Effluence, "Waste" and African Humanism: Extra-Anthropocentric Being and Human Rightness

Effluence, "Waste" and African Humanism: Extra-Anthropocentric Being and Human Rightness

Author: 
Jolly, Rosemary J.
Place: 
Oxon
Publisher: 
Taylor and Francis
Date published: 
2018
Record type: 
Region: 
Journal Title: 
Social Dynamics
Source: 
Social Dynamics Vol 44 No 1 April 2018 pp. 158-178
Abstract: 

I propose a extra-anthropocentric contextualisation of normative human rights as human rightness. To undo the normative construction of the human, I turn to a theory of the effluent. I argue effluent communities, defined as communities who have never depended on the state, re-envision normative human rights. Effluent communities suggest the necessity for a rethinking of the centrality of the state in Butlerian conceptions of precarity and grievability, since effluent communities have never found the state to be a source of such security. Further, I observe that this decentring of the state points to limitations in forms of postcolonial critical resistance that pose the state (be it colonial or postcolonial) as an adversary; or simply deconstruct the impossibility of the state's support of the human through postmodernist scepticism. I analyse Mphahlele's specific reading of African Humanism, demonstrating that it offers a way to grieve material being that is extrinsic to the lenses of the state, racially inflected abjection and subject/object-human/non-human animal binaries. Rather than name a set of effluent communities, I propose an exemplary bearing witness to the material dying/dead, instantiating what is commonly regarded as waste, if not toxic dirt, as the occasion for a practice of extra-anthropocentric human rightness.

Language: 
Date created: 
Thursday, November 29, 2018