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4. Barbara Christian & Jamaica Kincaid.docx

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st Monday October 1 , 2012 Barbara Christian, ‘The Race for Theory’ & Jamaica Kincaid Annie John Barbara Christian  She was an African-American critic  The first African-American woman to be granted tenure at Berkley ‘The Race for Theory’  Makes the theory available and easy to read for the everyday person  Creates a theory in a work itself as opposed to within a political spectrum  Suggesting a kind of intrinsic theory that arises from the work o Much of this theorization is redundant and we should not need it because we should be getting enough tools from the text/work  Published in 1990 o Believes there is an academic trend towards theory and theorization which she calls the new hegemony  Is theory supposed to be affecting/doing something in a world of Postcolonial and Poststructuralism  Doesn’t name any names throughout the work  Intimidation, devaluing and takeover by theoretical discourse o Very loaded language that she is using as an African-American woman  Repulsive language, linguistic jargon  Academic hegemony  Marginalization of ‘our writers’ (African-American writers) o This idea that the race for theory has become mainstream  Universal, abstract, monolithic, monotheistic  Problematic designation of ‘minority literature’ o Says this marginalizes – some don’t think of themselves as other to anyone so why should they have to sit on the outside simply because they have been designated as a ‘minority’  Theory is a distraction The Language of Theory  “The metaphysical language of new philosophy … is repulsive to me.” (p.151)  Nick Cohen, “Academia plays into the hands of the right. The cuts in arts, humanities, and social science courses can be seen as a self-inflicted wound” (The Guardian, 30.1.11) 
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