Reading Session


“The Anarchy of Colored Girls Assembled in a Riotous Manner”

Saidiya Hartman:

Do 20. Feb. 2020 | 18:00 – 22:00


“The method is critical fabulation.” (Saidiya Hartman)

In December we discussed Sylvia Winter’s “1492: A New World View” and the impact the conquest of the Americas had on the foundations of the world. 1492 changed the political order as much as the ontological and epistemology order, it impacted on spiritual and religious practices and the position “man” had in all these systems.

In the upcoming session we want to follow up on this discussion and address colonialism’s and colonial politics’ impact on method. How are the methods we are working with part of the ongoing colonial structures that saturate our thinking and acting? By following Saidiya Hartman’s proposition for a “critical speculation” we want to ask how methods can be set to work in a decolonial manner? How can one counter-investigate the past? How does the method of fabulation challenge the dominant discourse and its claim to the only facticity possible?

Since its beginning, Public Research is interested in challenging the separation of academic and artistic practices. Hartman’s text crosses these realms elegantly and interweaves them in an important and rigorous manner. It shows the political necessity implied in such an endeavor and offers us to embark on the journey of research called fabulation.

Together we will read and discuss Saidiya Hartman’s “The Anarchy of Colored Girls Assembled in a Riotous Manner”

Please try to read the text before our meeting. If you are not able to do so time-wise you can of course join us nevertheless. Sessions are held in English but other languages are welcome. Translation is our common duty.

You have no access to the text? Do not hesitate to send a mail to

It is our pleasure to share our copy with you (25 pages) .

For legal reasons we cannot put the text online.



Devised by: Dirk CieslakGerko EgertStefan Hölscher, and Netta Weiser.

Public Research is part of the program gesellschaften in the new and beautiful House of Commons, designed by Olf Kreisel at Vierte Welt.

With support of Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa, Berlin.

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