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Signifying Without Specifying

Author: Stephanie Li
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813552109
Size: 20.45 MB
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On the campaign trail, Barack Obama faced a difficult task—rallying African American voters while resisting his opponents’ attempts to frame him as “too black” to govern the nation as a whole. Obama’s solution was to employ what Toni Morrison calls “race-specific, race-free language,” avoiding open discussions of racial issues while using terms and references that carried a specific cultural resonance for African American voters. Stephanie Li argues that American politicians and writers are using a new kind of language to speak about race. Challenging the notion that we have moved into a “post-racial” era, she suggests that we are in an uneasy moment where American public discourse demands that race be seen, but not heard. Analyzing contemporary political speech with nuanced readings of works by such authors as Toni Morrison, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Colson Whitehead, Li investigates how Americans of color have negotiated these tensions, inventing new ways to signal racial affiliations without violating taboos against open discussions of race.

Double Consciousness And The Rhetoric Of Barack Obama

Author: Robert E. Terrill
Publisher: Univ of South Carolina Press
ISBN: 1611175321
Size: 30.82 MB
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Robert E. Terrill argues that, in order to invent a robust manner of addressing one another as citizens, Americans must learn to draw on the delicate indignities of racial exclusion that have stained citizenship since its inception. In Double-Consciousness and the Rhetoric of Barack Obama, Terrill demonstrates how President Barack Obama’s public address models such a discourse. Terrill contends that Obama’s most effective oratory invites his audiences to experience a form of “double-consciousness,” which was famously described by W. E. B. Du Bois as a feeling of “two-ness” resulting from the African American experience of “always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others.” It is described as an effect of cruel alienation that can also bring a gift of “second-sight” in the form of perspectives on practices of citizenship not available to those in positions of privilege. When addressing fellow citizens, Obama is asking each to share in the “peculiar sensation” that Du Bois described. The racial history of U.S. citizenship is a resource for inventing contemporary ways of speaking about race. Joining with other work that suggests that double-consciousness may be a vital democratic attitude, Terrill extends those insights to consider it as a mode of address. Through close analyses of selected speeches from Obama’s 2008 campaign and first presidential term, this book argues that Obama does not present double-consciousness merely as a point of view but rather as an idiom with which we might speak to one another. Of course, as Du Bois’s work reminds us, double-consciousness results from imposition and encumbrance, so that Obama’s oratory presents a mode of address that emphasizes the burdens of citizenship together with the benefits, the price as well as the promise.

Speculative Imperialisms

Author: Susana Loza
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 1498507972
Size: 72.69 MB
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This book explores the resurgence of racial masquerade in Western popular media. Through a close examination of science fiction, horror, and fantasy texts and films, it contemplates the fundamental, albeit changing, role that ethnic simulation plays in American and British cultures in a putatively postracial and postcolonial era.

Shakespeare And Youtube

Author: Stephen O'Neill
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1441153985
Size: 73.52 MB
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The video-sharing platform YouTube signals exciting opportunities and challenges for Shakespeare studies. As patron, distributor and archive, YouTube occasions new forms of user-generated Shakespeares, yet a reduced Bard too, subject to the distractions of the contemporary networked mediascape. This book identifies the genres of YouTube Shakespeare, interpreting them through theories of remediation and media convergence and as indices of Shakespeare's shifting cultural meanings. Exploring the intersection of YouTube's participatory culture Â? its invitation to 'Broadcast Yourself' Â? with its corporate logic, the book argues that YouTube Shakespeare is a site of productive tension between new forms of self-expression and the homogenizing effects of mass culture. Stephen O'Neill unfolds the range of YouTube's Bardic productions to elaborate on their potential as teaching and learning resources. The book importantly argues for a critical media literacy, one that attends to identity constructions and to the politics of race and gender as they emerge through Shakespeare's new media forms. Shakespeare and YouTube will be of interest to students and scholars of Shakespearean drama, poetry and adaptations, as well as to new media studies.

The Post Racial Mystique

Author: Catherine R. Squires
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814762891
Size: 29.39 MB
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Despite claims from pundits and politicians that we now live in a post-racial America, people seem to keep finding ways to talk about race—from celebrations of the inauguration of the first Black president to resurgent debates about police profiling, race and racism remain salient features of our world. When faced with fervent anti-immigration sentiments, record incarceration rates of Blacks and Latinos, and deepening socio-economic disparities, a new question has erupted in the last decade: What does being post-racial mean? The Post-Racial Mystique explores how a variety of media—the news, network television, and online, independent media—debate, define and deploy the term “post-racial” in their representations of American politics and society. Using examples from both mainstream and niche media—from prime-time television series to specialty Christian media and audience interactions on social media—Catherine Squires draws upon a variety of disciplines including communication studies, sociology, political science, and cultural studies in order to understand emergent strategies for framing post-racial America. She reveals the ways in which media texts cast U.S. history, re-imagine interpersonal relationships, employ statistics, and inventively redeploy other identity categories in a quest to formulate different ways of responding to race.

