in theory | #8 David Scott

Wednesday, 26 July 2023, 7.30 pm, diffrakt | centre for theoretical periphery

Conversation with
Yael Attia | Kathleen Samson | David Scott

In this edition of our series in theory, we will be in conversation with the critical anthropologist David Scott. Departing from the assumption that our theoretical production is constantly and invariably traversed by the complex entanglements of our and others’ lives, we will focus on Scott’s notion of an ethics of receptive generosity (Stuart Hall’s Voice) and the relations between the biographical and the public (as exemplified in his latest work with Orlando Patterson, The Paradox of Freedom). In what ways can friendship and personal relations become a moral and intellectual medium for theoretical work? How do we engage meaningfully with the intellectual generations that precede us? And how can the form of the interview enable a conceptual orientation towards a formation of intellectual traditions?

The conversation will be led by Yael Attia and Kathleen Samson, who have worked with David Scott in the context of his Mercator Fellowship at the RTG Minor Cosmopolitanisms in Potsdam. Their interview on “Receptive Generosity” can be listened to on the Minor Constellations podcast.

David Scott is Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, New York. His work focuses on various aspects of thinking about the colonial past in the post-colonial present. He is the founder and editor of the journal Small Axe and author of The Paradox of Freedom: A Biographical Dialogue (with Orlando Patterson, 2023); Stuart Hall’s Voice: Intimations of an Ethics of Receptive Generosity (2017); and Omens of Adversity: Tragedy, Time, Memory, Justice (2014). He has curated a number of exhibitions, most recently the Kingston Biennial: Pressure, National Gallery of Jamaica, 2022. He is currently a Mercator Fellow at the RTG Minor Cosmopolitanisms at the University of Potsdam.