of those who came to challenge the rules of the nationalist and developmentalist project (in the form of either socialist or capitalist development).

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[25] But in this world that is violent for the majority, what is the place where such an ambiguity declines itself without disappearance or recuperation? We argue that this ambiguous place that features the unfolding of different temporalities properly constituting the “global” relation that is time as a relation, a force, and multiple-becomings, is itself the slave: not the slave as an abstract concept, but the slave that even in the most intimate and erotic encounters, has been spatially terrorized in time by the colonizer and the proletariat, the state and the market, and the property relation, and always in intimate and asymmetrical ways.

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[26] In Fanon’s words, “the last shall be first and the first last.” The present cannot be enslaved and colonized or scientifically controlled (a la positivism) even at the moment of enslaving and slaughtering people, and yet many theorists and analysts, whether speaking in the voice of theories of political economy, international relations, financial markets, war experts, or radical interventionists, point to the desire of disposing of the temporal flow of global relations and events according to their systems of categorization. Perhaps the fundamental issue still pending in the ways we understand time in world politics (i.e., the present), and not fully addressed in theory or action, is the temporal relation, the “decisive threshold for finite existence”xli between politics and violence in the fabric of transnational history, institutional becomings, and revolutionary moments. Experts of all kinds want to contain the intertwinements that disrupt and rupture this temporal relationship of politics and violence by systematically devising methods and approaches that can predict and clear the way for more control, governing, and profits. In clearing the way, these experts and leaders also clear out those speciesxlii presumed already structurally dead or ontologically impossible.xliii This move becomes decisive, as it accords them the fulfillment of reconstituting anew the threshold of finite existence by drawing on the energies and life of the sentient flesh to sustain feedback loops that inform and shape their affects and their decision-making capacities.

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[27] Even with so many attempts to erase them, the recently unfolding revolutionary becomings, such as those from Iran, to the Middle East and North Africa, to London, Greece, and Russia, or expressions of them in the multiple occupy movements, scream at us to see the concrete conditions from which these constituted anew practices emerge to express alternative temporalities of social relations, including the intimate disruptions of dominant relations between politics and violence. These disruptions of colonization or processes of defatalizing the present require deconstructing the ways “the absoluteness of power,” “the particular mechanisms of tyrannical power” which and in gendered manners come to “converge on the black body.” Hartman says:

In this instance, tyranny is not a rhetorical inflation, but a designation of the absoluteness of power. Gender, if at all appropriate in this scenario, must be understood as indissociable from violence, the vicious refiguration of rape as mutual and shared desire, the wanton exploitation of the captive body tacitly sanctioned as a legitimate use of property, the disavowal of injury, and the absolute possession of the body and its “issue.” In short, black and female difference is registered by virtue of the extremity of power operating on captive bodies and licensed within the scope of the humane and the tolerable.xliv

Hartman distinguishes tyranny as a designation of the absoluteness of power inherent to “rhetorical inflation.” This distinction makes it possible for her to shift the conversation to time and the kinds of violence that “humans” are licensed to commit on captive female bodies. In another piece, she articulates a temporal logic she calls the “time of slavery” by engaging the work of Frank LaCapra on remembering and the past:

To what extent need we rely on the past in transforming the present or, as Marx warned, can we only draw our poetry from the future and not the past? Here I am not advancing the impossibility of representation or declaring the end of history, but wondering out loud whether the image of enslaved ancestors can transform the present. I ask this question in order to discover again the political and ethical relevance of the past.xlv

Her questions push us to wonder about remembering and the desire to mourn “a fleeting vision of ‘before,’ an image of ourselves as ‘those who we never were.’”

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[28] Hartman’s questions help us recognize that like gender and slavery, time is socially constructed; and yet, its multiple worlding projects make possible a structure of political ontology that is productive of the sentient being and the Human through terror as a paradigmatic necessity and violence as contingent (see Wilderson, this issue). Hartman’s texts point to an understanding of time: “past as prologue”xlvi instead of the “past as bygone.”xlvii Hartman’s work pushes for understanding the structuring of time in the everyday. This kind of time comes in the form of a

normative character of terror [which] insures its invisibility; it defies detection behind rational categories like crime, poverty, and pathology. In other words, the necessity to underscore the centrality of the event [that is slavery], defined here in terms of captivity, deportation, and social death, is a symptom of the difficulty of representing “terror as usual.”xlviii

This understanding of time challenges naturalized timelines and other concepts such as

primitiveness, backwardness, and underdevelopment [which] rank areas and people of the world on seemingly naturalized timeline—their ‘present’ is our ‘past’—and reframe the grubby real-time politics of colonial domination and exploitation as part of an orderly natural process of evolution toward modernity.xlix

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[29] Hartman’s work enables us to theorize time (i.e., slavery and slave relations) as productive of terror, and terror as productive of not only 19th century America’s power relations but also of today’s “global” spaces. Her work makes it possible to take time as our primary object in our analyses of the ruptures in the “present” and of the “present.” Who is immune from such slave terror, and under what conditions, and who has been designated to sieve through and decide the sentient beings and the Humans, the species and the bodies, in order to commit terror and with impunity and in what worlding projects?

