Post-structuralism and Race

Giorgio Agamben and Michel Foucault

Authored by: Ladelle McWhorter

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Race

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415711234
eBook ISBN: 9781315884424
Adobe ISBN:


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Race today is a field of problematization—to use a term of Michel Foucault’s. It arises both as what must be thought and as what defies many of the categories and techniques of thought. Its importance is undeniable, and its impacts inescapable, no matter what our particular racial identities happen to be. Yet, race does not confront us as a defineable object with which to grapple; rather, it pervades our situation, seemingly without limit, as ubiquitous disparity, wound, demand, fear, and provocation. Race is where we are and who we are, and where and who we have been all our lives. Yet, it seems untenable—perhaps intolerable. 1

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