Seminar by Tendayi Sithole, PhD (UNISA)
“Decoloniality and Rhodes Must Fall: On Wynterian Meditations of the Fallen Flesh”
Date: Thursday, 10 March 2016
Time: 13:00 – 14:30
Venue: 4th floor, neville alexander building
The construction of the Western subject cannot be divorced from the subject formation of those who are human and those who are non-human. It is for this reason that the subject is the human who has a place in the world and dehumanising those who are non-human to exist in condemnation. Sylvia Wynter’s concept of the Fallen Flesh—the non-human who are dehumanised through subjection will be deployed to understand the ontological catastrophe of blackness. The Fallen Flesh as the figure that is steeped in condemnation and not having a place in the world, in the epistemology and its institutional site—the University. Blackness qua non-human is the site of systematic, systemic and continuous ontological erasure which Wynter coins as “no-humans involved” meaning that there is nothing to account for in so far as violence is inscripted on the blackness. Rhodes Must Fall articulates ontological demands from the positionality of the Fallen Flesh calling for the Imperial Man to fall. The register of Rhodes Must Fall is decoloniality as it unmasks coloniality of power, coloniality of knowledge and coloniality of being and it is the site of blackness that aims to articulate the black pain to the world that dehumanises. The paper will demonstrate, through Wynterian meditations, how the Imperial Man belongs to the community of masters who are in service of the colonial interests of the modern-colonial-antiblack-world that finds its logic and expression in the logic of dehumanization.
Tendayi Sithole is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Sciences, University of South Africa where he teaches African Politics. He holds a doctorate in African Politics which was based on Achille Mbembe’s political thought from the same university. Sithole is the founding member of Africa Decolonial Research Network and the executive council member of South African Association of Political Studies. Thematic areas of his research are black radical thought, decolonial critical theory, Africana existential phenomenology, public intellectuals, and literary studies. His forthcoming book Steve Biko: Decolonial Meditations will be published by Lexington Books. He just completed a book project provisionally titled Meditations in Black: Essays from the Limits of Being which is a study on black thinkers as thinkers and not biographical subjects. He is currently doing research on the political thought of Sylvia Wynter for a book project.