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[30] As we seek answers to these questions, time becomes our primary object of global theorization and analysis. For us, these questions are not about a “past bygone” in a far away space or “life somewhere else”l but rather about the ways we need to focus on understanding the relation of time and space especially at moments of “rupture” that make possible the intertwinement of the past and the present in the unfolding of multiple worldings. Our interest and focus is on this intertwined relation between the “national” and the “international,” the intertwined relation between the practices and the practicing of them as the global emerges at these junctures, the intertwined relation between politics and revolution, and the intertwined relation between ethics and politics. The “temporality” of multiple worlding(s) is by necessity a passing of time that problematizes dominant categories of international relations such as sovereignty, state, the market, civil society, slave, human, sentient flesh, etc. The temporality of the “national” and the “international” is disrupted long enough to push for a passing of time which is marked by the terror that presumes and in spaces of democracy and law some as already dead and structurally impossible and others as having the capability to commit terror and produce their life anew.

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[31] The time of politics is, among other things, the multiple-worlding(s) spaces of terror: how do politics in multiple worlding projects make possible the production of states, markets, security, money, foreign policies, work, subjection, responsibility, pleasure, and also spaces of subjectivities, reparations, claims, and demands? In international relations, critical theorists such as Rob Walker, David Campbell, Kimberly Hutchings, and Jenny Edkinsli will say that such demands are made on behalf of the other; liberals and realists will argue that demands are made on behalf of one’s self (i.e., self-interest); Agathangelou and Ling, Blaney and Inayatullah, Mustapha Kamal Pasha among others, will call for demands to be made on behalf of one’s becoming always as the temporal-place structuring the relation with the other.lii Yet even in their most critical moment, these theorists do not demand reparations to be made in the “rupture,” and their claims for places in which ethical relations could be inhabited (i.e., in the future) remain elusive.

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[32] This brings us to the defatalization of the present. What does it mean to defatalize the present and what kinds of multiple wording practices and relations are required to do so, especially when “fatal” processes produce conquest and slave terror (i.e., in nationalist and socialist development projects) as a condition of temporality and conquering produces time as fatal in multiple processes anew and toward the constitution of global power?

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[33] If we follow Fanon and Hartman’s logic, gratuitous terror is inscribed in politics from its foundation, and those “forces” that feed on it erect themselves by assuming some as ontologically dead and others as structurally impossible (i.e., the Slave). Doing so may require us to follow Wilderson (2011: 16) when he pushes Marx’s logic of political economy of commodities and the relationship of the worker to them. Wilderson’s work allows us to recognize that subsuming epistemologically slavery in colonization has fatal effects on the slave who is not of a “bygone past” and pushes us to question whether the state, property relations, and/or the autonomy of groups and individualsliii are epistemologically segregated as assumed by international relations theoristsliv or whether this is a strategy of bracketing the gratuitous terror that makes possible the erection of what we come to recognize as conflict in world politics. Wilderson makes his argument by engaging Marx at length:

Toward the end of Capital, Vol. 1—after informing us “that conquest, enslavement, robbery, murder, in short, force, play the greatest part in the methods of primitive accumulation” (874), methods which produce the Slave—Marx makes a humorous but revealing observation about the psychic disposition of the proletariat. In drawing a distinction between the worker and the Slave, Marx points out that the Slave has no wage, no symbolic stand-in for an exchange of labor power. The worker, on the other hand, has ducats, cash, and loot, though not much of it.

Interestingly, but problematically, this structural and founding antagonism has been made invisible. Wilderson continues that this “fatal” destruction of the slave is not the monopoly of the master but is also the relation that ironically consolidates the proletariat. Wilderson admits to pushing the epistemology of Marx in a “direction that Marx does not take it”:

But it is frightening to take this “same relationship” in a direction that Marx does not take it: if the worker can buy a loaf of bread, s/he can also buy a slave. It seems to me that the psychic dimension of a proletariat who “stands in precisely the same relationship” to other members of civil society due to their intramural exchange in mutual, possessive possibilities, the ability to own either a piece of Black flesh or a loaf of white bread or both, is where we must begin to understand the founding antagonism between the something Mailer has to save and the nothing Baldwin has to lose.lv

