Critiquing Postmodernism in Contemporary Discourses of Race by Sue J. Kim

By Sue J. Kim

Critiquing Postmodernism in modern Discourses of Race demanding situations the serious emphasis on otherness in remedies of race in literary and cultural reports. Sue J. Kim deftly argues that this therapy not just perpetuates slim id politics, yet obscures the political and monetary constructions that form problems with race in literary reports. Kim’s revelatory ebook indicates how interpreting authors via their id finally ends up neglecting both advanced ancient contexts and aesthetic varieties. This comparative learn demands a reconsideration of the bases for severe engagement and a analyzing ethics that melds the easiest of historicist and formalist ways to literature.

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7 Some of the insights produced by otherness postmodernism are not only politically important but also true, but it is precisely in rejecting notions of truth and reality that it proves problematic. Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s seminal Hegemony and Socialist Strategy explicated the theoretical basis of this new politics. They define the political as a field of shifting, unfixed antagonisms; they point out “the impossibility of establishing in a definite manner the meaning of any struggle, whether considered in isolation or through its fixity in a relational system” (170).

In fact, Laclau and Mouffe see this explosion not as fragmentation but as a new wave of struggle on a new basis for solidarity. Social identities, as the malleable products of discourse, become the battleground of the social field: “the form of antagonism as Ideological Fantasy ● 27 such . . always consists in the construction of a social identity—of an overdetermined subject position—on the basis of the equivalence between a set of elements of values which expel or externalize those others to which they are opposed” (164–5, emphasis in original).

Crucial to their notion of articulation is Lacan’s notion of the point de capiton, or “nodal point,” or “privileged signifiers that [temporarily and partially] fix the meaning of a signifying chain” (112). This temporary stoppage of the signifying chain is necessary for predication, because a total inability to affix meaning results in “the discourse of the 26 ● Critiquing Postmodernism psychotic” (112). This temporary “nodal point” is the signifier that “fixes” or, as Slavoj Žižek puts it in The Sublime Object of Ideology, “quilts” the terrain of f loating signifiers by interpreting or inf lecting those antagonisms through itself.

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