Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian Analysis of Race

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  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2000-08-11
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Desiring Whitenessprovides a compelling new interpretation of how we understand race. Race is often presumed to be a social construction and we continue to deploy race thinking in our everyday life as a way of telling people apart visually.Desiring Whitenessexplores this visual discrimination by asking questions in specifically psychoanalytic terms: how do subjects become raced? Is it common sense to read bodies as racially marked? Employing Lacan's theories of the subject and sexual difference, Seshadri-Crooks explores how the discourse of race parallels that of sexual difference in making racial identity a fundamental component of our thinking. Through close readings of literary and film texts, Seshadri-Crooks demonstrates that race is a system of differences organized around a privileged term: Whiteness. Contra "Whiteness Studies," she argues that Whiteness should not be understood as the bodily or material property of a particular group, but as a term that makes the logic of race thinkingpossible.

Author Biography

Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks is Assistant Professor of English at Boston College, Massachusetts

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii
Key to Lacan's works x
Introduction: on looking 1(10)
Deciphering Whiteness
The object of Whiteness
Whiteness and the elephant joke
Looking alike: or the ethics of Suture
What's in a name? Love and knowledge beyond identity in ``Recitatif''
Notes 161(7)
Bibliography 168(8)
Index 176

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