This admission is significant in two ways. First, as Wilderson argues, it speaks of how even radical knowledge that is supposed to generate insights and ideas that disrupt gratuitous terror (i.e., defatalize the present) by articulating a project of revolution is itself consolidating an identity that requires for its own existence the commission of terror and “responds to the most lucid enunciation of ethics with violence.”lvi Second, we read in this analysis the temporality of transformation. If Wilderson’s pushing of Marx’s logic in his epistemology exposes the development of the relation of the proletariat to the slave, and we think it does, then the temporality of transformation is, by necessity, a passing of time whose pace is marked in the expansion an antagonistic relation marked with terror that comes to occupy space. The time of this antagonism in transformation is also the space of the relation of politics and revolution.

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[34] Wildersonlvii asks two questions: “What are we to make of a world that responds to the most lucid enunciation of ethics with violence? What are the foundational questions of the ethico-political?” He answers by saying that “the grammar of antagonism breaks in on the mendacity of conflict,” and he exposes the dominant “grammar of political ethics” which makes a series of assumptions “regarding the ontology of suffering.”lviii For Wilderson, like Hartman, the time of slavery is not over; even when a series of assumptions are made about suffering, the demands are made “obliquely…as if by accident.” But the time of these demands in the emergence of multiple worlding projects is neither oblique nor accidental. Rather, it is the constant commitment of those presumed ontologically dead and structurally impossible to revolutionary expressions. They are engaged in ways that makes it possible for these worlds to unfold while drawing on creative methods to protect the explication of “species/sentient corporeality”: another kind of possibility regarding the relation of the species to the ecology. By defatalizing here we mean that the grammar of antagonism or the structure of captivity and gratuitous terror disrupts the practices and grammar of politics ethics that come in the form of human rights, socialist development, democratic citizens’ rights, creating a politics of species corporeality as paradigmatic to the making of the global, which should be engaged with in light of the contributions of different scholars on the notions of species and human, of flesh and bodies, of bodies and nature, of national and international. This sentient/species corporeality opens the space for us to think of both the making of the present and its constitutive aspects for, and the relation of, a global politics and ethics.

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[35] Another pending major question is the relationship of real problems of the world under property relations and responses in the form of political solutions. Of course, the relationship of politics to ethics pushes those of us in different parts of the world still participating in revolutionary politics to ask questions about the methods that could make possible “political creativity that might breathe new life into the quest”lix for political solutions “immanent in the present” (i.e., socialism with revolutionary disposition)”lx or even better alternative expressions that do not inscribe as foundational the sentient beinglxi and colonial violence.

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[36] This issue begins the conversation by unpacking the tension between slavery and colonization in dominant and not so dominant theorizations and applied political becomings by asking about the methods, that is, the “architectures of enmity…[that] lodge many of us” to use Gregory’s words.lxii Colonial modernity’s present expression is shaped not only by such measurements but also by revolutionary events, tensions, and moments that articulate world politics as a method that is different from “terror as usual.” An increasingly broad and dense imagination/social creativity is revealing itself in the corporeal and survival strategies of millions of citizens, as well as in the new methodologies/methods expressed in multiple geographical sites, allowing us to see the political magnitude of the present and world history as an open-ended and “imaginary anchoring point” from which to imagine historical experiences and practices in different parts of the world as horizons or revolutionary methods for posing a different set of questions about world history and our lives.

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II. The Present without Structural Adjustments, Disappearances or Amputations

[37] Section One of this Special Issue, “Contemporary Problematiques: Tensions, Slavery, Colonization and Accumulation,” features contributions from Jared Sexton, Frank Wilderson III, Khadija El Alaoui, and Tamara Nopper. Jared Sexton opens the issue with “The Social Life of Social Death.” In it, he explores a tension emergent in the field of African American Studies regarding the theoretical status of the concept of social death. In recent years, social death has been revived as a notion useful for the critical theory of racial slavery as a matrix of social, political, and economic relations surviving the era of abolition. This “afterlife of slavery,” as Saidiya Hartman terms it, challenges practitioners in the field to question the prevailing understanding of a post-emancipation society and to revisit the most basic questions about the structural conditions of anti-blackness in the world. Sexton demonstrates that: 1) the paradigmatic analysis of Afro-Pessimism and the black optimism of performance studies overlap with a set-theoretic difference rather than operating in opposition or deconstructive relation, and 2) Afro-Pessimism remains illegible—and so is unduly susceptible to dismissal—without attending to the economy of enunciation that sustains it and the discursive-material formation in which it intervenes. That discursive-material formation is global in scale and that economy of enunciation resists the attenuation of the struggle for black freedom.

