Violence, Desire, and Settler Colonialism, A conversation about Lorraine Hansberry’s play Les Blancs
Welcome to this PARSE Dialogue, featuring a work-in-progress presentation by Hagar Kotef, senior lecturer at SOAS, University of London, entitled Death as the Political Horizon: Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs and the Question of Decolonization. The presentation will be followed by a response by Kristina Hagström-Ståhl, PARSE professor at the Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg.
Set in an unnamed, colonized African country on the brink of upheaval, Lorraine Hansberry’s play Les Blancs attempts to capture a complex spectrum of power, colonial violence, and decolonial resistance.
Hagar Kotef’s presentation examines the relations between death and the attachment to the colonial space, to ask about both the conditions of settlements and the ways political metaphors travel from the artistic sphere to the field of political struggle. Centering on two figures in the play – Major Rice, who represents most explicitly the violence of colonization, and Madame Nielsen, who is perhaps the only white figure in the play who is not seen as an agent of violence – Kotef raises a series of questions about violence, desire, and settlement.
Hagar Kotef is a senior lecturer in political theory at SOAS/University of London and the author of Movement and the Ordering of Freedom (2015).
Kristina Hagström-Ståhl is PARSE professor at the Academy of Music and Drama.
This Dialogue is part of the Intersectional Engagements in Politics and Art research arc within PARSE.
This event is free and open to the public. No sign-up necessary, refreshments will be served. Welcome!