The Bounds of Race

Dominick LaCapra, Other Cornell University Press $55 (350p) ISBN 978-0-8014-2553-0
This volume focuses much of its attention on how issues of race and language intersect, as people of color attempt to find a grammar of resistance to oppression. In the most pointed essay, Henry Louis Gates Jr. draws on his experience as an editor of the Norton Anthology of Afro-American Literature to talk about canon formation, arguing that an African American canon must embrace an oral vernacular tradition. Nancy Leys Stepan and Sander L. Gilman trace the writings of black and Jewish scientists at the turn of the century, as they formulated an opposition to scientific racism that would succeed in the terms of discourse posited by scientific writing. Samia Mehrez presents Moroccan Abdelkebir Khatibi's ``radical bilingualism'' as a response to the dilemma of postcolonial literature, allowing a writer to reach the former colonizer while retaining his or her own linguistic identity. The most striking contribution to the collection is Michael Goldfield's essay suggesting that the race question has led to the failure of the U.S. to produce a viable vehicle for working-class political struggle. LaCapra is the author of Soundings in Critical Theory. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 362 pages - 978-0-8014-9789-6
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