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Thinking Through CrisisDepression-Era Black Literature, Theory, and Politics$
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James Edward Ford

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823286904

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823286904.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

From Being to Unrest, from Objectivity to Motion

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
(p.iii) Thinking Through Crisis
Author(s):

James Edward Ford III

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823286904.003.0001

The introduction offers several vignettes to mark the limits of Marx’s conceptualization of the slave, Agamben’s concept of the decision in states of emergency, and Cathy Caruth and Shoshana Felman’s unacknowledged connection to “European Man” as the image of thought producing their idea of trauma. Each vignette looks beyond these limits by turning to a different canonical work of Black thought. By staging these encounters between different theoretical traditions, the terms and presuppositions for a different understanding of trauma can commence. This introduction concludes with a call to return to the idea of the proletariat in Marxian and Marxist thought, precisely because it offers a more expansive approach for grappling with class exploitation and political disfranchisement than the concept of the working class, as the following notebooks will demonstrate.

Keywords:   Giorgio Agamben, dark proletariat, Karl Marx, political decision, trauma theory

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