Alexander Weheliye examines the centrality of race to notions of the human, showing us how race disciplines humanity, socially, politically, biologically, conceptually.
Genre: Books, Scholarship.
Full Title: Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human.
Author: Alexander Weheliye, Professor of African American Studies and English at Northwestern University.
Publisher: Duke University Press.
Place: Durham, North Carolina.
Description: Habeas Viscus affords Alexander Weheliye the opportunity to illuminate the ways race works as a central element in a set of sociopolitical processes disciplining humanity, giving meaning and power to implicit, and at times explicit subcategories of full humans, not-quite-humans, and nonhumans.
The theoretical touchstones for the book include work by black feminist scholars Hortense Spillers and Sylvia Wynter, and by European philosophers Giorgio Agamben and Michel Foucault. Through engagement with their writings, Weheliye advances a theory of attention to, and continuous study of, race and racialization, where those interested in modern notions of humanity are asked by him to continue earlier projects of actively interrogating and displacing the often tacit equation of “the human” with “white, western man.”
Habeas Viscus thus makes a strong case for having the insights of black studies and black feminism be foundational to the study of modern humanity.