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[38] In the second article, “The Vengeance of Vertigo: Aphasia and Abjection in the Political Trials Black Insurgents,” Frank Wilderson III introduces the reader to the concept of objective vertigo against the backdrop of the guerilla war waged by the Black Liberation Army against the United States in the late 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s, and the accompanying political trials where it became de rigueur to refuse the role of defendant and assume the role of prosecutor and judge—with the public gallery as jury. The author demonstrates a disruptive capacity; he struggles to resist the disorientating effects of vertigo while pointing out the resonance or parallel process among BLA accounts, the narrative strategies of police confessions, and the editing strategies in Hollywood cinema, with the BLA writers narrating the violence committed upon them as if they are not certain of either “the presence of their bodies” or “the presence of an auditor were they to articulate their suffering.” Walking a tightrope between paradigm and praxis, Wilderson concludes with some thoughts on the Gramsci, the strategy of the War of Position, and the harvest of the BLA sacrifice.

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[39] In the third article, “Chanting Tahreer and Compassion: People as Poetry,” Khadija El Alaoui contends that the so-called “Arab Spring” ought to be seen in the context of broader resistance to global political modernity in a colonized Muslim world. Her piece draws on Abdelrahman Munif, Mahmoud Darwish, and Langston Hughes and shows systematically how their writing disrupts and also enables her to gesture to another time or even articulate a time that the writer invents, in the very act of analysis. This adds layers of artistic complexity to the writing which Khadija El Alaoui uses as a medium to inaugurate a different order of time and a different sense of place where poetry of resistance is expressed. The multiple projects of poetry voiced by these different authors allow El Alaoui to examine the deep constitutive significance of poetry of revolution in Tunisia and Egypt in 2010-11, illuminating poetry’s beauty and meaningfulness in the quotidian experience of the people of the revolutions. She “dwells” in poetry’s role to explain the vision of the new Arab revolts and to communicate a pride in Arab values and solidarity against the ongoing violence and injustices of authoritarianism and occupation.

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[40] In “The Wages of Non-Blackness: Contemporary Immigrant Rights and Discourses of Character, Productivity, and Value,” Tamara Nopper applies W.E.B. Du Bois’ concept of the psychological wage of whiteness to the contemporary rhetoric promoted by immigrants and immigrants’ rights advocates in the US. Paying particular attention to how immigrant labor is discussed as a sociological phenomenon, as well as a source of economic and racial conflict with African Americans, she explores how (non-white) immigrant workers and their supporters make moralized claims regarding immigrants’ work ethic, pliancy, social value, and productivity to mobilize political support. She addresses moralizing claims, including the common arguments that: 1) immigrants are “willing to work jobs no one else wants;” 2) immigrants contribute to the US economy as opposed to being a “drain” on the public coffer; and 3) immigrants, particularly domestic workers, cultivate “productive citizens.” Nopper demonstrates how this discourse echoes and draws upon managerial and capitalist perspectives of labor, as well as anti-Black rhetoric on African Americans as unemployable, militant, costly to society, and dysfunctional. She concludes with a consideration of whether the psychological wages of brownness differs from the wages of whiteness, given the racialized status of non-white immigrants.

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[41] Section Two, “Intimate Poetics,” features poetry by Nathalie Handal and Tsitsi Ella Jaji and video by Michelle Smith and Alexandra Handal. These authors show how the colonized body takes hold in time of a universality of time and universality of relation of time to disrupt the project of particularity that has never been the concern of the colonized. Even in the most loving of all eroticisms, colonization is the result of intimacy at particular moments that cannot be escaped.lxiii In this sense, the corporeal colonized moves back and forth between a politics of violence and a politics of revolutionary expressions, whether in the exhilaration of the revolutionary moments in the Middle and North Africa sites as expressed by Nathalie Handal, or in the Palestinian challenge to the colonization of the land and flesh of Palestinians shown in the stills of Alexandra Handal, or in the struggles of the aboriginal explained by Michele Smith, moves back and forth between global politics and ethics. What “ruptures” the politics of terror and violence as expressed in multiple-world(ing) projects that produce the corporeal colonized in the intertwinement of a temporality of a “past” that has supposedly rid itself of direct force and a “present” that promises the ethicality of a universal “ecstatic structure of temporality”lxiv is not an invocation to the revolutionary expressions. It is rather the political question: how can slaves and those whose bodies become the sites of violence be global subjects and ethical at the same time? More so, how can their becoming subjects “rupture” a global whose structures necessitate the production of the slave?

