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Rebecca Schneider: Shoaling in the Sea of History: Africans Who Fly and the Aesthetics of More-Than-Human Possibility
14.12.2020 • 1/21/21 18:00 – 1/21/21 20:00
Online Lecture

Sylvia Wynter parses genres of human that predate white, antiblack “homo oeconomicus.” The oldest is homo-narrans. All genres of human are storytellers with powerful self-actualizing tales. Stories constitute the conditions of possibility within which we exist, so the forms they take and the movement they make matters. In his poem “The Sea is History,” Derek Walcott gives us matter as story-full and stories as oceanic, circulating in more-than-human currents. Alongside contemporary art, this talk takes up the 1803 ‘Igbo Landing’ story on Georgia’s St. Simons Island where enslaved Africans mutinied, ran aground upon a shoal, then took to the air and flew away. I ask how shoaling in the sea of  history might stall, impede, or otherwise reroute the habitual plot points of homo oeconomicus’s ongoing Plantationocene and I tell a story of my own attempt to approach Igbo Landing by sea. I ask what it means, in the littoral zones among fact and fabulation to never arrive.


Rebecca Schneider ist Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies Mitglied des Fachbereichs Modern Media and Culture an der Brown University in Providence, USA. Ihr Forschungsinteresse liegt in den Bereichen Performance, Medien, Tanz,  Theater und digitale Künste.
Fig. 1:
Image from Isaac Julien's 10,000 Waves exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2013.