Body, Geography, Exteriority : Race and spatiality in the writings of Denise Ferreira da Silva

University essay from Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för kultur och lärande

Author: Alva Gotby; [2016]

Keywords: ;


This dissertation investigates the concept of race and spatiality, primarily through the writings ofDenise Ferreira da Silva. In Ferreira da Silva’s book Toward a Global Idea of Race, she traces howphilosophical and scientific discourse has instituted both ”transparent subjectivity,” associated withself-determination, temporality and interiority, and ”affectable subjectivity,” associated with outerdeterminationand spatiality. Transparent subjectivity becomes racially coded as white, whileaffectability is located in the bodies of those who are not white and thus seen as coming from”elsewhere.” In this dissertation, I explore Ferreira da Silva’s use of spatiality as a mode ofunderstanding race through the concepts of the body, geography, and exclusion or exteriority fromuniversality and humanity. I place her work in the context of the writings of other theorists of theseconcepts, notably Frantz Fanon, Linda Martín Alcoff, Sylvia Wynter, and Frank Wilderson.Through these comparisons, I try to outline the conceptual and political stakes of Ferreira da Silva’streatment of these issues.

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