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Capitalist Humanitarianism: Lucia Hulsether in conversation with Emily Owens

Event date: 
Wednesday, February 28, 2024 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here.

Charis and The Agnes Scott College Department of Religious Studies welcome Lucia Hulsether, a graduate of Agnes Scott College, in conversation with Emily Owens for a discussion of Capitalist Humanitarianism

The struggle against neoliberal order has gained momentum over the last five decades---to the point that economic elites have not only adapted to the Left's critiques but incorporated them for capitalist expansion. Venture funds expose their ties to slavery and pledge to invest in racial equity. Banks pitch microloans as a path to indigenous self-determination. Fair-trade brands narrate consumption as an act of feminist solidarity with women artisans in the global South. In Capitalist Humanitarianism Lucia Hulsether examines these projects and the contexts of their emergence. Blending historical and ethnographic styles, and traversing intimate and global scales, Hulsether tracks how neoliberal self-critique creates new institutional hegemonies that, in turn, reproduce racial and neocolonial dispossession. From the archives of Christian fair traders to luxury social entrepreneurship conferences, from US finance offices to Guatemalan towns flooded with their loan products, from service economy desperation to the internal contradictions of social movements, Hulsether argues that capitalist humanitarian projects are fueled as much by a profit motive as by a hope that racial capitalism can redeem the losses that accumulate in its wake.

Lucia Hulsether is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Skidmore College. She has broad interests in religion, culture, and politics in the Americas, with primary intellectual commitments to feminist/queer theory, critical race and ethnic studies, and the histories of social movements. Her first book Capitalist Humanitarianism (Duke University Press, 2023) explores the historical interplay between twentieth century left/socialist organizing and neoliberal projects to make free markets “ethical” with respect to the racialized and feminized populations that they dispossess.

Emily Owens is the David and Michelle Ebersman Assistant Professor of History at Brown University, where she teaches about histories of race, gender, and sexuality in the US. She researches US slavery, the legal history of race and sexual violence, and the intellectual history of American feminisms. She also writes histories of the present that explore how structural racism and misogyny get expressed in ordinary life. She is the author of Consent in the Presence of Force: Sexual Violence and Black Women's Survival in Antebellum New Orleans (University of North Carolina Press, 2023).

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage

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Event address: 
CROWDCAST
Capitalist Humanitarianism By Lucia Hulsether Cover Image
$30.99
ISBN: 9781478019206
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Duke University Press - February 3rd, 2023

The struggle against neoliberal order has gained momentum over the last five decades---to the point that economic elites have not only adapted to the Left's critiques but incorporated them for capitalist expansion. Venture funds expose their ties to slavery and pledge to invest in racial equity. Banks pitch microloans as a path to indigenous self-determination.


Consent in the Presence of Force: Sexual Violence and Black Women's Survival in Antebellum New Orleans By Emily A. Owens Cover Image
$21.95
ISBN: 9781469672137
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of North Carolina Press - January 10th, 2023

In histories of enslavement and in Black women's history, coercion looms large in any discussion of sex and sexuality. At a time when sexual violence against Black women was virtually unregulated--even normalized--a vast economy developed specifically to sell the sexual labor of Black women. In this vividly rendered book, Emily A.


Event Summary: 
Charis and The Agnes Scott College Department of Religious Studies welcome Lucia Hulsether, a graduate of Agnes Scott College, in conversation with Emily Owens for a discussion of Capitalist Humanitarianism.