Home > Uncategorized > Fillosophie : Alia Al-Saji – Glued to the Image: A Critical Phenomenology of Racialization through Works of Art

Fillosophie : Alia Al-Saji – Glued to the Image: A Critical Phenomenology of Racialization through Works of Art

January 23, 2019 Leave a comment Go to comments
Pour sa 39e conférence, Fillosophie reçoit Alia Al-Saji (McGill University), pour une présentation intitulée Glued to the Image: A Critical Phenomenology of Racialization through Works of Art.
La conférence aura lieu au département de philosophie de l’UQAM, salle W-5215, le vendredi 8 février de 13h à 15h. Voici un résumé ci-dessous et une biographie de la conférencière.
La conférence se tiendra en anglais.
Vous pouvez aussi retrouver l’événement sur Facebook, ici https://www.facebook.com/events/2150134938387522/, et sur notre site internet, ici https://fillosophie.com/programmation/.
Nous espérons vous accueillir en grand nombre !
L’équipe de Fillosophie.
Résumé de la conférence :
I develop a phenomenological account of racialized encounters with works of art and film, wherein the racialized viewer feels cast as perpetually past, coming “too late” to intervene in the meaning of her own representation.  This points to the distinctive role that the stereotyped past plays in mediating and constructing our self-images.  I draw on experiences of three exhibitions that take Muslims and/or Arabs as their subject matter and that ostensibly try to subvert racialization, while reproducing some of its tropes. My examples are the Benjamin Constant exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2015); the permanent exposition Welten der Muslime at the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin; and a sculptural installation at the Leeds City Art Gallery, created in response to the imperial power painting, General Gordon’s Last Stand, that is housed there.
My interest is in how artworks may contribute to the experience of being racialized.  I argue – drawing on Frantz Fanon’s Peau noire, masques blancs – that this is not only a conscious confirmation of the existence of racial stereotypes, but an intensification and amplification in their affective life and embodied effects. They saturate my temporal horizons as a racialized subject, the atmosphere that I breathe, and the structures of practical and perceptual possibility that I can live. Finally, from a critical-race and feminist phenomenological perspective, I ask whether, and how, it may be possible to interrupt this amplification of racial stereotypes by means of aesthetic work itself—opening the way not only to social critique but to different affective relationships to the images of racialized groups.
Bio : Alia Al-Saji has a PhD in Philosophy from Emory University (2002), following an MA in Philosophy from K. U. Leuven (1995) and a Bachelor of Arts & Science (McMaster University, 1993).  She has taught at McGill since 2002.  Her work brings together and critically engages 20th-century phenomenology and French philosophy, on the one hand, and critical race, decolonial, and feminist philosophies, on the other.  Running through her research is an abiding concern for questions of time and embodiment, the intersection of which she seeks to philosophically elaborate. In 2009, she was awarded a residence fellowship at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, and in 2012 she was a resident fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study in Durham University, UK. Al-Saji was the Co-Director of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP), the second largest philosophical association in North America, from 2014 to 2017.  She is currently a co-editor of the Symposia on Gender, Race and Philosophy and the Feminist Philosophy section editor of Philosophy Compass.
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