By Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks
Needing Whiteness offers a compelling new interpretation of the way we comprehend race. Race is frequently obvious to be a social development. however, we proceed to installation race considering in our lifestyle as a manner of telling humans aside visually. How do matters develop into raced? Is it good judgment to learn our bodies as racially marked? using Lacan's theories of the topic and sexual distinction, Seshadri-Crooks explores how the discourse of race parallels that of sexual distinction in making racial identification a basic component to our pondering. via shut readings of literary and movie texts, Seshardi-Crooks additionally investigates even if race is a approach of distinction both made up our minds by means of Whiteness. She argues that it truly is on the subject of Whiteness that platforms of racial category are geared up, endowing it with an influence to form human distinction.
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Additional resources for Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian Analysis of Race (Opening Out)
This anxiety then produces the uncanny object of race, the arbitrary marks on the body, namely hair, skin and bone. These marks then are properly the desiderata of race; they serve the function of the objet a. Uncanny and phobic, they make desire possible again by producing lack on another level. The difference between the visible body as an ego function, and the visible body as a function of Whiteness or racialization, can be understood as the difference between seeing and being seen. The subject of the imaginary is constituted as seeing by the signifier, whereas the subject of race is constituted as seen, the subject of the gaze, through a certain logic of the signifier.
Here the emphasis falls on the consequences wrought by the residue of signification, rather than on signification itself. In his later work, much of which remains untranslated, Lacan has shifted from “algebra” to topology. The emphasis is on the unconscious structure as built over or around a void, a fundamental lack (the real) that renders the subject quintessentially indeterminate. This shift in emphasis from the symbolic to the Real or, as some commentators have suggested, from the signifier (the phallus) to the cause of desire (the objet a) has great consequences for the understanding of sexual difference.
It is possible that the image may not be successfully produced if the mirror were to be inclined in one way or another. For Lacan, this is an indication of “the uneasy accommodation of the imaginary in man” (I: 140). As he says, “everything depends on the position of the subject. And the position of the subject…is essentially characterised by its place in the symbolic world, in other words in the world of speech” (I: 80). This schema then suggests that neither the imaginary nor the mirror stage can legitimately claim an anteriority to the symbolic.
Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian Analysis of Race (Opening Out) by Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks