The Bounds of Race: Perspectives on Hegemony and Resistance

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9780801497896: The Bounds of Race: Perspectives on Hegemony and Resistance

The concept of race is central to one of the most powerful ideological formations in history, Dominick LaCapra argues in his introduction to this volume, and understanding the effects of that ideology and its intricate relations with issues of class and gender is one of the most pressing challenges to contemporary modes of thought. The eleven essays comprising The Bounds of Race confront this challenge with insight, rigor, and imagination.

The authors take on questions of language, genre, and politics with reference to African-American, Anglo-American, African, South African, Francophone North African, British, and Afro-Hispanic texts. Individual chapters discuss writings from an array of genres including homily, autobiography, the novel, children's literature, and political and scientific discourse. Taken together, the essays argue persuasively that the existing canon must be expanded, that the protocols of interpretation must be transformed to make a prominent place for such issues as race, and that the problem of interpretation cannot be posed in the absence of theoretically informed modes of historical investigation.

The Bounds of Race provides a subtle analysis of the variable role of racial ideologies and traces the interplay between hegemonic constraints and the strategies of resistance to them.

Contributors: Kwame Anthony Appiah, Stephen Clingman, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Sander L. Gilman, Michael Goldfield, Dominick LaCapra, Françoise Lionnet, Anne McClintock, Samia Mehrez, Satya P. Mohanty, José Piedra, Hortense J. Spillers, and Nancy Leys Stepan.

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About the Author:

Dominick LaCapra is Professor Emeritus of History atCornell University. He is the author of many books, includingHistory, Literature, Critical Theory;History and Its Limits: Human, Animal, Violence; andHistory in Transit: Experience, Identity, Critical Theory, all from Cornell.

From Publishers Weekly:

This volume focuses much of its attention on how issues of race and language intersect, as people of color attempt to find a grammar of resistance to oppression. In the most pointed essay, Henry Louis Gates Jr. draws on his experience as an editor of the Norton Anthology of Afro-American Literature to talk about canon formation, arguing that an African American canon must embrace an oral vernacular tradition. Nancy Leys Stepan and Sander L. Gilman trace the writings of black and Jewish scientists at the turn of the century, as they formulated an opposition to scientific racism that would succeed in the terms of discourse posited by scientific writing. Samia Mehrez presents Moroccan Abdelkebir Khatibi's "radical bilingualism" as a response to the dilemma of postcolonial literature, allowing a writer to reach the former colonizer while retaining his or her own linguistic identity. The most striking contribution to the collection is Michael Goldfield's essay suggesting that the race question has led to the failure of the U.S. to produce a viable vehicle for working-class political struggle. LaCapra is the author of Soundings in Critical Theory.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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