Link to Postcolonial (and some African American) theory lecture

Link to some African American theory concerns from New Historicism lecture:

Based on deconstructive theories, NH says history is made up of webs of signifiers, like any text; webs of discourses or stories people/cultures/times tell themselves about themselves and Others (like Alexie's signifyin(g) story about Mary Rowlandson's 1676 captivity narrative that apparently helped form Native policy in the U.S. Norton p. 342). A link with biographical information about Rowlandson (always, though, we think about the discourses circulating in any of these texts)

A link to the Race and the Deconstruction Theory Lecture...

Class Notes Ap. 23, 2009 (tyson etc)

School Daze by spike lee—"blue black" vs. mulato or quadroon black—"high yellow"--with all it’s power exchanges and internalized racisms…stronger theme of this in Jungle Fever where the very black Wesley Snipes has married a "high yellow" woman, yet he cheats on her with an even whiter Italian woman...his wife and her friends get together to lament this internalized racism...Lee looked at how Obama married a darker woman (was it kind of planned to avoid racism? and that she was also more powerful than him--an avoidance of sexism?)

Lack of institutional racism—in other words, specifically racist laws (whites and blacks can’t mingle, can’t marry)…underground of racism that is pervasive, that is a daily fact of life for people of color…in everything, laws—drug laws, where 5 grams of crack gets you 5 years, but you 500 grams of powdered cocaine to get 5 years (p. 368)… healthy eating (the 60 minutes show about the black woman with diabetes not being able to easily find tomatos/fresh produce near her home...shopping—minimum wage jobs, iffy credit, usually means high interest rate for a car, cars that break down…, eating, health (the fact that pills tested on white men don’t work for everyone), even in terms of how many check cashing places there are in certain neighborhoods

Only those in a position of power can be racist (only those in a position of power can be heterosexist or homophobic)?  What about racism from blacks toward whites? Perhaps an offshoot of the black power movements (where for the first time it could be dangerous to be white in some places...a flipping of the hierarchy) p. 360

Henry Louis Gates Jr. saying we should be able to use all theoretical tools to look at African American texts including the consideration of black experience, but we also need to think about "denaturalizing" race, or decentering the idea of a potentially too essentializing Black Experience. Some theorists say that decentering identity is problematic when identity is something so newly available to "black folk." bell hooks says in "Postmodern Blackness," "It never surprises me when black folk respond to the critique of essentialism, especially when it denies the validity of identity politics, by saying 'yeah, it's easy to give up identity, when you got one.'" par. 9).

Critical Race Theory: