This essay views David Austin’s Moving Against the System: The 1968 Congress of Black Writers and the Making of Global Consciousness through the prism of dread history as a way of considering how this text can be understood as a chronicling of the congress while also acting as a harbinger of the radical methodological impulses of dread history. Drawing on the speeches and proceedings detailed in the anthology, while also surveying the broader moment of the “global 1968,” the essay explores some of the antagonisms that underpinned the congress to examine the broader antagonisms of this moment, which include the “absented presence” of black women radicals. The essay ends with a meditation on the stakes of such a project for black Canada and its often veiled (but no less insurgent) dread-historical contributions to the global 1968 and current struggles for liberation.
Moving Against the System: Dread History and the Global 1968
Bedour Alagraa is an assistant professor of political and social thought in the Department of African and African American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has been published in several journals, including Critical Ethnic Studies, Contemporary Political Theory, and the CLR James Journal. She is a coeditor (with Anthony Bogues) of the Black Critique book series at Pluto Press and is currently working on a book manuscript, “The Interminable Catastrophe: Fatal Liberalisms, Plantation Logics, and Black Political Life in the Wake of Disaster.”
Bedour Alagraa; Moving Against the System: Dread History and the Global 1968. Small Axe 1 November 2020; 24 (3 (63)): 218–227. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-8749902
Download citation file: