June 11, 2018 – Asad Haider: “Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump”

A flyer showing Haider's book and text is shown

From advanced reviews of Mistaken Identity:

Asad Haider renews the critique of identity politics for the contemporary Left. Drawing on the work of British cultural studies, black feminism, and theories of the subject (and subjection), Haider writes in an open and persuasive prose to show how identity is always partial and ambivalent, deflecting from the larger racial ideologies while reproducing its terms. This is a fresh and timely book, thoughtful and provocative.”

– Judith Butler, author of Gender Trouble and Frames of War

“Reviving what has become a deeply unfashionable anti-racist standpoint, Asad Haider indicts the complicity of “identity politics” from the left. For him, the dissident mentalities and meticulous historical methods of open-ended, ecumenical commitment to radical social transformation are still valid. This spiky little book shows how opposition might be salvaged from an ocean of pessimism and despair.”

– Paul Gilroy, author of The Black Atlantic and There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack

Mistaken Identity will inspire some, piss off others, and compel all of us to reconsider how we fight back. A bold, fresh, and radical critique of so-called “identity politics,” this book deserves a wide reading—especially now, when liberal multiculturalism, the “renaturalization” of capitalism, and a resurgent bourgeois black nationalism draped in radical language forecloses the possibility of revolutionary solidarity. Asad Haider proclaims another universality is possible, and it’s probably not what you think.”

– Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

Asad Haider offers a devastating and constructive critique of what is commonly understood as “identity politics,” while still maintaining the centrality race, racism and racist oppression in capitalism.”

– Bill Fletcher, Jr., coauthor of Solidarity Divided and former president of TransAfrica Forum

“Pithy, smart and readable, Mistaken Identity is a wonderful book for our time. Notwithstanding his critique of identity, there is a compelling authenticity to Haider’s voice, making him someone one wants to think with about shaping a left vision today.”

– Wendy Brown, author of States of Injury and Undoing the Demos

“[Haider] constructs a comprehensive and critical dissection of identity politics in his hard-hitting debut … This book is an important contribution to discourses on American politics, race, and social movements.”

-Publishers Weekly


Commentary with be provided by: History Professor and Humanites Dean Tyler Stovall and History of Consciousness Professor Banu Bargu. Refreshments served. For a pdf of the book (114 pp. of text) please email mwuerth@ucsc.edu. Hope to see you there!

June 11, 2018 | 2:00-3:50 PM
Free and open to the public

Humanities 1, Room 210
University of California, Santa Cruz

Posted in Of Interest.