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Saving Private Trip: U.S. Cinema & the Racial Politics of Incorporation

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Abstract:

This project explores how Edward Zwick's 1989 Civil War film Glory labors imaginatively in ways that either foreground or crowd out the political demands and unconscious identifications of the recently emancipated black military conscript. Specifically, this project examines moments in the narrative that have the potential to disrupt the ways in which U.S. civil society imagines the ideal of freedom. Central to this study are the following questions: (1) How and to what extent do the cinematic techniques employed by Glory make available a reading of the slave and the political demands attendant to that structural position, and (2) How does the film stage the obliteration of that same position in less noticeable, yet pivotal moments of development?

This project posits cinema’s ability to reflect and refract onscreen the unconscious fantasies regarding racial blackness that animate the dominant culture. Thus, through a critical appropriation of psychoanalytic and neo-marxist traditions in film theory, this project will interrogate the process by which the figure of the slave is neutralized and replaced with the image of the freedman soldier -- a state machination that mystifies structural positionality and redirects political demands for abolition and radical reconstruction. In addition, this project postulates that Glory has allegorical value concerning racial politics of incorporation in the United States, in general, and late twentieth century American politics, in particular. Ultimately, this project seeks to expand the discourse surrounding race, nation and militarism, on the one hand, and film theory and the Civil War, on the other.
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Association:
Name: 96th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p522175_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Kay, Darol. "Saving Private Trip: U.S. Cinema & the Racial Politics of Incorporation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 96th Annual Convention, TBA, Richmond, VA, Oct 04, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p522175_index.html>

APA Citation:

Kay, D. , 2011-10-04 "Saving Private Trip: U.S. Cinema & the Racial Politics of Incorporation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 96th Annual Convention, TBA, Richmond, VA <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p522175_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This project explores how Edward Zwick's 1989 Civil War film Glory labors imaginatively in ways that either foreground or crowd out the political demands and unconscious identifications of the recently emancipated black military conscript. Specifically, this project examines moments in the narrative that have the potential to disrupt the ways in which U.S. civil society imagines the ideal of freedom. Central to this study are the following questions: (1) How and to what extent do the cinematic techniques employed by Glory make available a reading of the slave and the political demands attendant to that structural position, and (2) How does the film stage the obliteration of that same position in less noticeable, yet pivotal moments of development?

This project posits cinema’s ability to reflect and refract onscreen the unconscious fantasies regarding racial blackness that animate the dominant culture. Thus, through a critical appropriation of psychoanalytic and neo-marxist traditions in film theory, this project will interrogate the process by which the figure of the slave is neutralized and replaced with the image of the freedman soldier -- a state machination that mystifies structural positionality and redirects political demands for abolition and radical reconstruction. In addition, this project postulates that Glory has allegorical value concerning racial politics of incorporation in the United States, in general, and late twentieth century American politics, in particular. Ultimately, this project seeks to expand the discourse surrounding race, nation and militarism, on the one hand, and film theory and the Civil War, on the other.


Similar Titles:
Contesting Racial Group Cohesion: Multiracial Incorporation and Minority Political Opportunity in the 2000 Census debates

Configurations of Race and State: Ideas and Institutions in the Politics of Racial Incorporation

The New Immigration, Ethno-Racial Identity, and the Political Incorporation of Asians and Latinos


 
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