Melancholy of Race Psychoanalysis, Assimilation, and Hidden Grief

ISBN-10: 0195151623
ISBN-13: 9780195151626
Edition: 2001
Authors: Anne Anlin Cheng
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Description: In this groundbreaking, interdisciplinary study Anne Anlin Cheng argues that we have to understand racial grief not only as the result of racism but also as a foundation for racial identity. The Melancholy of Race proposes that racial identification  More...

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Book details

List price: $44.95
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/20/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

In this groundbreaking, interdisciplinary study Anne Anlin Cheng argues that we have to understand racial grief not only as the result of racism but also as a foundation for racial identity. The Melancholy of Race proposes that racial identification is itself already a melancholic act--a social category that is imaginatively supported through a dynamic of loss and compensation, by which the racial other is at once rejected and retained. Using psychoanalytic theories on mourning and melancholia as inroads into her subject, Cheng offers a closely observed and carefully reasoned account of the minority experience as expressed in works of art by, and about, Asian-Americans and African-Americans. She argues that the racial minority and dominant American culture both suffer from racial melancholia and that this insight is crucial to a productive reimagining of progressive politics. Her discussion ranges from "Flower Drum Song" to "M. Butterfly," Brown v. Board of Education to Anna Deavere Smith's "Twilight," and Invisible Man to The Woman Warrior, in the process demonstrating that racial melancholia permeates our fantasies of citizenship, assimilation, and social health. Her investigations reveal the common interests that social, legal, and literary histories of race have always shared with psychoanalysis, and situates Asian-American and African-American identities in relation to one another within the larger process of American racialization. A provocative look at a timely subject, this study is essential reading for anyone interested in race studies, critical theory, or psychoanalysis.

Preface
The Melancholy of Race
Beauty and Ideal Citizenship: Inventing Asian America in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song (1961)
A Fable of Exquisite Corpses: Maxine Hong Kingston, Assimilation, and the Hypochondriacal Response
Fantasy's Repulsion and Investment: David Henry Hwang and Ralph Ellison
History In/Against the Fragment: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
Difficult Loves: Anna Deavere Smith and the Politics of Grief
Notes
Works Cited
Acknowledgments
Index

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