Familiar Stranger: David Scott on Stuart Hall (1932-2014)
Date: Tuesday Oct 15 2019
Venue: Wergeland Hall, Litteraturhuset Oslo
Time: 19:00-21:00 PM
The late Prof Stuart Hall (1932-2014) was born in Kingston, Jamaica. After his arrival to the UK on a Rhodes Scholarship to study literature at Oxford University in the 1950s, Hall became part of the New Left coalescing around what later became the New Left Review (NLR). As a director of the Centre For Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCS) at the University of Birmingham in the 1970s, Hall was one of the founding figures of Cultural Studies. Hall’s work, profoundly inspired by the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, has been absolutely central to debates around authoritarian right-wing populism, popular culture, ‘race’, racism and nationalism. It inspired central contemporary postcolonial intellectuals not only in the UK but across the world, including scholars such as Paul Gilroy, and the artist John Akomfrah. After Hall’s death in 2014, Duke University Press and numerous other publishers have published volumes of and on Hall’s life and legacy. In the autumn of 2019, the Norwegian journal Agora-Journal For Metafysisk Spekulasjon publishes a special volume on ‘Critical theory from the South’ featuring the first Norwegian introduction to the work of Hall; in 2020, the Norwegian publisher Cappelen Damm publishes the first ever translated text of Hall in Norwegian in its prestigious series Cappelens Upopulære Skrifter.
Prof David Scott is Head of the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University in the USA. Like Hall, a native of Jamaica, Scott was a friend of Stuart Hall’s, and is currently writing an intellectual biography about Hall. The founding editor of the Caribbean Studies journal Small Axe, Scott is the author of inter alia Refashioning Futures: Criticism After Postcoloniality (Princeton University Press, 1999), Conscripts of Modernity: The Tragedy of Colonial Enlightenment (Duke University Press, 2004), Omens of Adversity: Tragedy, Time, Memory (Duke University Press, 2014) and Stuart Hall’s Voice: Intimations of An Ethics of Receptive Generosity (Duke University Press, 2017). In his work on the life and legacy of Stuart Hall, Scott has been centrally concerned with questions pertaining to the role of what he refers to as the ‘Caribbean problem space’ in Hall’s work.
Courtesy of funding from the Fritt Ord Foundation, and as part of the ten year anniversary of the @Anthropology Of Our Times-series in public anthropology at the House of Literature in Oslo, we hereby invite you to a free special evening dedicated to the life and legacy of Prof Stuart Hall, featuring Research Professor Sindre Bangstad (KIFO, Institute For Church, Religion And Worldview Research, Oslo) in conversation with Prof David Scott (Columbia University, USA). Scott will be introduced by Senior Lecturer Louisa Olufsen Layne from the University of Oslo, Norway’s leading young Caribbean Studies scholar.
The event is free of charge and open to all, and organized in co-operation with the Norwegian Centre Against Racism (ARS) and KIFO. Please note that the event is in English. The conversation between Bangstad and Scott will be followed by a Q&A with the audience. Early arrival at the venue is advisable.
Photo of David Scott courtesy of David Scott and Columbia University.