Chloé Samala Faux

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Columbia U.

Grant number

Gr. 9896

Approve Date

October 25, 2019

Project Title

Faux, Chloé (Columbia U.) "Valuations of black life in death: risking an ethics of care in South Africa"

CHLOE FAUX, then a graduate student at Columbia University, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2019 to aid research on ‘Valuations of Black Life in Death: Risking an Ethics of Care in South Africa,’ supervised by Dr. Rosalind Morris. This study investigated the historical and emergent dilemmas of black reproductivity in post-apartheid South Africa. To do this, the researcher considered the double bind that has historically both demanded and condemned Black women’s reproductivity in South Africa, even as the masculinist project of national redemption is coded as rebirth. The study was oriented by the convergences between race and gender, sacrifice and ritual, violence and desire. The researcher was especially interested in how ‘traditional healing,’ mobilized and regulated by the state in the current conjuncture, intersects with the psychoanalytic and other forms of care. Taking into account the active role amadlozi (ancestral spirits, the living-dead) play in the lives of black South Africans, the study asks what ontologies of life and death might the ancestral realm offer that the actuarial framework of risk cannot. For the researcher, ancestrality was at once an ‘explanatory idiom,’ for thinking through the ruptures and relations between the living, the dead, and not-yet-born, and a methodology for examining the logic and exercise of sexual violence.