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[42] Nathalie Handal begins this section with the poem “Freedom telling on time the Arab Revolt’s poems.” Poetically, each word and each line constitute the instant of a relation between two modalities of temporalization: the temporality of an irreducible creative life and the temporality that demands again and again the instilling of fear, regimes of legality, and silence to evade the presence of revolutionaries as non-existent even when their temporality may be what enables the “human” and the “global” to be, that is, multiple-wording(s)/relations. In Handal’s words, “We will divide our pain into towers…we will no longer be afraid…light will no longer be illegal.” Her other two poems “Radio Gaza” and “A Drawing of Breathing” poetically disrupt the violence and terror that come in the constitution of those worlding projects that promise the world to us. Handal notes the colonization of direct force and violence on the body of the Palestinian and uses the technology of the radio to tell the world about its temporal promise, its fatal promise of the present: “and death will be audacious.”

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[43] Tsitsi Jaji sings of the intimate virile power configurations of the multiple worlding(s) projects that come transnationally in the form of visas, language systems, asylums and asylums, and memos of today, to point to the irreducible alterity of Preservation Hall: “the coals were hurriedly swallowing roses.” In her songs, the stratiated etchings of ecology constitute time and time remembered (the irretrievable yesterdays) and are musically true to an African oral expression. Jaji’s use of familiar phrases naturalized in the everyday lexicon are “iterated improvisatorily, as motivic fragments interwoven into [her] own poetic speech in ways that mark them as citations while bringing them into relation with [her] words.”lxv In constituting poetry as a site of ethical speech with multiple “purposeful distortions of perception, temporality, and medium”, Jaji brings together jazz, the blues, commodities such as Kleenexes and hard candies, pushing the reader to encounter an orality transcribed into poetry as a new force by reading the black “transnational imaginary into an intersensory, extemporaneous invitation to join in the performance of solidarity.”lxvi

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[44] In the stills of Alexandra Handal, time is disruptive of the colonizer’s bodies and spaces; it wants to penetrate, in an ironic manner, the colonized’s powerlessness, to assert its own self on the surrounding reality. Handal’s videos disrupt this virile configuration by generating elements of stillness that cannot disappear or be recuperated. This stillness is ultimately disruptive as it etches itself into the walls of prisons, ecologies, and even into imaginaries. The “expropriated Palestinian homes that are now occupied by Israeli Jews”, Handal states, “have been converted into bed and breakfasts promising tourists ‘an authentic experience of Jerusalem.’” In one of these spaces, Handal spends 13 nights in August 2007 and conjuncts the multiple worlding projects from the interior of the house (i.e., the constitution of city sound-scapes, production of oral history of Palestinian refugees, her own video-footage from the east and west Musrara) with a body search at the airport. In her words: “The result is an account where multiple stories unfold through layers of sound, image and text, uncovering – like a crime scene investigation – the remnants of a denied past against an oppressive present”.

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[45] Section Three, “Erotics of Co-Existence: Paintings/Photography,” features contributions from Oswaldo DeLeon Kantule and Cliff Davidson. Both artists reveal that the redemptions promised in the universality of Western modernity and sovereign projects by erasing the ecology upon which this relation was to erect itself did not bring the security promised. Rather, the ecologies where such a tension declines itself without disappearing or being recuperated are stolen ecologies. Both photographers disrupt the intimate virile temporality as a Cartesian eroticism that kills. Their work points to ecology, an unfolding of a different intertwined temporality, that does not require the “full penetration” or complete slaughtering of the other to be.

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III: A Prologue to (De) Fatalizing the Present

[46] Defatalizing the present still remains a question of stakes about life and death: it is a question of (re) membering, of “rupturing” a global polity whose making draws on slaughtering, of being active witnesses to life, including our dying. As this special issue highlights, this question requires analytical insights and interventions that take a much deeper temporal trajectory, one which cannot be extricated from the ways the majority of us are called to take a place in the neo-colonial temporal structures that “sustain themselves by pummeling the fullness of the present into knowledges fashioned in the exigencies of the past, thereby completing and initiating an infernal cycle,” even when that interval “in which neo-colonial existence is stuck”lxvii cannot be conquered.

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[47] What is this moment? For some, it is a moment of a global financial crisis, for others, a post-financial crisis reconstruction moment. By definition, crisis generates tensions in the way we run our everyday life. But as the Mandarin character for crisis also represents opportunity, crisis also generates the possibility of shifting our understandings of different norms. More so, it generates an interval that could become the space of opportunity and reconstruction anew of a global order that continues to depend on property relations and financial gamblings. Alternatively, it could generate the possibility of disrupting the rule of order. Crisis may threaten and even delegitimize the rationality through which that order is predominantly understood and secured. That, at least, was the hope of many when Obama came to power and when the whole world, albeit unevenly, faced financial crisis. This later crisis raises many questions about the way governance is done, and the way neoliberal approaches such as principles of deregulation, privatization, and liberalization really work. While the outcome of the global debt crisis is unknown, people have mobilized in different parts of the world, disrupting the multiple dominant models of social and economic understanding that have framed and guided the financial ventures of the Wall Street, and the North American and European War ventures in Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The interval that has opened up, while not of the temporality of the neoliberal and war projects, is undergoing significant transformation, with many dramatic changes in the way the world is organized and in the way people practice their lives.

