Critical Race Narratives: A Study of Race, Rhetoric and by Carl Gutierrez-Jones PDF

By Carl Gutierrez-Jones

ISBN-10: 0814731449

ISBN-13: 9780814731444

The beating of Rodney King, the killing of Amadou Diallo, and the LAPD Rampart Scandal: those occasions were interpreted through the courts, the media and the general public in dramatically conflicting methods. Critical Race Narratives examines what's at stake in those conflicts and, in so doing, rethinks racial strife within the usa as a highly-charged fight over diverse equipment of studying and writing.

Focusing particularly at the perform and theorization of narrative concepts, Gutiérrez-Jones engages a number of the so much influential texts within the contemporary race debatesincluding The Bell Curve, the USA in Black and White, The Alchemy of Race and Rights, and The Mismeasure of guy. within the technique, Critical Race Narratives pursues key questions posed via the texts as they paintings inside, or opposed to, disciplinary expectancies: can serious engagements with narrative let a extra democratic discussion relating to race? what promise does such experimentation carry for operating in the course of the anxious legacy of racism within the usa? all through, Critical Race Narratives initiates a well timed discussion among race-focused narrative scan in scholarly writing and related paintings in literary texts and well known culture.

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Additional resources for Critical Race Narratives: A Study of Race, Rhetoric and Injury

Sample text

His results, however, are fairly consistent with this camp. First, race and racism are assumed to constitute a pathology that is ultimately ancillary to the development of Western civilization and thought. In this sense, race and racism are, conceptually speaking, accidents of history that do not call on D’Souza to challenge at all terms like “civilization,” “barbarism,” or the “empirical” for the ways they may have been affected by race dynamics (or “ideologies”). Second, the key factor of racial injury is not the larger, more advanced 29 the contours of the contemp or ary r ace debate segment of society, but rather the black underclass which, according to D’Souza, chooses to partake in a social regression which ultimately injures the society as a whole.

By contrast, injury helps contextualize a larger rhetorical economy based on perpetrator/victim interplay. Obviously great caution is required as we move between study of the Holocaust and study of race dynamics in the United States. At the same time, there is much to be gained by comparing these critical projects as they wrestle with ethical dynamics that tend in these different contexts to be both impoverished and naturalized (or somehow trapped in a field of “common sense”). It is exactly this common-sense field of assumptions about injury which enables such distinct positions—reverse racism versus institutional racism—to be described in what seems to be a relatively consistent set of rhetorical gestures.

Some of the best work in the interdisciplinary enterprise of American studies is already moving along this path, one that promises to create a critical space for complicating the interpretive and ethical dimensions of how we approach racial injury. Like LaCapra’s effort regarding Holocaust representations, this will involve diversifying our attentions and nuancing our understandings of ethics-in-practice, a project that will benefit from a rethinking of the roles assigned to bystanders, collaborators, and resistors.

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Critical Race Narratives: A Study of Race, Rhetoric and Injury by Carl Gutierrez-Jones


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