The New Jim Crow

Author: Michelle Alexander
Publisher: Antje Kunstmann
ISBN: 3956141598
Size: 21.29 MB
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Die Wahl von Barack Obama im November 2008 markierte einen historischen Wendepunkt in den USA: Der erste schwarze Präsident schien für eine postrassistische Gesellschaft und den Triumph der Bürgerrechtsbewegung zu stehen. Doch die Realität in den USA ist eine andere. Obwohl die Rassentrennung, die in den sogenannten Jim-Crow-Gesetzen festgeschrieben war, im Zuge der Bürgerrechtsbewegung abgeschafft wurde, sitzt heute ein unfassbar hoher Anteil der schwarzen Bevölkerung im Gefängnis oder ist lebenslang als kriminell gebrandmarkt. Ein Status, der die Leute zu Bürgern zweiter Klasse macht, indem er sie ihrer grundsätzlichsten Rechte beraubt – ganz ähnlich den explizit rassistischen Diskriminierungen der Jim-Crow-Ära. In ihrem Buch, das in Amerika eine breite Debatte ausgelöst hat, argumentiert Michelle Alexander, dass die USA ihr rassistisches System nach der Bürgerrechtsbewegung nicht abgeschafft, sondern lediglich umgestaltet haben. Da unter dem perfiden Deckmantel des »War on Drugs« überproportional junge männliche Schwarze und ihre Communities kriminalisiert werden, funktioniert das drakonische Strafjustizsystem der USA heute wie das System rassistischer Kontrolle von gestern: ein neues Jim Crow.

Playing In The White

Author: Stephanie Li
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199398887
Size: 48.16 MB
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The postwar period witnessed an outpouring of white life novels--that is, texts by African American writers focused almost exclusively on white characters. Almost every major mid-twentieth century black writer, including Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Ann Petry and James Baldwin, published one of these anomalous texts. Controversial since their publication in the 1940s and 50s, these novels have since fallen into obscurity given the challenges they pose to traditional conceptions of the African American literary canon. Playing in the White: Black Writers, White Subjects aims to bring these neglected novels back into conversations about the nature of African American literature and the unique expectations imposed upon black texts. In a series of nuanced readings, Li demonstrates how postwar black novelists were at the forefront of what is now commonly understood as whiteness studies. Novels like Hurston's Seraph on the Suwanee and Wright's Savage Holiday, once read as abdications of the political imperative of African American literature, are revisited with an awareness of how whiteness signifies in multivalent ways that critique America's abiding racial hierarchies. These novels explore how this particular racial construction is freighted with social power and narrative meaning. Whiteness repeatedly figures in these texts as a set of expectations that are nearly impossible to fulfill. By describing characters who continually fail at whiteness, white life novels ask readers to reassess what race means for all Americans. Along with its close analysis of key white life novels, Playing in the White: Black Writers, White Subjects also provides important historical context to understand how these texts represented the hopes and anxieties of a newly integrated nation.

Pan African American Literature

Author: Stephanie Li
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813592798
Size: 19.16 MB
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The twenty-first century is witnessing a dynamic broadening of how blackness signifies both in the U.S. and abroad. Literary writers of the new African diaspora are at the forefront of exploring these exciting approaches to what black subjectivity means. Pan-African American Literature is dedicated to charting the contours of literature by African born or identified authors centered around life in the United States. The texts examined here deliberately signify on the African American literary canon to encompass new experiences of immigration, assimilation and identification that challenge how blackness has been previously conceived. Though race often alienates and frustrates immigrants who are accustomed to living in all-black environments, Stephanie Li holds that it can also be a powerful form of community and political mobilization.

Kritik Der Schwarzen Vernunft

Author: Achille Mbembe
Publisher: Suhrkamp Verlag
ISBN: 3518738488
Size: 70.50 MB
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Der globale Kapitalismus hat seit seiner Entstehung immer schon nicht nur Waren, sondern auch »Rassen« und »Spezies« produziert. Ihm liegt ein rassistisches Denken, eine »schwarze Vernunft« zugrunde, wie der große afrikanische Philosoph und Vordenker des Postkolonialismus Achille Mbembe in seinem brillanten und mitreißenden neuen Buch zeigt. In kraftvollen Linien zeichnet Mbembe die Genese unserer Gegenwart nach, indem er darstellt, wie sich der globale Kapitalismus seit dem Beginn der Neuzeit aus dem transatlantischen Sklavenhandel entwickelt hat. In dieser Zeit steigt Europa zum Zentrum der Welt auf und kreiert die Figur des »Negers«, des »Menschen-Materials«, der »Menschen-Ware«, die über den »schwarzen Atlantik« gehandelt wird. Mit dem Abolitionismus, der Revolution in Haiti, dem Antikolonialismus oder der amerikanischen Bürgerrechtsbewegung kommt zwar seit der Aufklärung eine erste globale Welle der Kritik an der Sklaverei und der »schwarzen Vernunft« des Kapitalismus auf. Dieser breitet sich jedoch in seiner neoliberalen Spielart unaufhaltsam weiter aus und überträgt die Figur des »Negers« nun auf die gesamte »subalterne Menschheit«. In diesem Prozess des »Schwarzwerdens der Welt«, so die radikale Kritik Mbembes, bilden auch Europa und seine Bürger mittlerweile nur noch eine weitere Provinz im weltumspannenden Imperium des neoliberalen Kapitalismus.

Ein Amerikanischer Traum

Author: Barack Obama
Publisher: Carl Hanser Verlag GmbH Co KG
ISBN: 3446233679
Size: 64.31 MB
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Seit Barack Obama für das Amt des US-Präsidenten kandidiert hat, begeistert er die Menschen: Er verkörpert die weltweite Sehnsucht nach einer Politik des Friedens und der Menschlichkeit. Aufgewachsen unter ärmlichen Verhältnissen in Hawaii und Indonesien, musste Barack nach seiner Rückkehr in die USA erleben, wie er wegen seiner Hautfarbe diskriminiert wurde. Dies weckte seinen Ehrgeiz, der ihm zunächst eine glänzende juristische Laufbahn eröffnete und dann seinen furiosen Aufstieg als Politiker der Demokraten begründete. Wer nun seine Familiengeschichte liest, spürt, dass in ihm auch ein begnadeter Erzähler steckt.