Barrymore Anthony Bogues
While I am here at VU as a CLUE+ fellow and a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the International Institute of Social History, I will be working on a major book project tentatively titled Black Critique: Towards An Alternative Genealogy of Critical Thought . The book attempts to reconfigure some of the current scholarship currently operating under the rubric “new histories of capitalism.“ A great deal of these “new histories “ take as their primary examples America and England and pay attention to the ways in which the slave trade, slavery and plantations structured capitalism. The research project I am undertaking shifts the gaze from these two sites to Dutch colonialism, its involvement in the slave trade and the plantations of the Caribbean. Part of the argument is that Dutch investment and financial mechanisms played crucial roles not only in the Dutch colonies but in the USA financing mortgages and the early formation of some banks in the USA. However the hypothesis of the project is not a reframing of Dutch history and historiography rather it is deploying the Dutch colonial project as a critical site for the emergence of capitalism. This means reconceptualization of the early emergence of capitalism itself as not only rooted in conceptions and practices of free labor but with different regimes of unfree labor including racial slavery and indentured labor.
The consequences of this shift means thinking through another genealogy of labor and freedom, other than those rooted in conventional liberal or Marxist theories. While here I will conduct seminars on slavery as well as on critical figures within the black intellectual tradition.
Anthony Bogues is Asa Messer Professor of Humanities and Critical Theory, Professor of Africana Studies and Director, Center for the Study of Slavery & Justice at Brown University, Providence Rhode Island, and Visiting Professor at the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Center, University of Johannesburg. He is also one of the course directors of the annual VU summercourse “Decolonizing Europe”. (e-mail) firstname.lastname@example.org