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Keywords:

  • actualization and virtualization;
  • exchange;
  • liquidation and liquefaction;
  • newness;
  • survival

ABSTRACT. Drawing on the work of the theoretical biologist Humberto Maturana, I offer in this essay a way of conceptualizing the forms of identity that survive the various death pronouncements of our postidentitarian moment. I associate the work of imagining those strange new forms of identity with what Frederic Jameson calls “cognitive mapping,” arguing that these “afteridentities” can emerge from a “hydrographic” charting of the fluid cultural territories of the modern and the postmodern. In conclusion, I indicate how this approach may be of use in contemporary attempts to “map” the diasporic territories of the Black Atlantic.