Control Societies Speaker Series: Denise Ferreira da Silva, University of British Columbia

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Virtual Event

This location is ADA accessible

A Story of Us: Attention, Reflection, and Extraction in Tales of the End(s) of the Human

In this talk, Ferreira da Silva experiments with an account of the ethical and aesthetical dimensions of electronically-mediated existence. Such an existence increasingly seems fully permeated by and thoroughly configured through the apparatuses that enable global capital to profit from the extraction of attention. In this reading of episodes of the acclaimed British series Black Mirror, she exposes and comments on how, in this global moment, raciality facilitates capital accumulation both economically and ethically, working through the figures of humanity and subjectivity as these play in the series’ dystopian tales. More specifically, although the tales themselves are the focus of the reading, the main move in this exercise is to activate blackness’s capacity to unravel the modern ethical grammar. Ferreira da Silva argues that this move enables the drawing of a transversal line across the various parts that constitutes the apparatus of extraction of affect, so prevalent in today’s global existence, thereby exposing how coloniality and raciality govern the global present.

Denise Ferreira da Silva’s academic writings and artistic practice address the ethical questions of the global present and target the metaphysical and ontoepistemological dimensions of modern thought. Currently, she is a Professor and Director of The Social Justice Institute (the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice) at the University of British Columbia. Before joining UBC, she was an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies, at the University of California, San Diego and, from 2010 to 2015, she held the inaugural chair in Ethics, at the School of Business and Management and the directorship of the Centre for Ethics and Politics, at Queen Mary University of London.

Her research areas include Critical Racial and Ethnic Studies, Feminist Theory, Critical Legal Theory, Political Theory, Moral Philosophy, Postcolonial Studies, and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. She is the principal editor for the Routledge/Cavendish book series Law, Race, and the Postcolonial (with Mark Harris and Rashne Limki). Her art-related work include texts for publications linked to the 2016 Liverpool and Sao Paulo Biennales, advising Natasha Ginwala, the curator for the Contour 8 Biennale (Mechelen, 2017). Ferreira da Silva is regularly invited to participate in international events and to contribute to publications in academic and artistic settings.

Sponsored by
Annenberg School
School of Social Policy & Practice
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