You are invited to attend a seminar hosted by Professor Moletsane, John Langalibalele Dube Chair for Rural Education and the Mzala Nxumalo Centre for the Study of South African Society.

The seminar will be delivered by Holly Lewis.  Holly Lewis is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Texas State University where she specializes in political philosophy, the ethics of revolutionary change, and the study of creative practices. Dr. Lewis holds a Ph.D. from the European Graduate School in Media and Philosophy, an MA from the University of Pennsylvania in Comparative Culture and Politics, and an MFA in Fiction from New York University. She is the author of The Politics of Everybody: Feminism, Queer Theory, and Marxism at the Intersection

Lewis’s specialty is Marxist political economy and debates in gender. Her specific interest has been in critiquing the voluntarist counter-cultural sentiment in Western queer politics by bringing in an economic analysis based on feminist readings of Capital. She makes use of Lise Vogel and Angela Davis’ work to show that radical LGBTI politics that center on undermining the family and subverting gender norms in hopes of undermining capitalist ideology is misguided. She asserts that this in no way implies that we should not criticize family structures or question ideologies around gender. The point of the book is to show that capitalism has an ambivalent, complex, and class-bound view of the family—sometimes the family is useful to the social reproduction of capital; other times, the family is a barrier to the accumulation of profit and so other methods of social organization are preferred (barracks, factory dormitories, prisons). This means that the question of controlling reproductive labor is key to capitalist development, and capital’s attitude towards reproductive labor, Lewis argues, that is also at the base of not just sexism, but homophobia and transphobia. In the book, she also supplants Judith Butler’s understanding of how social gender is created by using the methods developed by Black Marxist historian Barbara Fields’ who argues that race is an ideology that is materially constructed within capitalist societies (excerpt from an email sent by Holly Lewis).

The seminar will take place as follows:

Date: Thursday, 7 April 2016

Time: 11h00 for 11h30

Venue: Council Chambers, PMB Campus

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