Rethinking Race
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Meldgaard Kjær, Katrine 1, Forfatter
Rahbek , Ulla 2, Vejleder
1Det Humanistiske Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, København, Danmark, diskurs:7035              
2Institut for Engelsk, Germansk og Romansk, Det Humanistiske Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, København, Danmark, diskurs:7037              
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 Abstract: This thesis examines Barack Obama’s performances of race from his 1995 memoir Dreams From my Father and until today. Although Obama’s race has been widely debated since he first stepped into the public eye, this thesis aims to contribute to a new way of reading Obama’s race and understanding its significance. By putting a theoretical framework inspired by postcolonial studies and psychoanalysis to work within an approach to race that combines a material-practical reading of race with a more critical, deconstructive analysis, the thesis seeks to shed light on why Barack Obama’s race and racial affiliation has been and continues to be tainted by unease and mistrust from the public.
Built gradually through four separate chapters of analyses of Barack Obama’s performances of biraciality, blackness, whiteness and inbetweenness, respectively, the main argument of the thesis is that Barack Obama is in fact haunted by this mistrust and unease because he, in his slipping and sliding between different racial performances, norms and identities, uncannily subverts conventional ideas and ideals of race in the contemporary US landscape.
More specifically, these analyses of Obama’s racial performances rest on an interreading of postcolonial theorist Homi K. Bhabha’s concept of the mimic man, French philosopher Gilles Deleuze’s re-reading of Plato’s simulacrum and Sigmund Freud’s thoughts on the uncanny. This interreading will be applied within an approach to race that will be inspired by an attempt to merge the otherwise traditionally oppositional conceptions of race in the academic tradition of poststructuralism and the discipline of African-American studies. Ultimately, the thesis argues for an approach to Obama’s race that will leave room to consider and include several different approaches and traditions, so that the nuances and complications of Obama’s race and its significance may be done justice.
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 Type: Speciale
Alternativ titel: A Critical Analysis of the Biracial, Black, White and Inbetween of Obama - and Why They Matter
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Sprog: English - eng
 Datoer: 2013
 Sider: 83
 Publiceringsinfo: København : Københavns Universitet
 Indholdsfortegnelse: -
 Note: -
 Type: Speciale
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