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Black and Ashamed: Deconstructing Race in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Communication, Culture & Diversity @ JU (CCD@JU).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3264-9173
2018 (English)In: Shame and Modern Writing / [ed] Barry Sheils & Julie Walsh, New York: Routledge, 2018, p. 112-132Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper will consider the significance of racial shame for the constitution of the black subject and determine its implications for our reading of invisibility in Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man. I will argue that the primary expression of black American experience and its determination within the narrow orbit of white narrative is the affective experience of shame. Implicated in the racialized metaphysics of power relations that dominates Ellison’s world, shame both foments the violence of internalized oppression and the violence of self-valorizing racial orthodoxy in black nationalisms. Departing from Foucault’s notion of subjectivization whereby agency is determined by the individualizing strategies of power, the paper, however, plots a different narrative of invisibility in Ellison’s novel that harbors emancipatory possibilities. The totalizing regimes of identification that articulate and structure our social existence will be shown to be effectively undermined by Ellison’s intervention in the racial imaginary, testifying to his ability to look beyond the blockages of his present and anticipate alternate forms of subjectivity that are yet to be realized in the constituencies of our history.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Routledge, 2018. p. 112-132
Series
Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature
Keywords [en]
Critical race theory, Affect theory, race, shame, Deconstruction, différance, Foucalut, Agamben, Fanon, Du Bois
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-37486DOI: 10.4324/9781315158754Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85049164452ISBN: 978-1-138-06727-1 (print)ISBN: 978-1-315-15875-4 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-37486DiVA, id: diva2:1145955
Available from: 2017-10-01 Created: 2017-10-01 Last updated: 2018-08-27Bibliographically approved

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Filipovic, Zlatan

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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