Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

GRAD WORKSHOP - Coming Together, Pulling Apart: Contrasting the Contours of Group Consciousness

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Hybrid in-person/online event.
Room 350, Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics (133 S. 36th Street)
Please register here. Zoom link and links to papers sent to registrants.

The Logistics of Race War in the Global Red Summers

Jacob Kripp (Johns Hopkins Political Science)

FROM THE END OF THE 19TH CENTURY THROUGH THE FIRST HALF OF THE 20TH, transnational white supremacy was brought together by the fantasy of an apocalyptic race war. These fantasies imagined a coming Pan-Asian or Pan-African unification that would overwhelm the white world and bring about its end. Race riots were central to accounts of racial Armageddon. In Wilmington (1898); Atlanta (1906); Bellingham and Vancouver (1907); East St. Louis (1917); and the global Red Summer (1919) race riots were seen as both preludes to a greater global racial conflict and necessary displays of white violence to keep Black and Asian people in their place. JACOB KRIPP theorizes these riots as transnational rituals, what W.E.B. Du Bois described as “Roman holiday[s] for the entertainment of vicious whites”. A transnational community of whiteness, a global vision of popular sovereignty that was premised on the violent maintenance of the global color line, was produced through these spectacular scenes of violence. Drawing on Frantz Fanon’s insights into the psychopolitics of violence, Kripp argues that these rituals (re)produced the fantasy of race war through collective racialized affect that projected white violence onto the Black and Asian people who armed in self-defense. Together these rituals of violence (including the January 6 attack on The Capitol) and their attendant anti-Asian and anti-Black fantasies sutured together a global demos of white supremacy.