SAM Seminar: Miss/Reading Beloved: White Feminists’ Violence and Imagining the Future

When:18 Sep 2018, 3:30pm - 5:30pm
Venue:Cinema 327, Robert Webster Building
Who:Mariya Nikolova, Potsdam University & UNSW

SAM Seminar

Informed by Black contemporary theory, this rereading of criticism on Toni Morrison’s Beloved investigates how the exertion of white imagination and the regulatory policing of understanding continue to prefigure possibilities for thinking black lives in “their literal and social death” (Sharpe). I examine how white narrative violence disclaimed Black political struggles for acknowledging and resisting grammars of suffering.

Studying tropes of enslavism, the paper focuses on their faculty to historicize Black’s lingering in incapacity and examines the modes through which White hermeneutic structurally diagnosed Blackness as mad in order to sustain this incapacity. Sitting with the Afro-Pessimist contention that antiblack structures remain constant despite changes in their performance over time (Wilderson), the paper investigates how dominant interpretations of Beloved exorcised white guilt, negated Black access to ontology, and contributed to the reinvention of Whiteness.

Mariya Nikolova is a doctoral candidate of the Research Training Group Minor Cosmopolitanisms with a joint PhD fellowship at UNSW and Potsdam University.

Tanja Dreher, ARC Future Fellow and Scientia Fellow at UNSW, will respond to Mariya’s paper.


SAM Seminar Series

This series provides a showcase and forum for local as well as international scholars, researchers, industry practitioners and creative artists – ranging from early-career to well-established – to present on their work. No need to book, all welcome.

Coming next:
Week 10 - Tuesday, 2 October
Humans, Data, Mediations
Edgar Gomez Cruz and Heather Ford, with Tanja Dreher, UNSW
Visit the event page 

Find out more and see the full program.
Enquiries contact: SAM Seminar Convenor, Michael Richardson –

Finding us
Robert Webster Building is located mid-way off the UNSW main walkway. Map Reference G14. Cinema 327 is located on the third floor.

More information on getting to UNSW.
Download a campus map.  (PDF)

Supported by UNSW Creative Practice Lab

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