Academic journal article Analysis and Metaphysics

Harlem

Academic journal article Analysis and Metaphysics

Harlem

Article excerpt

Harlem Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Columbia University) London-New York-Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2013, 74 pp. ISBN 978-0-8574-2084-8

Spivak holds that US racism has suborned conservative Christian AfricanAmerica for a future subaltemization that will help this. The general dominant in New York is interested in pronouncing Harlem as metonymic of African America. Since the 1990s, Harlem has been the focus of major economic "development," and part of the "development" package is an invocation of a seamless community and culture marking the neighborhood. Spivak points out that Harlem disappears into a present that demands a cultural essence: culture as the site of explanations is always shifting, culturally inscribed dominant mindsets that are defective for capitalism should be nurtured for grafting on to our dominant, whereas, on the ethical register, pre-capitalist cultural formations should not be analyzed in an evolutionist way, with capital as the telos. The incessant production of cultural memory aspires to the public sphere by a species of "subreption" (Kant), expressing the built-in or constitutive character of the production of cultural memory. Archivization attempts to restrain and to arrest the speed of the vanishing present, the humanism of human faces guarantees evidentiary memories, and "living" memory privatizes verifiability. …

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