Unpayable Debt

Denise Ferreira da Silva

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  • Sternberg Press
  • 2022
  • ISBN 9783956795428
  • 328 pages
  • Softcover with dust jacket
  • 21 × 13.5 × 3 cm

Unpayable Debt offers a black feminist reading of the political architecture of the global present. Inspired by Octavia E. Butler’s novel Kindred, in which an African American writer is transported from 1970s Los Angeles to the antebellum South to save the life of the child of a slave-owner who is also her ancestor, the conceit of the unpayable debt—a debt someone owes but that is not hers to pay—relates post-Enlightenment versions of ethical and economic value to colonial and racial subjugation. Focusing on the philosophical basis of these renderings of value, Denise Ferreira da Silva exposes how coloniality and raciality operate in the juridical, ethical, and symbolic systems that facilitate the expropriation of labor and extraction of land essential for the accumulation of Capital.

Denise Ferreira da Silva is Professor and Director of the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. She is also a Visiting Professor at the School of Law at Birkbeck, University of London.

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