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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

GEOG 8230: Race, Space, and Biopolitics: Feminist Elaborations

GEOG 8230, "Theoretical Geography," will be taught fall 2009 by Assistant Professor Arun Saldanha on Thursdays from 12:20 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

GEOG 8230: Race, Space, and Biopolitics: Feminist Elaborations
Few students of the city, colonialism, or violence can escape at some point addressing the question of race. As a system of classifying and segregating bodies, race pops up even when we think we are studying something else. Obviously there is biological variation within the human species, but exactly why this variation has become so insidiously political is a difficult problematic, shaking up any attempt at disciplining academic boundaries. This graduate seminar seeks to investigate the conceptual intricacies of the becoming-political of human life, of "biopolitics." This fall, emphasis will be given to the intersections of theorizations of biopolitics and race with feminist theory, since the latter has for decades been at the forefront of conceiving the politicization of biology. What can feminist theory - itself diverse and dynamic
- teach us for thinking race as a material process of sexual, laboring, violent, migrating bodies? The course understands the politicization of phenotypic differences to be a planetary process, to a large extent determined by European colonization involving bodies and desires positioned in particular places and inequalities. It is however also entirely contingent, and thus changeable by antiracist politics and research.
Meets Thursdays, 12.20-3.00
Email instructor Arun Saldanha (saldanha@umn.edu) for the syllabus.