Rinaldo Walcott is a Professor in the Department of Women and Gender Studies and former Canada Research Chair of Social Justice and Cultural Studies. He is also a member of the Graduate Program in Cinema Studies of Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto. His teaching and research are in the area of Black diaspora cultural studies and postcolonial studies with an emphasis on questions of sexuality, and gender. He is the author most recently of On Property (2021) and The Long Emancipation: Moving Toward Black Freedom (2021).
Title: “Longing Across the Black Diaspora: Love, Being and the Door of No Return.”
Abstract: What if longing might be a collective maneuver for making life more possible? I have been struck by Dionne Brand’s longing in A Map to the Door of No Return in which that longing is immediately, urgently collective and repositions love as something more than the individual desire, thereby activating a self-regard other than deprivation. In this paper, I pursue a logic of longing that while influenced by Freud’s insights on love grapples with the tension between the individual and the collective as sources for a different order of self-regard. I suggest that psychoanalysis often reaches a conceptual limit when Black collectivity appears, and I turn to Frantz Fanon’s sociogeny and Sylvia Wynter’s sociogenic principle and Saidiya Hartman’s Lose Your Mother to account for how Black Diasporic longing engages a different account and order of Being (Black).