Black Study and Communist Affect


  • Anisha Sankar



Harney and Moten, Undercommons, All Incomplete, Resistance, Communism


All Incomplete is a continuation of Stefano Harney and Fred Moten’s dialogue in The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study. This earlier book has cult status in what is identifiably Aotearoa’s under-commons (or what Arcia Tecun calls in Te Moana Nui a Kiwa ‘the undercurrents’). With All Incomplete, Harney and Moten move beyond the university, creating a lexicon for fugitive thought—fugitive being the opposite of settling. Their propositions for thought and sociality are important to think with and through, especially in a settler-colonial context like Aotearoa New Zealand. I follow their notion of ‘black study’ as it develops through All Incomplete, arguing that black study constitutes a mode of what Jackie Wang calls ‘communist affect’—a mode of being-for-others that reveals a kind of ‘already-existing communism’ in the present. I then look to how some of the ideas introduced by The Undercommons have been taken up in Aotearoa and consider the contributions that All Incomplete could make to our own context.


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