This article critically examines the role of neurobiology in the work of Sylvia Wynter through her own “pieza framework.” Wynter argues that the pieza, the figure of exchange invented at the beginning of the slave trade, haunts contemporary political economy through multiple forms of human fungibility. Reading this intervention alongside and against her deployment of neural plasticity, the author reconsiders the relationship between race, gender, and class in the field of Wynter studies and argues for recentering the pieza framework in struggles against racial capitalism. Wynter warns how quickly a vision of the world otherwise can become a source of neoliberal regeneration and how a new critique of political economy must begin with the ruthless rejection of fungibility in its many guises.
Research Article| June 01 2020
Plasticity and Fungibility: On Sylvia Wynter’s Pieza Framework
Social Text (2020) 38 (2 (143)): 97–119.
Max Hantel; Plasticity and Fungibility: On Sylvia Wynter’s Pieza Framework. Social Text 1 June 2020; 38 (2 (143)): 97–119. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-8164752
Download citation file: