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Centre of African Studies: Events


Concrete imaginary - figures of state in post-apartheid South Africa

Concrete imaginary - figures of state in post-apartheid South Africa
Speaker: Dr Alex Wafer # University of the Witwatersrand
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Date and Time
14th Nov 2018 16:00 - 14th Nov 2018 17:30
Seminar Rooms 1 & 2, Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15a George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LD

This paper is based on a chapter from Dr Wafer's forthcoming book. The broad project of the book is to explore the ways in which the materiality of the everyday produces subjective orientations towards an imaginary of 'the state'.

To do this, Alex draw on a range of thinkers, from Heidegger to Deleuze and from Gluckman to Bayart, to show how the state emerges as a particular geographic imaginary  (distinct for example from empire or nation or a range of different pre-colonial conceptions of distanciated connectedness or autochthonous sovereignty). 

The second chapter (and the one Alex will present here), explores three 'conditions' within which the imaginary of the state emerges: i.e. territorial, constellational and perspectival/temporal. The objective here is to account for the persistence of the imaginary of the state, even when everyday experiences of political subjectivity might be of incompleteness, precarity and abandonment.