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[48] As a way of choreographing the temporality anew of a global polity in its multiple worlding(s) whose constitution and reality do not require either an amnesia of the sentient beings that are slaughtered or, in Fanon’s words, a suffocation by stealing the combat breath that “refuse[s] to accept the amputation”lxviii which delimits our existence, we came together collectively in this issue, conjuncting existential limits of the “past” and the “present” to disrupt the methods and structures that depend on a fatal, metaphysical, temporal order. All these works, albeit in different ways, represent a prologue to a reality and a global polity, one that we cannot remember but that lives in fragments that explode in times and places we do not expect. The writing in this issue is an expressed demand for dimensions of global institutions and structures capable of enabling the time and space of multiple worlds to “rupture,” without erecting temporal spatialities by amputating the explications of sentient beings or their ecology.

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Footnotes

  1. Special thanks go to Melina Pappademos, Suvendrini Perera, Joseph Pugliese, Christina Sharpe and Elizabeth Thompson. This special issue has been enriched because of your work and your intellectual insights and engagements. Special thanks also go to Alberto Guevara and Elysee Nouvet for providing the space to begin this conversation. Finally, thanks to Mustapha Kamal Pasha, Kostantin Kilibarda, Heather Turcotte, and Tamara Spira for the many conversations about global transformation and justice.
  2. Theories and approaches to explaining the world (yield curves; liquidity coverage ratios; net stable funding ratio). See Rachel Weber (2010). &ldquo;Selling City Futures: the Financialization of Urban Redevelopment Policy.&rdquo; <em>Economic Geography</em>, 85 (3): 251-274; also Caitlin Zaloom (2009). &ldquo;How to Read the Future: The Yield Curve, Affect and Financial Prediction.&rdquo; <em>Public Culture,</em> 21 (2): 245-268.
  3. Alejandro Brugués (December 21, 2011). Interview with Jian Ghomeshi on Q (cbc.ca/q).
  4. Marshall Sahlins (2005). “Hierarchy, Equality, and the Sublimation of Anarchy: the Western Illusion of Human Nature,” The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, the University of Michigan, November 4, 2005.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Loic Wacquant (2002). “From Slavery to Mass Incarceration.” New Left Review, 13: 41.
  7. Jared Sexton (2010). “People-of-color-blindness: Notes on the Afterlife of Slavery.” Social Text, 28 (2): 42.
  8. Deleuze’s work yields insight into becomings. His engagement with Henri Bergson allows us to explore how we understand the multiple forms of becomings, including ecology, animals, species, and humans, thus, opening up the space for us to articulate a new framework that disrupts dominant understandings of the “human” and allows us to understand these becomings in social, ecological, animal geographies and temporalities. See Gilles Deleuze (1988). Bergsonism. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam. New York: Zone and Empiricism; also Gilles Deleuze (1996). Subjectivity: An Essay on Hume’s Theory of Human Nature. Trans. Constantin Boundas. New York: Columbia University Press.
  9. For an elaboration on multiple worlds and worlding projects, see Anna M. Agathangelou (2011). “Making Anew an Arab Regional Order? On Poetry, Sex, and Revolution.” Globalizations,8(5): 581-594; also Anna M. Agathangelou and L.H.M. Ling (2009). Transforming World Politics; From Empire to Multiple Worlds. Routledge.
  10. Achille Mbembe (2010). “Africa in Theory: A Conversation Between Jean Comaroff and Achille Mbembe.” Anthropological Quarterly, 83 (3): 653-678.
  11. Emmanuel Levinas (1987). Time and the Other and Other Essays. Trans. Richard A. Cohen. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1987, 39.  See also Levinas (1987). “Diachrony and Representation.” Time and the Other and Other Essays. Trans. Richard A. Cohen. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 97-120.
  12. Achille Mbembe, “Africa in Theory.” See also Anna M. Agathangelou and Nevzat Soguk (2011). “Rocking the Kasbah: Insurrectional Politics, the ‘Arab Streets,’ and Global Revolution in the 21st century.” Globalizations, 8(5): 551-558.
  13. Arif Dirlik (2011). “Back to the Future: Contemporary China in the Perspective of its Past, circa 1980.” Boundary, 2 (38): 10.
