Upcoming events

“Subjects & Subjection:  Archives & the Soul in the Formation ‘Blackness’ in Early-Modern Spanish America” – lecture by Herman Bennett (City University of New York / Queen Mary, University of London)

Date and time: 14 may 2024, 16.00-17.30
Location: Amsterdam, Bushuis E 1.02


This talk employs the familiar philosophical framing, Subject and Subjection, to query what unintended consequences arose in some of the earliest African-Christian encounters in the New World?  “I am overdetermined from without” stated Frantz Fanon who in a decidedly modern context famously took up the existentialist dilemma configured by subject and subjection.  But as this talk illustrates, confining subjection to a form of overdetermination risks reducing formations of blackness to a mere negation thereby losing sight of the emergence of early-modern black subjects who experiences arose in but also exceeded the limits of early-modern governance.


Herman L. Bennett is a Professor at the Graduate Center (CUNY) and Director of the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC). Currently he is also Global Professorial Fellows at Queen Mary, University of London. He has held faculty positions at UNC-Chapel Hill, The Johns Hopkins University, Rutgers University, and the Free University of Berlin.

Professor Bennett is a renowned scholar on the history of the African diaspora, with a particular focus on Latin American history. Through his work, he has called for scholars to broaden the critical inquiry of race and ethnicity in the colonial world. He has written extensively on the presence of African slaves and freedmen in Mexican society during the colonial period and on the consequent interaction between Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans in colonial Mexico. His publications include: Africans in Colonial Mexico: Absolutism, Christianity, and Afro-Creole Consciousness, 1570–1640 (2003); Colonial Blackness: A History of Afro-Mexico (2009); African Kings and Black Slaves: Sovereignty & Dispossession in the Early Modern Atlantic (2019).

The limits of Enlightenment: Frederick II, the philosophes and the common people – Lecture by Avi Lifschitz (Oxford)

Practical details t.b.a.