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 building. however, we proceed to set up race considering in our way of life as a manner of telling humans aside visually. How do topics turn into raced? Is it logic to learn our bodies as racially marked? utilising 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 element of our considering. via shut readings of literary and picture texts, Seshardi-Crooks additionally investigates no matter if race is a procedure of distinction both made up our minds via Whiteness. She argues that it really is when it comes to Whiteness that platforms of racial category are equipped, endowing it with an influence to form human distinction.
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Extra info for Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian Analysis of Race (Opening Out)
But that in itself is not interesting, for as I have already suggested, uncovering “race’s” genealogy is not to address racial practice. What is confounding about race is its successful grafting to nature. Thus we must ask how race appears as the logic of human difference itself. Why do we allocate difference along certain conventional lines of looking? How do we come to be racially embodied? What is the structure of racial difference, and what insights can psychoanalysis offer in the study of the raced subject?
Lacan uses the metaphor of the door— its peculiar oscillation between closing and opening—to describe the scansion of binary logic, its ordered action of a series of combinations. “The important thing here is to realise that the chain of possible combinations of the encounter can be studied as such, as an order which subsists in its rigour, independently of all subjectivity” (II: 304). The absence of inherent meaning in such a combinatory prompts Lacan to ask: What is the meaning of meaning? Meaning is the fact that the human being isn’t master of this primordial, primitive language.
It is also incomplete. The subject is not simply the figure that emerges when all the dots are connected; the subject is also constituted or determined by the not Deciphering Whiteness 29 fully inscribed page—the gaps in the chain that connect the pieces. This is a fundamental proposition in Lacan, and it is not the question of a shift in emphasis referred to earlier. What the unconscious also registers is the lack or the desire of the subject that can never be fully expressed in language. “The unconscious is, in the subject, a schism of the symbolic system, a limitation, an alienation induced by the symbolic system” (I: 196).
Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian Analysis of Race (Opening Out) by Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks