Join us for a talk by Lucie Kim-Chi Mercier, “Translation as Method: Geopolitics of the Postcolonial”, sponsored by the UCR English and Comparative Literature Departments and the Center for Ideas and Society.
This paper proposes a philosophical investigation of the ‘postcolonial’ as problem – rather than theory or body of texts. In order to do so, it analyses two questions alongside one another: on the one hand, the opposition of universality and difference, as it has been repeatedly raised by the critics of postcolonial theory and, on the other, the dynamic of generalization, circulation of the term ‘postcolonial’ itself, its translatability through different contexts, conjunctures and languages in the broad sense. Mercier turns to the seminal polemic between Frantz Fanon and Jean-Paul Sartre in Black Skin, White Masks (1952), analyzing it through the prism of Etienne Balibar’s recent works on universality and concludes on the specificities of the postcolonial problem by relating it to the question of translation.
Lucie Kim-Chi Mercier is a postdoctoral Researcher in Philosophy at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston University, London. Her PhD thesis, “The Inside Passage: Translation as Method and Relation in Serres and Benjamin” (2015), addressed the concept and philosophy of translation at the intersection the epistemology of science, aesthetics and the postcolonial conception of critique. Her areas of interest include 1960s French structuralism, German critical theory and the relationships between philosophy, race and postcolonialism. She has published in the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism, Theory, Culture and Society and Radical Philosophy.