Trauma and Race: A Lacanian Study of African American Racial Identity

Posted in Books, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Philosophy, Slavery, Social Science, United States on 2016-02-03 03:26Z by Steven

Trauma and Race: A Lacanian Study of African American Racial Identity

Baylor University Press
February 2016
190 pages
9in x 6in
Hardback ISBN: 9781602587342

Sheldon George, Professor of English
Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts

African American identity is racialized. And this racialized identity has animated and shaped political resistance to racism. Hidden, though, are the psychological implications of rooting identity in race, especially because American history is inseparable from the trauma of slavery.

In Trauma and Race author Sheldon George begins with the fact that African American racial identity is shaped by factors both historical and psychical. Employing the work of Jacques Lacan, George demonstrates how slavery is a psychic event repeated through the agencies of racism and inscribed in racial identity itself. The trauma of this past confronts the psychic lack that African American racial identity both conceals and traumatically unveils for the African American subject.

Trauma and Race investigates the vexed, ambivalent attachment of African Americans to their racial identity, exploring the ways in which such attachment is driven by traumatic, psychical urgencies that often compound or even exceed the political exigencies called forth by racism.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Race Today, or Alterity and Jouissance
  • 1. Race and Slavery: Theorizing Agencies beyond the Symbolic
  • 2. Conserving Race, Conserving Trauma: The Legacy of W. E. B. Du Bois
  • 3. Approaching the Thing of Slavery: Toni Morrison’s Beloved
  • 4. The Oedipal Complex and the Mythic Structure of Race: Ellison’s Juneteenth and Invisible Man
  • Conclusion: Beyond Race, or The Exaltation of Personality
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Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity

Posted in Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, Social Science on 2013-03-29 04:13Z by Steven

Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity

Baylor University Press
285 pages
9in x 6in
5 b/w images
Hardback ISBN: 9781602583122

Marcia Alesan Dawkins, Clinical Assistant Professor of Communications and Journalism
University of Southern California

Everybody passes. Not just racial minorities. As Marcia Dawkins explains, passing has been occurring for millennia, since intercultural and interracial contact began. And with this profound new study, she explores its old limits and new possibilities: from women passing as men and able-bodied persons passing as disabled to black classics professors passing as Jewish and white supremacists passing as white.

Clearly Invisible journeys to sometimes uncomfortable but unfailingly enlightening places as Dawkins retells the contemporary expressions and historical experiences of individuals called passers. Along the way these passers become people—people whose stories sound familiar but take subtle turns to reveal racial and other tensions lurking beneath the surface, people who ultimately expose as much about our culture and society as they conceal about themselves.

Both an updated take on the history of passing and a practical account of passing’s effects on the rhetoric of multiracial identities, Clearly Invisible traces passing’s legal, political, and literary manifestations, questioning whether passing can be a form of empowerment (even while implying secrecy) and suggesting that passing could be one of the first expressions of multiracial identity in the U.S. as it seeks its own social standing.

Certain to be hailed as a pioneering work in the study of race and culture, Clearly Invisible offers powerful testimony to the fact that individual identities are never fully self-determined—and that race is far more a matter of sociology than of biology.


  • Preface
  • Introduction: Passing as Passé?
  • 1. Passing as Persuasion
  • 2. Passing as Power
  • 3. Passing as Property
  • 4. Passing as Principle
  • 5. Passing as Pastime
  • 6. Passing as Paradox
  • Conclusion: Passing as Progress?
  • Appendix
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Redeeming Mulatto: A Theology of Race and Christian Hybridity

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion on 2013-03-29 03:32Z by Steven

Redeeming Mulatto: A Theology of Race and Christian Hybridity

Baylor University Press
260 pages
9in x 6in
Hardback ISBN: 9781602582934

Brian Bantum, Associate Professor of Theology
Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Washington

How mulatto identity challenges racial religiosity and existence

The theological attempts to understand Christ’s body have either focused on “philosophical” claims about Jesus’ identity or on “contextual” rebuttals—on a culturally transcendent, disembodied Jesus of the creeds or on a Jesus of color who rescues and saves a particular people because of embodied particularity.

But neither of these two attempts has accounted for the world as it is, a world of mixed race, of hybridity, of cultural and racial intermixing. By not understanding the true theological problem, that we live in a mulatto world, the right question has not been posed: How can Christ save this mixed world? The answer, Brian Bantum shows, is in the mulattoness of Jesus’ own body, which is simultaneously fully God and fully human.

In Redeeming Mulatto, Bantum reconciles the particular with the transcendent to account for the world as it is: mixed. He constructs a remarkable new Christological vision of Christ as tragic mulatto—one who confronts the contrived delusions of racial purity and the violence of self-assertion and emerges from a “hybridity” of flesh and spirit, human and divine, calling humanity to a mulattic rebirth. Bantum offers a theology that challenges people to imagine themselves inside their bodies, changed and something new, but also not without remnants of the old. His theology is one for all people, offered through the lens of a particular people, not for individual possession but for redemption and transformation into something new.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Part I: Renunciation: Racial Discipleship and the Religiosity of Race
    • 1. I Am Your Son, White Man! The Mulatto/a and the Tragic
    • 2. Neither Fish nor Fowl: Presence as Politics
  • Part II: Confession: Christ, the Tragic Mulatto
    • 3. Unto Us a Child Is Born or “How can this be?” The Mulatto Christ
    • 4. I Am the Way: Mulatto/a Redemption and the Politics of Identification
  • Part III: Immersion: Christian Discipleship or the New Discipline of the Body
    • 5. You Must Be Reborn: Baptism and Mulatto/a ReBirth
    • 6. The Politics of Presence: Prayer and Discipleship
  • Benediction
  • Notes

Redeeming Mulatto: Race, Culture, and Ethnic Plurality from Quest Church on Vimeo.

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