Download Ar'n't I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South by Deborah Gray White PDF

By Deborah Gray White

Dwelling with the twin burdens of racism and sexism, slave ladies within the plantation South assumed roles in the family members and neighborhood that contrasted sharply with conventional girl roles within the better American society. This new version of Ar'n't I a Woman? experiences and updates the scholarship on slave ladies and the slave family members, exploring new methods of knowing the intersection of race and gender and evaluating the myths that stereotyped lady slaves with the realities in their lives. mainly, this groundbreaking learn indicates us how black ladies skilled freedom within the Reconstruction South — their heroic fight to realize their rights, carry their households jointly, withstand financial and sexual oppression, and retain their experience of womanhood opposed to all odds.

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This impersonal style is rather “postpersonal” in that it allows for a web of connections to be drawn on the axis of subjectivity and not merely along the vicissitudes of identity. Meaning production therefore does not function in terms of the author’s “intentions” and the reader’s “reception,” but rather in a much wider, more complex set of possible resonances and interconnections. The question of style is crucial to this project. As readers in an intensive mode, we are transformers of intellectual energy, processors of the “insights” that we are exchanging, and cobuilders of possible interrelations.

The best gift to give anyone, but especially a polyglot, is a new word, a word she does not know yet. The nomad knows that language is not only, and not even, the instrument of communication, but a site of symbolic exchange that links us together in a tenuous and yet workable web of mediated misunderstandings, which we call civilization. Since Freud and Nietzsche, Western philosophy has argued that meaning does not coincide with consciousness, that there is a nonconscious foundation to most of our actions: cogito ergo sum—is the obsession of the West, its downfall, its folly.

The nomadic subject is a performative image, a political myth that allows me to weave together different levels of my experience: it reflects some autobiographical aspects, while it also expresses my own conceptual preference for a postmetaphysical vision of subjectivity. Last, but not least, it allows me to conjugate my feminist politics with a variety of other powerful political and theoretical concerns and locations. This figurative approach to nomadism will allow me to play on the associative quality of the nomadic state and therefore tap on its metaphorical richness.

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