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Black Lives / White Backgrounds: Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An America Lyric and Critical Race Theory

Adams, BF (2017) Black Lives / White Backgrounds: Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An America Lyric and Critical Race Theory. Comparative American Studies, 15 (1-2). pp. 54-71. ISSN 1477-5700

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Abstract

How do you criticise a hierarchical racial formation that is rendered nearly invisible by its colour (white) and positioning (background) in the contemporary, so-called colour-blind or post-racial U.S.? The reading of Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric that this essay will undertake seeks to offer a response to this question utilising some key insights from Critical Race Theory (CRT). As they are understood here, both CRT and Citizen offer counter-stories by ‘call[ing] out’ to what you ‘don’t see’ (Rankine, 2014: 86), specifically to America’s racial formations so as to promote colour-consciousness and an anti-racist critique. Beginning with a discussion of the relationship between literary and legal narratives, followed by two sections on Rankine’s rhetorical strategies, this essay ends by closely reading her texts about Trayvon Martin, who was murdered on February 26, 2012.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Comparative American Studies on 27/12/17 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14775700.2017.1406734
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2002 Cultural Studies, 2005 Literary Studies, 2103 Historical Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
P Language and Literature > PS American literature
Divisions: Humanities and Social Science
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2018 09:39
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2018 09:39
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/14775700.2017.1406734
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8108

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