Shannon Winnubst

Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Affiliated Faculty in French and Francophone Studies

Co-Editor of philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism

Professor Winnubst is on sabbatical for the academic year 2015-16 and affiliated with the Graduate Programme in Gender Studies at the University of Utrecht.

I just completed a book, Way Too Cool: Selling Out Race and Ethics (Columbia University Press: 2015), that uses the trope of a brief history of “coolness” to examine the provocation that neoliberalism may be altering how we feel, not only how we think. The focus of the book is a careful examination of the shifting meanings of social difference in the post-Civil Rights United States. I develop a psychoanalytic reading of racialization in the contemporary neoliberal episteme, with particular attention to the limits of reading social difference and authority through the conceptual framework of interpellation. Laced with various contemporary and historical examples, the book argues that the twinned erasure of racism and ethics is the heart of the contemporary neoliberal maelstrom. It thereby concludes with a speculative meditation on reading both race and ethics as the structural aporia of these neoliberal times, especially in the United States.
 
My current work conceptually begins where Way Too Cool concludes, namely, with a continued meditation on race and ethics as the twinned sites of impossible reflection. Following Sylvia Wynter, however, I cast this in a longer historical arc of colonial modernity, which in turn expands the geopolitical location of the inquiries into a globalized world. I call this set of inquiries “a phenomenology of opacity” and am engaging them across several axes: the extensive oeuvre of and scholarship on Sylvia Wynter and Édouard Glissant; efforts to write a history of the concept of race that attends to its erasures and emergences, both spasmodic and systematic; the conceptual apparati of scholarship on the anthropocene, especially posthumanism; and dodecaphonic music.
Areas of Expertise
  • Queer Studies
  • Race Theory
  • Psychoanalytic Theory
  • Twentieth Century French Theory
Education
  • Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
  • M.A., Pennsylvania State University
  • B.A., University of Notre Dame

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