Master of Arts
Theory and Criticism
Biswas Mellamphy, N.
This thesis is an exercise in theoretical com-position, an arrangement in genre/generic speculation on the figure abolitionist≠posthumanism. Working para-critically to consider textures, postulations and challenges posed by decolonial thought, Indigenous critical theories, Black studies, critical race feminisms, non-philosophy and theories on digitality, i pose incommensurability, incomputability and incognita syn-aesthetics as moments for desedimenting “the Human” as a genre of being in which the logics of recognition, legibility, exposure and transparency circumscribe a carceral worlding. Attending to the structural antagonisms underlying this figure and its afterlife—one predicated on racial capitalism, slavery and settler-colonialism as its conditions of possibility—i trouble liberal relationality as a procedure which functions with the cut of Difference to write this “World” as standard. i install abolitionist oneirology—dreaming—as a practice of immanent revolt in the outside and without of civil society, staying extendedly with the World-destroying mandates of the non- of non-human and non-relation.
Summary for Lay Audience
This thesis engages in an exercise of abolitionist com-position (a non- and para- disciplinary theoretical installation) implicating questions of the Human, the posthuman and nonhuman in the ongoing violence of racial capitalism, the afterlife of slavery and settler colonial worlding. Drawing textures, postures, and challenges from decolonial thought, Black studies, Indigenous critical theory, critical race feminisms, non-philosophy and theories on digitality, i place “abolitionist” with “posthumanism” in inequality (≠), to hold in tension an image of incongruence in this construction, refusing resolution, equation, incorporation and overcoming to attend to what might be possible in the not-directly-related or the absence of obligatory relation. i pose relationality in the Western philosophical tradition (moment of thought of and for the “West” as imperial formation) as a procedure of philosophical violence, performing a logic of Difference (Laruelle) predicated on cuts, incisions and distinctions that underwrite a figure of the Human as standard—one genre of being (Wynter) consolidated in what is here described as a carceral worlding. The three chapters on incommensurability, incomputability and incognita remain with the non- and the para- to trouble the logics of recognition, legibility, exposure and transparency as well as sensibility, exchangeability and availability (to thought and to propriation) in standard procedure. Moving para-critically by means of a placement of “images” (prose, moments, provocations, poetics, accents, visual forms, indications of sound), i consider non-relation and non-human as points of a generic philosophical insurrection given in an account of immanent revolt according to an outside and without of civil society, dreaming not only the end of this genre of the Human, but the end of a world in which its logics are possible.
Liu, Michelle, "com-posing abolitionist≠posthumanism: notes on incommensurability, incomputability and incognita syn-aesthetics" (2020). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 7016.
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