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*CURRICULUM* 2020 #1

With Eu Jin Chua and Elle Loui.


Wednesday 1 July, 6pm:

Reading Group of excerpts from Eu Jin's chosen text Universal Emancipation: The Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment by Nick Nesbitt.

Saturday 4 July, 1pm:

Conversation with Eu Jin Chua and Elle Loui. 

Saturday 11 July, 1pm:

Reading Group of Supplementary Texts.

Wednesday 15 July, 6pm to 8pm:

Reading Group of excerpts from Elle Loui's chosen text The Question Concerning Technology in China: An Essay in Cosmotechnics by Yuk Hui.

Saturday 18 July, 11am to 4pm:

Conversation with Elle Loui and Eu Jin Chua.


Eu Jin Chua currently teaches part-time at AUT and the University of Auckland. He has published on film theory and on contemporary art in Screening the Past, Postmodern Culture, and in various book volumes and exhibition catalogues. He is trying to continue at least some scholarly pursuits in the midst of various disruptions, and is grateful to Samoa House Library for the invitation to do so at this venue.

Elle Loui August is an independent writer, researcher and exhibition-maker based in Tāmaki Makaurau. She facilitates workshops and artist discussions on a range of subjects, volunteers time as a mentor and advocate for a wide range of artists and practices and is a contextual supervisor on the Masters of Fine Art programme at Whitecliffe College of Art and Design. She is currently working on a book and a couple of exhibitions from her studio in Te Rimu Tahi, Ponsonby.



Universal Emancipation: The Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment by Nick Nesbitt. Pages 1 to 6, and 20 to 26.

The Question Concerning Technology in China: An Essay in Cosmotechnics by Yuk Hui. Pages 1 to 57.

Contact for copies of each reading.


The Bittersweet Victory at Saint-Domingue by Edward E. Baptist

Cybernetics for the Twenty-First Century: An Interview with Philosopher Yuk Hui by Geert Lovink

One Hundred Years of Crisis by Yuk Hui


"The Haitian Revolution of 1791 to 1804 is now often recognized as the first major event in the history of modern decolonization. It is the only successful slave rebellion in history that led to the founding of an emancipated state ruled by the previously enslaved. “Two of the processes that came to distinguish the twentieth century,” says Nick Nesbitt, “were invented in Haiti: decolonization and neocolonialism” (“Idea of 1804”).  In the course of discussions with Samoa House Library, I somehow came to suggest excerpts from Nesbitt’s book on the subject, Universal Emancipation: The Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment, as a *curriculum* reading, despite not being an expert by any means on the Haitian Revolution. We can approach this topic from any number of angles. It can obviously be a way to continue discussions about decolonization from previous iterations of *curriculum* (the Maori Kīngitanga movement in the nineteenth century drew inspiration from Haiti). My own entry point was the intellectual history aspects: the Haitian revolutionaries explicitly cited ideas about human freedom that they took from radical European Enlightenment philosophy of the time, and this is the main angle of Nesbitt’s book. (The Haitian Revolution could be seen as taking European Enlightenment thought to natural conclusions that many European thinkers of the time disavowed or refused to entertain. We can also talk about whether the scholarly reframing of an act of decolonization in terms of European intellectual history is justifiable.) Some people may just want to engage with the historical facts; the Haitian Revolution is enormously and majestically fascinating in itself." - Eu Jin Chua

"This text is somewhat technical and certainly richly detailed, yet the writing is clear and paced in such a way that–with some effort–the authors complex argument is accessible. I have proposed this text based on the authors key concept of Cosmotechnics, a proposition for thinking through a form of technological pluralism that would be culturally and geographically responsive. The author writes:


‘The misconception that technics can be considered some kind of universal remains a huge obstacle to understanding the global technological condition in general, and in particular the challenge it poses to non-European cultures. Without an understanding of this question, we will all remain at a loss, overwhelmed by the homogenous becoming of modern technology.’pg12


My intention with this *curriculum* session is that we each approach the text with a light, open mind, and use the shared reading and discussion workshops to isolate some of the key ideas and arguments of the author. From there, I hope we can have an open discussion about the implications of these ideas as they might apply to different aspects of our lives, our communities of practice and our work." - Elle Loui



*curriculum* 2020 is generously supported by Creative New Zealand.





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