Blackness and Value: Seeing Double by Lindon Barrett

By Lindon Barrett

Blackness and cost investigates the foundations during which "value" operates, and asks whether it is precious to visualize that the innovations of racial blackness and whiteness within the usa function when it comes to those rules. trying out those suggestions through exploring a number of theoretical techniques and their shortcomings, Lindon Barrett unearths that the gulf among "the highway" (where race is stated as a strong enigma) and the literary academy (where until eventually lately it has no longer been) could be understood as a symptom of racial violence. whereas more often than not methods to race and price are tested traditionally or sociologically, this fascinating research offers a brand new serious procedure that speaks to theorists of race in addition to gender and queer reports.

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In fact, insofar as there is any such investment, it is not in the concerted juxtaposition of expressive textual phenomena with a local historical fabric but, rather, in the attentiveness of cultural studies to the exigencies of power and powerlessness and their sublte, pervasive insinuations. It is important to note further that, in addition to a close engagement with the work of Barbara Herrnstein Smith and other poststructuralist discourses, this study grows out of a long-standing admiration for the fiction and narrative vision of Ann Petry.

To recognize value fully one must, at least, see double. The promiscuous relations of value underscored by Holiday's actions and recollections are theorized in different discursive and disciplinary frames by Mary Douglas in Purity and Danger and Peter Stallybrass and Allon White in The Politics and Poetics of Transgression. Fetishized boundaries, all of them suggest, are sites not only of separation but also of influential yet often surreptitious traffic and exchange. As inexorable sites of arbitration, these boundaries are, once examined from certain vantages, also inexorable sites of violence.

Landscape whether within or without the academy. African Americans are those designated and understood as without a fetishized boundary as polluted or unclean, the objects of restriction and "pollution behaviour," in the terms of Mary Douglas's analysis; the low-Other, in the terms of Stallybrass and White; that which is not valued, in terms of mv discussion. S. S. " Vividly making this point, Billie Holiday, in the second chapter of her autobiography, "Ghosts of Yesterday," briefly rehearses her experience as a maid.

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