Reassembling the Subject: The Politics of Memory, Emotion, and Representation in Abolitionist Mauritania
AuthorEl Vilaly, Audra Elisabeth
AdvisorMarston, Sallie A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 06-Mar-2018
AbstractThis study explores an emancipatory politics of being human by asking what is at stake for a world predicated on the human being as subject. I commence with a critique of modernity and its tenet of human exceptionalism as the logical basis for our separation from social, ecological, and material others. Inextricable from these others, humans, I argue, are assemblages that merit representation as such. I demonstrate this by recruiting two human faculties conventionally considered evidence for both our human exceptionalism, or separation from perceived others, and its correlate of subjectivity: memory and emotion. I then demonstrate how even emotion and memory, as supposed wellsprings of subjectivity, in effect undermine the very premise of it in light of their assemblaged nature. I situate this study in Mauritania, where I investigate the politics and spatialities of slavery and abolition. There, I demonstrate how memories, emotions, and the humans that experience them are both consituents and products of human-environment assemblages. I then reveal both the discursive and material repercussions of remembering, feeling, and representing the world as subjects separate from this world. Finally, I suggest alternative avenues for geographic research in pursuit of a politics of being human beyond the human being as subject.
Degree ProgramGraduate College