Axelle Karera, Paraontology: Disruption, Inheritance, or a Debt that One Often Regrets

Tuesday, November 17, 2020, 7 - 8:30pm

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Axelle Karera delivers an online free, public lecture as part of the Fall 2020 Intra-Disciplinary Seminar series. Speaking of the debt he owed to Heidegger, Levinas recalled that one often incurred a debt at one’s own regrets.  Scholars in Black Studies have acknowledged their own “debt” to Chandler for the concept of paraontology. Moten, most notably, credits him for the opening of a renewed thinking of resistance. As disruption, paraontology thus offers the possibility of considering blackness beyond the violence of its constitution. But groundbreaking discursive events can compress other hermeneutical passages – including their own discursive genealogies or conditions of possibility. This talk traces the history of the concept paraontology back to its first use by Heidegger’s student, Oskar Becker, whose main concern uncannily echoes the concept’s axiomatic use in Black Studies: i.e. a radical disruption in the purist logic of ontology.   

Registration is required.

Axelle Karera works at the intersection of 20th century continental philosophy, the critical philosophy of race (particularly Black critical theory), contemporary critical theory, and the environmental humanities. In addition to work on Blackness and ontology, she currently is completing her first monograph titled The Climate of Race: Blackness and the Pitfalls of Anthropocene Ethics, in which she examines the question of relationality in new materialist ontology and investigates the ethical crux of critical thought in the age of the Anthropocene, with the aim to attend to its powerful - and perhaps even necessary - disavowals on matters pertaining to racial ecocide.

The IDS public lecture series is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union. We are grateful for major funding from the Robert Lehman Foundation. The IDS public lecture series is also made possible by generous support from the Open Society Foundations.

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