Steve Dillon will present "'They Will Be Coming For Us That Night': Race, Queer Futurity, and the Neoliberal-Carceral State" on FRIDAY, February 8th at 1:00pm in the Scott Hall Commons, room 105.
'They Will Be Coming For Us That Night': Race, Queer Futurity, and the Neoliberal-Carceral State
Practice Job Talk
Friday, February 8th 1:00-2:30 pm.
Scott Hall Commons (105 Scott Hall)
This talk considers how 1970s feminist and queer anti-prison activists theorized time in relation to a rising wave of incarceration driven by the racial politics of law and order politicians. The 1970s are an ideal moment from which to reexamine debates in queer studies about time and futurity--the hope of 1968 was still in the air even as new modes of state regulation and economic governance in the form of neoliberalism and mass incarceration were beginning to emerge. Yet, at the same time that activists worked to theorize and visualize what the governance of the prison and market would mean for the future of a post-civil rights U.S., early proponents of what has come to be called the prison-industrial complex made their own claims about the temporal power of incarceration. In their campaign ads and political speeches, Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon argued that the future of the social, economic, political, and racial order of things required the prison. For Nixon and others, the very possibility of a future depended on the warehousing of those rendered surplus or resistant to new economic regimes structured around privatization, deindustrialization, deregulation, and financialization. In other words, embedded in the emergent discourses of what I term the neoliberal-carceral state was a vision of the future--one where the freedom of individuality and the market required the mass immobilization of the prison. I argue that the theories, poetry, communiqués, and prison writings of 1970s feminist and queer activists contain an analysis of power that accurately anticipated changes to economic and penal policy that would take place during the next forty years.