portrait Barber

Daniel Colucciello Barber

Affiliated 16-17 (Term I-II), 15-16 (Term I), 14-15, Fellow 12-14

Religious Studies / Cultural Studies / Philosophy


Daniel Colucciello Barber is the author of Deleuze and the Naming of God: Post-Secularism and the Future of Immanence (Edinburgh UP, 2014) and On Diaspora: Christianity, Religion, and Secularity (Cascade, 2011). He is currently working on Against Conversion, a project that will consist of two volumes (Conversion Remains and Literality, Vertigo, and Remediation). Presently a Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter in the Institut für Kulturwissenschaft at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, he was previously a Research Fellow at the ICI Berlin and has taught at New York University, Marymount Manhattan College, and The City University of New York. He received his PhD from Duke University, where he worked in Religious Studies and the Program in Literature. His research—which has appeared in various journals—concerns the nexus between religion, race, media, continental philosophy, queer theory, and secularism.

Literality, Vertigo, and Remediation

This project—which continues the research I pursued under the theme Conversion Remains—consists of a series of studies organized around the concepts of literality and vertigo. I contend that these concepts articulate modalities of reality that are incommensurable with the logic of conversion. The text is specifically concerned with the ways in which such incommensurability problematizes and/or is foreclosed by conversion’s power of remediation. My interest is to articulate a refusal of remediation—drawing, for instance, on Bersani, Deleuze, Hartman, Laruelle, Sexton, Sharpe, and Wilderson—and to do so according to the “non.” This non is essential without being universal: it is not that which connects, brings together, or mediates all beings; it is that which is denied through the promise of such mediation.

ICI Project (2012-14)

Conversion Remains: Genealogy, Contemporaneity, Intermattering

When we think of conversion, we think of a past marked by Christianity and colonization. Less frequently addressed is the way that conversion remains—no longer as explicit Christian colonialism, but more precisely as a logic. This project examines the afterlife of the logic of conversion, one that plays itself out at various sites: the affective, embodied registers of gender and race, the demand set forth by new media for interactive flexibility, and the tendency to see our existence as secular rather than religious. I seek to unveil the disseminated modalities in which the logic of conversion remains, and to pose against them a logic of intermattering: one that articulates how co-existing descriptions of the material universe immanently and endlessly undermine, relay, or superpose each other. I do so by drawing on the concept of diaspora, the insights of queer theory, the quantum physics-based philosophy of François Laruelle, and the religio-racial politics of Malcolm X.

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