  14. For global indicators of the capitalization of world stock markets in different years and according to country/region, see Roger Lee (2003). “The Marginalization of Everywhere: Emerging Geographies of Emerging Economies.” In Remaking the Global Economy: Economic Geographical Perspectives. Eds. Jamie Peck and Henry Wai-chung Yeung. Sage, 73; also Financial Times, 24 February 2001.  Of course, these indicators have changed since the 2008 world financial crises, but the overall beneficiaries remain the US, Germany, Canada, Japan etc.
  15. Ulrich Beck (2000). Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. Sage, 19.
  16. Ulrich Beck (2000).“The Cosmopolitan Perspective: Sociology in the Second Age of Modernity,” British Journal of Sociology, 51(1):89.
  17. Ulrich Beck, Anthony Giddens and Scott Lash (1994). Reflexive Modernization: Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Cambridge: Polity Press, 7.
  18. Ibid. 14-16.
  19. Ibid. 20.
  20. Ulrich Beck, Risk Society, 72.
  21. Ulrich Beck (1992). “From Industrial Society to the Risk Society: Questions of Survival, Social Structure and Ecological Enlightenment,” Theory, Culture and Society, 9: 101.
  22. An exception is Arjun Appadurai (1996). Modernity At Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  23. Mei Zhan (2009). “A Doctor of the Highest Caliber.” Medical Anthropology, 28 (2): 171.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Frederick Cooper (2001). “What Is the Concept of Globalization Good For? An African Historian’s Perspective.” African Affairs, 100: 189–213.  See also  Frederick Cooper (2005). Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History. University of California Press; also Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper (2010). Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference.  Princeton University Press.
  26. Dirlik, “Back to the Future,” 50-51.
  27. Socialism is a Chinese force and product.
  28. Mei Zhan, “A Doctor,” 170.
  29. Agathangelou and Ling, Transforming World Politics.  See also J.K. Gibson-Graham (1996).  The End of Capitalism (As We Know It). Cambridge, MA: Blackwell; Lisa Malkki (1994). “Citizens of Humanity: Internationalism and the Imagined Community of Nations.” Diaspora,3(1): 41–68; Anne Tsing, (2005). Friction. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press; Anne Tsing (2000). “The Global Situation.” Cultural Anthropology,15(3): 327–360. Bill Maurer (2000). “A Fish Story: Rethinking Globalization on Virgin Gorda.” American Ethnologist, 27(3): 670–701.
  30. Zhan, “A Doctor,” 171.
  31. Ibid 172.  See also James Ferguson (2006). Global Shadows: Africa in the Neoliberal World Order. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  32. Zhan, “A Doctor,” 172.  See also Agathangelou and Ling, Transforming World Politics. These authors engage with the idea of multiple-worlds and their (un) making.  This approach disrupts dominant projects of containment and bracketing and pushes for a “close examination of the specific translocal networks and processes through which various worlds are constituted and experienced” in the everyday on the ground” (Zhan, 2009: 172).
  33. Andrew R. Horn. Time and International Relations Theory, Master of Arts Thesis. Unviersity of Kansas; Brent J. Steele (2007) Ontological Security in International Relations: Self-identity and the I.R. State. London: Routledge. Drawing on Jenny Edkins, Hom and Steele centralize time as a major object of analysis in IR.  Edkins argues that states rely on a narrative of historicity to constitute themselves as principal political actors; to do so, they rely on an understanding of homogeneous time. Edkins’ reading of trauma and memory problematizes the understanding of time as linear: “Trauma time is inherent in and destabilizes any production of linearity. Trauma has to be excluded for linearity to be convincing . . . similarly, trauma time cannot be described in the language we have without recourse to notions of linearity” See Jenny Edkins (2003). Trauma and the Politics of Memory. Cambridge University Press, 16.
  34. Hom, Time and International Relations, 125.
  35. While we agree with Hom about the “primacy of the present,” this particular “present” is a problem.  The concept of present is not, and cannot be, the domain of these theories.  Hence, we decided to theorize the present and the global together in the spatial unfoldings of the slave and colonial worlding projects.
  36. Hom, Time and International Relations, 34.
  37. Anthony Giddens (1984). The Constitution of Society.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 51.
  38. Ibid, 134.
  39. Zhan “A Doctor,” 173.
  40. This point requires a longer conversation on the tensions between the international and the global.
  41. Little has been written about the present, especially the defatalizing of the present. A recent book is worth consulting; see Ugo Perone (2011). The Possible Present. New York: SUNY Press, cover page.
