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Raphaëlle Rabanes, Enduring and the Horizon of Repair in Guadeloupe
WhenFriday, Mar. 6, 2020, 10 – 11:20 a.m.
Campus locationDenny Hall (DEN)
Campus room313
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsDepartment of Anthropology
Target AudienceStudents & faculty

What can Guadeloupe, a French Caribbean archipelago and former colony still weighted down by colonial hierarchies and racial inequities, teach us about the intersection of health, race, and structural racism? Through the concepts of enduring and repair, this presentation engages with the limits placed on Guadeloupean life and explores the strategies of Afro-descendant Guadeloupeans to affirm life. Drawing on 20 months of fieldwork, Raphaëlle Rabanes brings together the experience of an elderly black woman in neurological readaptation, challenges faced by memorial activists, and a tribute to enslaved ancestors by a carnival group. In each realm she views individual and collective struggles with the horizon of life as manifestations of enduring, a persistence in living despite chronic conditions of disrepair and inequity. She frames enduring as one of several movements enacted to respond to the afterlives of slavery in order to bring about repair, to challenge the conditions of life historically assigned by colonial enslavement, and to define life in renewed terms despite structural limitations. Repair, while impossible, is always already underway.

Raphaëlle Rabanes is a Ph.D. Candidate in Medical Anthropology in the joint program at UC-Berkeley and UC-San Francisco. Her research—Postcolonial Repair: Memory, Embodiment, and Therapeutics in the French Caribbean—explores how residents of Guadeloupe address health and racial inequalities in the long aftermath of slavery and colonialism, based on fieldwork in a neurological rehabilitation center, as well as with dancers and memorial activists. Her work brings together health care, performance, and activism to examine community-centered movements of repair through which Guadeloupeans address structural inequities. Before turning to anthropology, Raphaëlle trained in clinical psychology and psychoanalytic research at the University of Paris Diderot and practiced as a clinical psychologist in France. Her research has been published in Sygne Revue de Psychanalyse and Somatosphere.

Those interested in arranging a meeting with Raphaëlle Rabanes during her visit on March 5-6 are asked to contact Michael Caputi at

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