James Haile: “Ta-Nehisi Coates: quantum matter and the phenomenology of the body” – October 20, 2015

The publication of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “letter to his son,” Between the World and Me (2015), has been met with mixed reviews. Responses have ranged from a critique for his ‘pessimism’ to grand celebratory remarks announcing him as the next great intellectual and social critic in the mold of James Baldwin.

This talk will investigate the meaning of the body in Coates’ book and its relationship to ‘race’ and will argue that while Coates does not offer us a solution to the problem of embodiment or the galaxy distances between bodies, black and white, what he does offer, to his son and to his readers, is the idea that one can and must make peace within the chaos of existence.

James Haile


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