signifying without specifying racial discourse in the age of obama

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Signifying Without Specifying

Author : Stephanie Li
ISBN : 9780813552101
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 47. 50 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
ISBN : 9781611175325
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 60. 15 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.

America In The Round

Author : Donatella Galella
ISBN : 9781609386252
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 73. 48 MB
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More than a chronicle, America in the Round is a critical history that reveals how far Washington D.C.'s Arena Stage could go with its budget and racially liberal politics, and how Arena both disputed and duplicated systems of power. With an innovative "in the round" approach, the narrative simulates sitting in different parts of the arena space to see the theatre through different lenses--economics, racial dynamics, and American identity.

Shakespeare And Youtube

Author : Stephen O'Neill
ISBN : 9781441153982
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 74. 64 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 – its invitation to 'Broadcast Yourself' – 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.

Speculative Imperialisms

Author : Susana Loza
ISBN : 9781498507974
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 43. 64 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.

Playing In The White

Author : Stephanie Li
ISBN : 9780199398881
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 63. 28 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
ISBN : 9780813592794
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 41. 47 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.

The Western Journal Of Black Studies

Author :
ISBN : MINN:31951P01109011E
Genre : African Americans
File Size : 84. 49 MB
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Articulate While Black

Author : H. Samy Alim
ISBN : 9780199985982
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 30. 1 MB
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Barack Obama is widely considered one of the most powerful and charismatic speakers of our age. Without missing a beat, he often moves between Washington insider talk and culturally Black ways of speaking--as shown in a famous YouTube clip, where Obama declined the change offered to him by a Black cashier in a Washington, D.C. restaurant with the phrase, "Nah, we straight." In Articulate While Black, two renowned scholars of Black Language address language and racial politics in the U.S. through an insightful examination of President Barack Obama's language use--and America's response to it. In this eloquently written and powerfully argued book, H. Samy Alim and Geneva Smitherman provide new insights about President Obama and the relationship between language and race in contemporary society. Throughout, they analyze several racially loaded, cultural-linguistic controversies involving the President--from his use of Black Language and his "articulateness" to his "Race Speech," the so-called "fist-bump," and his relationship to Hip Hop Culture. Using their analysis of Barack Obama as a point of departure, Alim and Smitherman reveal how major debates about language, race, and educational inequality erupt into moments of racial crisis in America. In challenging American ideas about language, race, education, and power, they help take the national dialogue on race to the next level. In much the same way that Cornel West revealed nearly two decades ago that "race matters," Alim and Smitherman in this groundbreaking book show how deeply "language matters" to the national conversation on race--and in our daily lives.

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ISBN : STANFORD:36105121672419
Genre : Journalism
File Size : 21. 62 MB
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