"What constitutes a livable, grievable life? What does it mean to be alive? For those of us who have, historically, had a fraught relationship to and with the land, with animals, with machines, how do we write about this thing called Nature? How do we love it?"
"US culture is violent . . . “We” (the hegemonic “we") accept violence. Sometimes “we” promote violence. Many white folks in particular are terrified to name the violence in our country’s founding (genocide and slavery). And perhaps most often, “we” are indifferent to the kinds of violence happening around us all the time."
You see, there is a history in this picture—a racialized, classed, gendered narrative in US history. As I tell my students in my feminist theory classes, the task is to analyze these “cultural artifacts” for what they reveal about constructions of race, gender, and class (and we could also talk about age, sexuality, idealized body types, and ableism).
The notion of a plural identity is in contrast to the subtle (or perhaps not so subtle!) ways in which hetero-patriarchal colonial history sublimated indigenous ways of knowing and identity production. I wish to move into not only advocating but privileging the plurality of identities as a way to queer the post/colonial space and place that today’s earth’s bodies inhabit.
Bassem Shahin, “Albert Cossery’s Revolutionary Poetics of a Poetics of Revolution.” Journal of Postcolonial Networks Vol. 1, Issue 2 (October 2011): 1-41.
This essay will attempt to draw out the structural assumptions of the high-profile Egyptian revolution by revisiting a few short stories and novels by the Egyptian francophone novelist and philosopher of revolution, Albert Cossery. Writing between the late 1930s and the turn of the 21st century, Cossery offered a controversial reading of revolution, focusing his critical lens on his native Egypt. The Egyptian context of the 1930s and 40s informed his reading of revolution—Egypt remained under British jurisdiction; Arab and Egyptian Renaissance, and specifically Egyptian surrealism; the end of Turkish rule and the strategic location of Egypt during World War II.