Robin D. G. Kelley

Distinguished Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History, University of California, Los Angeles

March 20, 2024 — 4:10 PM
Alumni House, Toll Room — UC Berkeley Campus

Add to Google Calendar 03/20/2024 4:10 PM 03/20/2024 6:00 PM America/Los_Angeles American Thanatocracy vs Abolition Democracy: On Cops, Capitalism, and the War on Black Life

Register Please register for this event, which will follow evolving public health guidelines.  About this lecture This talk will examine how police in the neoliberal era–in tandem with other state and corporate entities—have become engines of capital accumulation, government revenue, gentrification, … Continued

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Register

Please register for this event, which will follow evolving public health guidelines

About this lecture

This talk will examine how police in the neoliberal era–in tandem with other state and corporate entities—have become engines of capital accumulation, government revenue, gentrification, the municipal bond market, the tech and private security industry—in a phrase, the profits of death.  The police don’t just take lives; they make life and living less viable for the communities they occupy.  The growth of police power has also fundamentally weakened democracy and strengthened “thanatocracy”—rule by death– especially with respect to Black communities.   And yet, these same communities have produced a new abolition democracy, organizing to advance a different future, without oppression and exploitation, war, poverty, prisons, police, borders, the constraints of imposed gender, sexual, and ableist norms, and an economic system that destroys the planet while generating obscene inequality.  

About Robin D. G. Kelley

Robin D. G. Kelley is Distinguished Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at UCLA.  Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is the recipient of many awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and Freedom Scholar Award.  His books include the award-winning, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original; Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression; Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical ImaginationRace Rebels: Culture Politics and the Black Working Class; Yo’ Mama’s DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America (Beacon Press 1997); Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times.

Kelley is currently completing two books, Making a Killing: Cops, Capitalism, and the War on Black Life and The Education of Ms. Grace Halsell: An Intimate History of the American Century (both forthcoming Metropolitan Books).

His essays have appeared in dozens of publications, including The Nation, New York Times, American Historical Review, American Quarterly, African Studies Review, Social Text, Metropolis, Journal of American History, New Labor Forum, and The Boston Review, for which he also serves as Contributing Editor.

 

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