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Schumacher Center: “May We Live in Interesting Times” with Bayo Akomolafe

Schumacher Center: "May We Live in Interesting Times" with Bayo Akomolafe
Date(s) - 07/06/2024
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm


The Schumacher Center for New Economics presents “May We Live in Interesting Times” with Dr. Bayo Akomolafe, W. E. B. Du Bois Scholar in Residence. This public lecture is on Saturday, July 6, from 1:30-5:00pm here at Saint James Place.

A widely celebrated international speaker, posthumanist thinker, poet, teacher, public intellectual, essayist, and author of two books

Registration is for in-person event only. The talk will not be live-streamed.

Dr. Bayo Akomolafe’s talk will be recorded and the video placed on the Schumacher Center’s website later in July where it can be accessed for free. 

The cost of admission ranges from $10 to $400. Please self-select the ticket price that best matches your ability to pay.



About the Lecture:

Left or Right?
Blue or Red?
This or That?

One of the stickiest assumptions about being a modern self is that “we” always have a choiceIt’s our inalienable right to choose, we hear. But what happens when choice starts misbehaving? What is choice good for when it no longer plays a differentiating function?

In 2024, half of the planet’s human citizen-subjects will be heading to the polling booths to make their choices known. However, something about the reported intensification of distrust in democratic institutions, the oversimplification of politics into “us” versus “them” (bolstered by social media), the unmatchable forces of the posthuman disruption and climate collapse, as well as what Rana Dasgupta calls the “decline of the nation-state”, makes this go-around particularly interesting.

There is a growing sense that choice isn’t enough, that politics-so-called is critically incapable of responding to the nuances and openings of these times, and that even social justice movements and their philanthropic ecologies – dedicated as they are to “impact” – obscure the transformative potentials electrifying the air.

In this public lecture, Dr. Bayo Akomolafe offers the parable of the Behemoth – a strange motif that warps choice and subjects it to forces beyond human agency. In a seminal year of wars and losses and apartheidic endings, when going left doesn’t feel that much different from going right, when justice feels inadequate to the rising tensions of the hour, where larger algorithms are in play, Dr. Akomolafe senses that a different, supplementary politics is needed, a different performance of power. Something stranger than hope, than clarity, than knowing what to do. And something that brings us to the feet of ‘the monstrous.’