Online Book Discussion | WORRIER STATE | Risk, anxiety and moral panic in South Africa by Nicky Falkof | 21 Sept | 6pm

Wednesday, 21 September, 2022 - 18:00

WiSER invites you to an online book discussion WORRIER STATE Risk, anxiety and moral panic in South Africa  

by Nicky Falkof

Worrier State: Risk, anxiety and moral panic in South Africa (Manchester University Press/Wits University Press) is concerned with powerful social phenomena that recur under late capitalism, what Zygmunt Bauman called ‘cultures of fear’. These collective states of persistent negative emotion rest on a shared sense that we are not safe, that something out there, often projected onto a disavowed other, threatens us in existential ways. Much of the scholarly writing on cultures of fear focuses on the wealthy nations of the global north. The South, and Africa in particular, is still routinely dismissed, despite protestations to the contrary, as the source of the fears that plague northern citizens. These astonishingly colonial representations persist, in both liberal and authoritarian contexts. In the case of South Africa, what happens if we think about cultures of fear within rather than about this country? How does the contemporary explosion of moral panics, urban legends and other paranoid narratives manifest here, and how does fear intersect with economic precarity, inequality, violence and the ongoing consequences of racial capitalism? Worrier State approaches these and other questions which this session will discuss and debate.

Nicky Falkof will be in conversation with Grace Musila (African Literature, Wits) and Samantha Pinto (English, University of Texas at Austin).

Chair: Simon van Schalkwyk (WiSER/English, Wits)

Nicky Falkof is Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Wednesday, 21 September 20226pm (Johannesburg time)