Toward an African Future - of the Limits of World
This study proposes for theoretical reflection about contemporary historicity the value of the presentation of the global level historiographical example in the discourse of W. E. B. Du Bois. Referencing works from across the whole of this thinker’s itinerary, it situates in particular two nodal texts by Du Bois, Color and Democracy: Colonies and Peace (1945) and The World and Africa: An Inquiry into the Part which Africa has Played in World History (1947), both of which were issued in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, as outlining a critical sense of the global level horizon of the second half of the twentieth century and the opening of the century yet to come, which has now become ours. Indexing Du Bois’s concern with the radical order of the organization of the historial, this study proposes that the name Africa may be adduced as a theoretical metaphor to enable a certain hyperbolic re-narrativization of the systems of modern historicity, not only as pasts, but also as futures.
Nahum Dimitri Chandler
Nahum Dimitri Chandler is an intellectual and scholar working in philosophical problematics, with particular reference to the history of the human sciences construed in the broad sense, especially as such problematizations concern political thought, concepts of historicity and historical memory, including thought about the future in general.
He received both his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, in social and cultural anthropology, from the University of Chicago. Known in particular as a scholar of the work of W. E. B. Du Bois he has lectured throughout the United States, Europe and Asia over the past twenty years. Among other awards, he was a resident member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, where he held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (USA) and the Ford Foundation, and a Fulbright lectureship, which he held at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. Along with regular faculty appointments at Duke and Johns Hopkins universities, as well as a new school of global studies in Japan, he recently served as a visiting professor at Columbia and Stanford universities, as well as a visiting scholar in the history of science at UC Berkeley. He recently joined the program in African American Studies at UC Irvine as a core faculty member.
A key strand of his current work proposes an ensemblic questioning of a thought of atopia -- architectural, economic, cybernetic, political, sonic or aural, gestural, ontological or paraontological -- beyond what has yet been possible, one that might allow for a more supple, yet astringent, elaboration of the practical theoretical demands that it poses for the engagement of futural forms of habitation and a certain enabling of some of the resources that might be necessary for their address.
A monograph study, The Problem of Pure Being: Annotations on W. E. B. Du Bois and the Discourses of the Negro, and an edited collection of texts, The Essential Early Essays: Writings by W. E. B. Du Bois at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, are both forthcoming from Fordham University Press.
Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo is a designer, educator, writer and curator on design. His professional work and teaching includes publication, interface, and exhibition design, as well as writing about design, and is often a collaboration that finds form that grows out of content. It is about both product and process thus; the very subject of his work is the designer’s process of finding, taking, elevating, and sharing the solutions with the public. His quest for problem seeking and problem solving centers on matching form and content to meaning, and the consideration of language and imagery as communication devices. He is invested in the melding of the ‘what’ into the ‘how’, allowing the medium to become both the message and the messenger. His practice also foregrounds the interlinking of construction/composition with contemplation.
Nunoo-Quarcoo’s multi-disciplinary work has been recognized, exhibited and is represented in the permanent collections of museums, archives and libraries, most notably the American Institute of Graphic Arts Design Archives; Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution; the American Association of Museums; The Denver Art Museum; and the Library of Congress Permanent Collection of Design and Rare Book Collections. His latest publication is Paul Rand: Modernist Design. He curated the exhibition, and co-authored with Cynthia Wayne the publication of the same title,Word+ Image: Swiss Poster Design, 1955-1997. He also curated the exhibition and authored the publication Bruno Monguzzi: A Designer’s Perspective. Currently, he is curating an exhibition with Emily Wilson titled Paul Rand: Modernist Design and preparing his next book, Rudolph deHarak: An American Designer.