The Dynamic of Captivity and the American Imagination

Presented by Chilean writer-in-residence Rodrigo Naranjo
at Wits Institute for Social and Economic Reserch, University of the Witwatersrand

Thursday, 4 October, 2018

Under the emergence of modernity, captivity, or more precisely, its dynamic traces a living experience of the new; the production or invention of the americas as the new. Today, captivity is one of the major forms of the global (prisons, walls, deprivation, torture, the lost of the sense of individuality, all of this belongs to the economy of captivity). In Spanish language cautiverio is a word that designates a wonder, a teaching, a human hunt, a device referring to political, cultural and religious relationship stablished mainly with indigenous population. In English literature thousand of narratives of captivity were published since the beginning of colonization, claiming the true nature of the testimonies, and defining one of the major forms of english literature. By contrast, specially in hispanic america, slavery was used to describe and characterize the relationships established with black populations. We want to show how captivity and slavery differentiate and overlap designating different modes to relate to power, sovereignty, knowledge and experience, defining captivity as a powerful critical category to think about the writing of modernity, and a living experience of the current global societies.
seminar information at the Wits' website

Rodrigo Naranjo, The Dynamic of Captivity and the Amerian Imagination / download (pdf)

Rodrigo Naranjo holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh/USA, Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures. He was Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH/USA and until 2015 Full Professor at the Department of Philosophy Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación, Santiago/Chile.


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