Jamila Mascat

Utrecht University

Jamila M. H. Mascat is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Postcolonial Studies at the Department of Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University. Her transdisciplinary research works across the fields of Political Philosophy (German Idealism and Marxism in particular), Postcolonial Studies, Feminist Theories, and Critical Race Theories. Her current research interests focus, on the one hand, on theories of partisanship and political engagement and, on the other hand, on theories of postcolonial justice and postcolonial reparations.

Speaking at the conference

Friday, 23 September, 12pm, Kosovel Hall

Hegel, master of capitalism

Black feminist Audre Lorde famously stated that the ‘master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house’. This paper suggests that the multifaceted history of the reception of Hegel may be an interesting exception to the rule.

Even though Hegel’s philosophy can be considered as the sublime intellectual outcome of the expansion of modern European capitalism, Hegel’s mastery of modernity cannot be reduced to the purpose of legitimizing the status quo of the Neuzeit. Instead, as it will be argued, Hegel’s contribution to the critique of capitalist society and its mode of production resides in his ability, paraphrasing Orlando Patterson, to show capitalism with its clothes off. Additionally, the paper will revisit the legacy of Hegel’s philosophy in the anticolonial tradition by focusing specifically on the works of Aimé Césaire to paradigmatically illustrate to what extent the sabotage of the master’s tools may help in dismantling the master’s house.

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