• David Scott

    Professor and Chair of Anthropology
    958 Schermerhorn, Mail Code: 5538, United States
    +1 212 854 4561


    My work, especially since Refashioning Futures (1999) and Conscripts of Modernity (2004), has been concerned with the reconceptualization of the way we think the story of the colonial past for the postcolonial present. This has involved a variety of kinds of inquiry (taking the Caribbean as my principal “field” of engagement), into tradition and generations, dialogue and criticism, self-determination and sovereignty, tragedy and temporality, and transitional justice and liberalism. I’ve recently completed a book called Stuart Hall’s Voice: Intimations of an Ethics of Receptive Generosity (based on lectures I gave at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, in November-December 2013), and am now working on a biography of Stuart Hall. I am also working on a study of the question of reparations for the historical injustice of New World slavery. I continue to edit Small Axe, and direct the Small Axe Project, which is involved in a number of special initiatives around visual, translation, literary, and historiographical issues.




    “Antinomies of Slavery, Enlightenment, and Universal History” Small Axe no. 33 (November 2010): 152-162.

    “The Traditions of Historical Others” Symposium on Gender, Race, and Philosophy 8, no. 1 (Winter 2012), available at http://sgrp.typepad.com/sgrp/winter-2012-symposium-mccarthy-2009.html

    “Norms of Self-Determination: Thinking Sovereignty Through” Middle East Law and Governance 4, nos. 2 & 3 (2012): 195-224.

    “On The Very Idea of a Black Radical Tradition” Small Axe no. 40 (March 2013): 1-6.

    “The Paradox of Freedom: An Interview with Orlando Patterson” Small Axe no 40 (March 2013): 96-240.

    “On The Question of Caribbean Studies” Small Axe no. 41 (July 2013): 1-7.

    Omens of Adversity: Tragedy, Time, Memory, Justice (Durham: Duke University Press, 2014)

    “On the Moral Justification of Reparations for New World Slavery” in Robert Nichols and Jakeet Singh (eds.), Freedom and Democracy in an Imperial Context: Dialogues with James Tully (New York: Routledge, 2014), 100-20.

    “The Temporality of Generations: Dialogue, Tradition, Criticism” New Literary History, 45, no. 2 (Spring 2014): 157-81, special issue on “Interpretation and its Rivals.”

    “The Tragic Vision in Postcolonial Time” PMLA 129, no. 4 (October 2014): 799-808, special issue on tragedy.

    “The Theory of Haiti: The Black Jacobins and the Poetics of Universal History” Small Axe 45 (November 2014): 35-51.

    “The Sense of the Tragic in C. L. R. James,” Introduction to C. L. R. James, Preface to Criticism, Robert Hill ed. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017, forthcoming).    

    Stuart Hall’s Voice: Intimations of An Ethics of Receptive Generosity (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017, forthcoming).