The American Optic: Psychoanalysis, Critical Race Theory, and Richard Wright Mikko Tuhkanen Author
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The American Optic charts new territory in the relationship of psychoanalysis to critical race studies. Focusing on the work of Richard Wright and Jacques Lacan, it explore the political and ethical implications of psychoanalysis for African American and other diasporic African cultural texts. Mikko Tuhkanen develops a theory of racialization that recasts the genealogy of the Western concept of racial difference as outlined by critical race theory, through the theory of the real, which Lacan developed in his later work. By engaging a wide array of resources—including the work of W. E. B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, and Frantz Fanon, as well as nineteenth-century slave narratives and studies of blackface minstrelsy—Tuhkanen not only illuminates the unexpectedly rich connections between Lacanian psychoanalysis and black literary and cultural studies, but also demonstrates the ways in which the artistic and political traditions of the African diaspora allow us to reinvent the Lacanian ethics of becoming.


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