David Scott asserts that his work, especially since Refashioning Futures: Criticism after Postcoloniality (1999) and Conscripts of Modernity: The Tragedy of Colonial Enlightenment (2004), has been concerned with the reconceptualization of the way scholars think the story of the colonial past for the postcolonial present. This has involved a variety of kinds of inquiry (taking the Caribbean as his principal “field” of engagement), into tradition and generations, friendship and dialogue, self-determination and sovereignty, tragedy and temporality, and transitional justice and liberalism. Omens of Adversity: Tragedy, Time, Memory, Justice (2014) and Stuart Hall’s Voice: Intimations of an Ethics of Receptive Generosity (2017) are varying instantiations of these preoccupations. Scott is currently working on a biography of Stuart Hall, as well as a study of slavery, evil, and repair. He continues to edit Small Axe, and direct the Small Axe Project, which is involved in a number of special initiatives around visual, translation, literary, and historiographical issues.
(Revised from David Scott’s faculty biography for Columbia University)