Faculty Video: From Racial Capitalism to Prison Abolitionism: a BISR Teach-In

On Thursday and Friday, June 25th and 26th, as protests and police rioting continue to convulse the U.S. after the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, BISR conducted a two-day teach-in, in which BISR faculty explored issues and concepts that directly address, or help contextualize, the crisis of American racism, criminal justice, and dispossession.

On day one, BISR faculty Nara Roberta Silva, Raphaele Chappe and Ajay Singh Chaudhary, and Patrick Blanchfield addressed, in turn, the concept of Racial Capitalism (focusing especially on Cedric J. Robinson’s Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition), the interworkings of neoliberal politics and finance, and the imperial roots and market-enforcing character of American policing.

On day two, BISR faculty Ajay Singh Chaudhary tackled “Political Violence,” with reference to the work of Frantz Fanon and Carl Schmitt, while Danya Glabau and Shimrit Lee explored in the intersection of Race, Technology, and Biopolitics, and Anthony Alessandrini examined the theory and possibility of Prison Abolitionism.

Complete video of both days is below. A detailed schedule of sessions can be found here, and readings for every session can be accessed here. (Day One video gets underway at the 50 minute mark; Day Two at the 4:40 mark.)

Day One (Racial Capitalism, Neoliberalism, American Policing)

Day Two (Political Violence, Race, Technology, and Biopolitics, Prison Abolitionism)

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