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Seminar: "Racial Discourses of Life Philosophy: Negritude and Negrismo" and Public Lecture, "The Ambiguous Promise of European Decline: Race and Historical Pessimism in the Era of the Great War"

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Goldwin Smith Hall, 258, Comparative Literature/English Shared Lounge

Donna V. Jones, Department of English, Berkeley


Feb 27, 2018 at 12 noon, 258 GSH (COML and English Lounge)

"Racial Discourses of Life Philosophy: Negritude and Negrismo” 

Readings will be made available upon registering for the seminarThere is no cost, and lunch will be available to all participants, but we do request that you register


Public Lecture

Feb 27, 2018 at 4:30pm Klarman KLKG42 (large classroom, café level of Klarman Hall – just east of the large screen)

"The Ambiguous Promise of European Decline: Race and Historical Pessimism in the Era of the Great War"


In this talk, Prof Jones (Berkeley) draws on her first book, The Racial Discourses of Life Philosophy: Negritude, Vitalism, and Modernity (Columbia, 2010) to indicate the great change in temperament brought about by the Great War. She compares the optimism of Bergson's elan vital with the grim pessimism of Freud's thanato-politics to illustrate the effects of the Great War on European thought. Prof. Jones suggests that among colonial subjects was the promise in the possibility of European decline and part of their response was the exalting of their culture which would become the foundation of a 'living' Caribbean aesthetic, conceived in organicist terms. The talk explores this thematic in the work of Alejo Carpentier, the Negrismo movement, and the Negritude Poets. 


Refreshments will follow the lecture

We hope to see you on Feb 27, 2018. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please let me know:


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Event Type



Comparative Literature, English, German Studies, Romance Studies, Society for the Humanities, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, American Studies Program, Latin American Studies Program (LASP), Institute for German Cultural Studies


cascal, cashum, complit, casfeatured

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Susan M. Besemer

Contact Phone



Professor Donna Jones

Speaker Affiliation

Department of English, University of CA, Berkeley

Open To

the public

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