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Saidiya Hartman: Scenes of Subjection

Delve into the transformative insights of Saidiya Hartman's groundbreaking works on Black life and history. Join us as we explore Hartman's profound reimagining of freedom, agency, and the legacy of the Atlantic slave trade. 

  • All levels
  • 21 and older
  • $335
  • Earn 10% Rewards
  • Price Lock
  • Online Classroom
  • 12 hours over 4 sessions

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  • $335
  • 12 hours over 4 sessions
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Class Description

Description

What you'll learn in this lecture class:

Saidiya Hartman has, according to one critic, changed the study of Black life for every subsequent generation of scholars, readers, thinkers and artists. Her book Scenes of Subjection in particular, charted new ways for thinking broad concepts like freedom and agency, subject and object, just as much as it transformed how we fundamentally think about the history of the Atlantic slave trade. Insisting on slavery’s relevance in the present, she has extended a line of inquiry as broad as it is specific, challenging traditional Marxist conceptions of labor, as well as how we might think of reproduction and labor in the context of Black Feminism. And in her 2006 memoir Lose Your Mother, Hartman extends the questions of possibility approached in Scenes by her own experience on the slave coast of Elmina, tracing the slave routes through Ghana from the perspective of the captive. Despite a chilly reception upon its initial release in 1997, a new, annotated edition of Scenes of Subjection was released in 2022, prompting meditations on how Hartman’s work has been taken up in the intervening years.

With a focus on Hartman’s Scenes of Subjection and 2006 memoir Lose Your Mother, this course will consider the scope of Hartman’s contributions to thought and history alongside other thinkers like Hortense Spillers, Nicole Fleetwood, Sylvia Wynter, Jennifer Nash and Frank Wilderson III. We will ask primary questions such as: How can thinking seriously about the context of power in Transatlantic slavery help us better understand the present? What are the limits of liberal conceptions of freedom and agency? And how, given these questions, does the nexus of race and labor continue to function in relation to power in the postmodern world?

Remote Learning

This course is available for "remote" learning and will be available to anyone with access to an internet device with a microphone (this includes most models of computers, tablets). Classes will take place with a "Live" instructor at the date/times listed below.

Upon registration, the instructor will send along additional information about how to log-on and participate in the class.

Refund Policy

  • Upon request, we will refund less 5% cancellation fee of a course up until 6 business days before its start date.
  • Students who withdraw after that point but before the first class are entitled to 75% refund or full course credit.
  • After the first class: 50% refund or 75% course credit.
  • No refunds or credits will be given after the second class.

In any event where a customer wants to cancel their enrollment and is eligible for a full refund, a 5% processing fee will be deducted from the refund amount.

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Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research was established in 2011 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Its mission is to extend liberal arts education and research far beyond the borders of the traditional university, supporting community education needs and opening up new possibilities for scholarship in the...

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Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

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