Critiquing Postmodernism in Contemporary Discourses of Race by Sue J. Kim

By Sue J. Kim

Critiquing Postmodernism in modern Discourses of Race demanding situations the severe emphasis on otherness in remedies of race in literary and cultural reports. Sue J. Kim deftly argues that this remedy not just perpetuates slender identification politics, yet obscures the political and fiscal constructions that form problems with race in literary experiences. Kim’s revelatory e-book exhibits how studying authors via their identification finally ends up neglecting both complicated old contexts and aesthetic kinds. This comparative learn demands a reconsideration of the bases for serious engagement and a interpreting ethics that melds the easiest of historicist and formalist techniques to literature.

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Although some fields of cultural criticism have been partially decolonized, great disparities still Ideological Fantasy ● 33 exist within and between fields. For example, E. San Juan has pointed out that postcolonial/Third World theories that receive institutional recognition are those that draw from poststructuralism, while more specific, sociological, or factual studies are seen as simplistic and/or not intellectually rigorous. Such disparities between, on one hand, EuroAmerican, nonminority theory and, on the other hand, ethnic and postcolonial studies are even more evident on the ground at individual institutions, particularly community and junior colleges, where the “decolonization” of the university is extremely uneven.

As such, although race is only one factor among many possible articulations and multivalent determinations, the history of the United States testifies to the centrality of “race” as a privileged signifier, which is both “discursive” in the usual sense of cultural representation as well as in the articulation of structures of power that constitute our reality. In articulating racial formations in this way, Omi and Winant seek the middle ground between determinism and naive notions of “free will” that do not sufficiently consider structures of power.

Laclau and Mouffe emerge from the same European philosophical tradition and poststructuralism that also produced, despite internal variations and differences, Lacan, Derrida, and Foucault. All of these thinkers, despite situating themselves nominally within the West, produce theories of knowledge, power, language, and subjectivity that are presumably universally applicable. S. ethnic studies, which tends to be scrupulously conscientious about context and history. Put very bluntly, minority is perceived as minority (although “nonwhite” constitutes the vast majority of the world’s population), while white is universal.

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