Faculty, Distinguished Guest Discuss Tragedy and Revolution

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Matthew Garrett, David Scott and Lily Saint led a discussion on “Tragedy and Revolution” in the Russell House.

On March 5, the Certificate in Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory supported a discussion on “Tragedy and Revolution.” Matthew Garrett, assistant professor of English, assistant professor American studies and director of the Certificate, moderated the discussion.

Assistant Professor Matthew Garrett, visiting distinguished guest David Scott and Assistant Professor Lily Saint led a discussion on “Tragedy and Revolution” March 5 in the Russell House.

David Scott, professor of anthropology at Columbia University and editor of the journal Small Axe, spoke about his recent book, Omens of Adversity: Tragedy, Time, Memory, Justice (Duke University Press, 2014). Lily Saint, assistant professor of English, provided a response to Professor Scott’s book.

Omens of Adversity offers a critique of the experience of postcolonial, postsocialist temporality. The case study at its core is the demise of the Grenada Revolution (1979–1983), and the repercussions of its collapse. In the Anglophone Caribbean, the Grenada Revolution represented both the possibility of a break from colonial and neocolonial oppression, and hope for egalitarian change and social and political justice. The Revolution’s collapse in 1983 was devastating to a revolutionary generation. In hindsight, its demise signaled the end of an era of revolutionary socialist possibility. Scott argues that the palpable sense of the neoliberal present as time stalled, without hope for emancipatory futures, has had far-reaching effects on how we think about the nature of political action and justice.

More photos of the discussion are below: (Photos by Dat Vu ’16)

Wesleyan faculty audience members, from left, Sean McCann (English), Katie Brewer Ball (theater), Rachel Ellis Neyra (English), J. Kehaulani Kauanui (American studies and anthropology), Margot Weiss (American studies and anthropology), Liza McAlister (American studies and religion), Amy Tang (American studies and English), Ulrich Plass (College of Letters and German studies) listen to the panelists, Matthew Garret, David Scott and Lily Saint.

Wesleyan faculty audience members, from left, Sean McCann (English), Katie Brewer Ball (theater), Rachel Ellis Neyra (English), J. Kehaulani Kauanui (American studies and anthropology), Margot Weiss (American studies and anthropology), Liza McAlister (American studies and religion), Amy Tang (American studies and English), Ulrich Plass (College of Letters and German studies) applaud Lily Saint’s presentation.

Pictured, from left, are Matthew Garrett, David Scott and Lily Saint.

Pictured, from left, are Matthew Garrett, David Scott and Lily Saint.

Matthew Garrett speaks about David Scott's book.

Matthew Garrett speaks about David Scott’s book.

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Wesleyan faculty, from left, Ulrich Plass, Amy Tang, Liza McAlister, Rachel Ellis Neyra and Katie Brewer Ball listen to the discussion.