Reparations and the Political Imagination

Registration required

Calls for reparations for slavery, colonialism, settler colonialism and their ongoing effects are resounding around the world. This half-day symposium will explore how reparations demands have enlarged the imagination of what is politically possible and ask what role they can play in undoing entrenched forms of racial inequality.

The first session will be a wide-ranging conversation about the meanings of reparations advanced by scholars, activists, and artists at the local, national, and transnational levels. Our common text will be Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò’s Reconsidering Reparations (Oxford University Press 2021 – available as an e-book through SOLO and in the Bodleian), and participants are encouraged to discuss their own work on the topic.

During the second session, Lawrie Balfour will address the promise and pitfalls of reparations politics in the contemporary U.S. in a lecture entitled “Reparations Unbound: What Happens a When Radical Idea Enters the Mainstream?”