  42. Jared Sexton argues that Mbembe’s work “is important for the historicist project of provincializing Agamben’s paradigmatic analysis, especially as it articulates the logic of race as something far more global than a conflict internal to Europe (or even Eurasia).” He also shows how Mbembe abandons too quickly racial slavery in the Atlantic world to focus on “his theoretical project: the formation of colonial sovereignty.”  See Sexton, “People-of-color-blindness,” 32.
  43. Following Fanon, Frank Wilderson argues that the distinction of the human from the species is not one of status but rather a structural relation of property and terror.  The structure of property and terror (i.e., gratuitous violence) is crucial as that violence that renders the body as mere flesh.  See Frank Wilderson (2011).  Red, White and Black: Cinema and the Structure of US Antagonisms.  Duke University Press; see also Frantz Fanon (1967). The Wretched of the Earth. Grove Press; Wilderson, this issue.
  44. Saidiya V. Hartman (1997). Scenes of Subjection: terror, Slavery, and self-making in Nineteenth-Century America. Oxford University Press, 86.
  45. Saidiya Hartman (2002). “The Time of Slavery.”  The South Atlantic Quarterly, 101 (4): 773.
  46. Robert Westley (2006). “The Accursed Share: Geneology, Temporality, and the Problem of Value in Black Reparations Discourse.” Representations, 92, 85.
  47. Ibid.
  48. Ibid. 772.
  49. Walter Johnson (2000). “Possible Pasts: Some Speculations on Time, Temporality and the History of Atlantic Slavery,” American Studies, 45 (4): 485, cited in Westley,“Accursed Share,” 84.
  50. This is the title of a Greek program on ERT.
  51. Campbell, David. (2002). “Time Is Broken: The Return of the Past in the Response to September 11.” Theory & Event 5; Jenny Edkins (2003). Trauma and the Memory of Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; R.B.J. Walker (1991). ”State Sovereignty and the Articulation of Political Space/Time.” Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 20: 445-462; Kimberly Hutchings (2007). ”Happy Anniversary! Time and Critique in International Relations Theory.” Review of International Studies, 33: 71-89.
  52. Mustapha Kamal Pasha (2011). “Islam, nihilism and liberal security.” Journal of International Relations and Development; Agathangelou and Ling, Transforming World Politics; David L. Blaney and Naeem Inayatullah (2006). “The Savage Smith and the Temporal Walls of Capitalism.” In The Classics and International Relations in Context. Ed. Jahn Beate. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 123-55.
  53. For an excellent analysis of the tensions that exist between understandings of anarchy and the state in IR theory see Alex Prichard (2010). “Rethinking Anarchy and the State in IR Theory: The Contributions of Classical Anarchism.” Working Paper No. 03-10. School of Sociology, Politics, and International Studies, University of Bristol, UK.
  54. In his analysis of how US IR develops, Marcus Holmes spends much time focusing on constructivism.  See Marcus Holmes (2011). “Something old, something new, something borrowed: Rerepresentations of Anarchy in International Relations Theory.” International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, 11, 298.
  55. Wilderson, Red, White and Black, 16.
  56. Ibid. 9.
  57. Ibid.
  58. Ibid.
  59. Dirlik, “Back to the Future,” 26.
  60. Ibid. 27.
  61. See Jared Sexton, “People-of-color-blindness,” and Frank Wilderson, Red, White and Black, for an engagement with the political and structural tension between slavery and colonization. See also Anna M. Agathangelou  (2011). “Bodies to the Slaughter: Global Racial Reconstructions, Fanon's Combat Breath, and Wrestling for Life.” Somatechnics,1(1): 209-248.
  62. Derek Gregory (2004). The Colonial Present. Blackwell Publishing, 16.
  63. Siba N. Grovogui(2011). ”To the Orphaned, Dispossessed, and Illegitimate Children: Human Rights Beyond Republican and Liberal Traditions.” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 18 (1): 41-63.
  64. Heidegger argues for an idea of time (i.e., privileges the future) to rid the world of the metaphysics of presence.  This project is extensively critiqued by Levinas as a project of imperialistic ontology that centralizes a self that desires to control its own destiny.
  65. Tsitsi Jaji (2009). “Sound Effects: Synaesthesia as Purposeful Distortion in Keorapetse Kgositsile's Poetry.”Comparative Literature Studies, 46 (2): 308.
  66. Ibid.
  67. Kara Keeling (2003). “’In the Interval’: Frantz Fanon and the ‘Problems’ of Visual Representation.” Qui Parle, 13 (2): 110.
  68. Frantz Fanon (1967). Black skin, White Masks. Trans. Charles Lam Markmann.  New York: Grove Press, 140.

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