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It is fascinating, but disgusts me too much. Aug 1, 4.

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Holland] Is the abstract any good? Is it in praise of racism? How does she define racism? I have written on this forum that racism is a liberation ideology, for not helping people to positions of power and authority who used to oppress you. Quite a logical thing to do. To end racism we need to really understand it's nature and where and how it began.

Lil Wayne stands by his 'no such thing as racism' comment.

Cause and effect. What did blacks do to whites for whites to hate and fear them so much? Dec 21, 5. I will add this to my list. You must log in or sign up to reply here. Show Ignored Content.


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This desire to see ourselves as exempt from racist violence, no matter how small, is part of the same logic that attempts to excise life choices, erotic choices, from these larger systems. What we would have called racism is now "personal choice" or become mildly prejudicial.

For example, to say that I am not hurting anyone when I say that I prefer to sleep "We often only have eyes for the spectacularity of racist practice, not its every day machinations that we in turn have some culpability in.

The Erotic Life of Racism | Octopus Books

For example, to say that I am not hurting anyone when I say that I prefer to sleep with one racialized being over another, is to tell a different story about the erotic- one where the autonomous becomes clouded by the sticky film of prejudice morphed into quotidian racism. The erotic, therefore, touches upon that aspect of racist practice that cannot be accounted for as racist practice but must be understood as something else altogether.

Jun 25, i. Holland's The Erotic Life of Racism , like Ferguson's Aberrations in Black which it engages with is a work that simultaneously is claim-making and a critique of a discipline. Of primary concern in Holland's work is the intertwined nature of who or, which racialized bodies is relegated to history and who is allowed futurity.

Stated otherwise, Holland's primary concern in this text is the, " In doing so, the er Holland's The Erotic Life of Racism , like Ferguson's Aberrations in Black which it engages with is a work that simultaneously is claim-making and a critique of a discipline. In doing so, the erotic of the erotic life of racism comes in a critique of feminist and queer theorizing's presumption of eroticism as always inherently liberatory. In doing this critique of both the white disciplinary trajectory of feminist and queer studies and a critique of the erotic's presumed potentiality for liberation, Holland critically refigures queer and feminist theory, and its possibilities.

In the introduction, Holland uses an incident at a Safeway--an incident wherein she is simultaneously hailed and marked as "in the past"--as an entry into her broader work. In the first full chapter, "Race: There's No Place Like Beyond," Holland engages with Edelman to outline the ways in which the "beyond" of race and the invoking of a "beyond" that is key to Edelman's project is a problematic that situates the Black body particularly the Black queer female body always in the past.

In the second chapter, Holland first unpacks the cleaving of analyses of desire from race, then moves on to a critique of desire, situated in the development of poststructualist feminist theory divorced from the body. One quote in particular is telling: " Where 'the biological' is understood as 'reductionism,' the black racial project is excoriated for its crippling backwardness, since it is embedded in notions of the biological that do not help it make the case for better racial feeling" In the third chapter, Holland moves onto discussing queer theory, the development of queer-of-color critique, and the continued conditions under which the Black female queer body becomes obliviated.

A key quote summarizing this section is: " Underneath the critique of queer liberalism is actually an argument about feminist claims upon the black body and its historical specificity" Concluding this chapter, Holland writes: " In the final chapter, Holland examines touch "the touch" as, " As Holland writes in her analysis of Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!

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For Faulkner, the touch 'abrogates. In her final pages, Holland ties touch, her critique of feminist and queer theory's geneaologies, and the oblivation of the Black queer female body by defining the erotic life of racism: "If touch can be interpreted as the action that bars one from entry and also connects one to the sensual life of another, then we might go so far as to say that racism has its own erotic life When we pay attention to the erotic life of racism, we move onto another playing field altogether where we must abandon the positions that hold white and black being in such static relation" , Ultimately, Holland's work is a concise, sharp critique of the development of feminist theory, queer theory as coming out of feminist theory, and the racialized projects inherent in both.

I do wish this volume was longer, so that readers could sit more with the tensions that Holland pulls on, and work through those tensions and key concepts in greater depth. However, that does not detract from the fact that this work is a project much-needed for the continuation of feminist and queer theory, and the scholarship that comes out of both. May 01, Tomo rated it liked it.


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  • Holland's book is a great attempt to theorize the erotic life of racism, but it turned out to be a very disappointing and unsatisfying read for me. She starts with a personal anecdote about a racist incident she encountered in Northern California, which was promising. I completely agree. Her turn to quotidian rather than spectacular racism is a convi Holland's book is a great attempt to theorize the erotic life of racism, but it turned out to be a very disappointing and unsatisfying read for me.

    Her turn to quotidian rather than spectacular racism is a convincing one. And I was waiting and waiting for fuller explorations of the erotic life of racism in more concrete, if not empirical but at least rigorously textual, ways, and they never came. Instead, I was left with rather long critiques of queer studies over the last few decades and extremely abstract analysis of Faulkner in the conclusion.

    I understand where she is coming from. She is a black queer feminist who is really serious about bringing critical race theory and queer theory in productive dialogue. She draws on Spillers, Lorde, and Beauvoir rather than more familiar names in recent queer studies. I think her criticism of increasingly transnational queer studies' tendency to elide "black. That said, I feel she left this project unfinished the whole book is a little over pages. I think she could and should have explored the relationship between erotics and racism, which she starts to do in Chapter 2, more fully by adding fifty more pages, if not I am not sure if Holland is planning on pursuing this project further and there will be a sequel to this.

    If so, great, I look forward to that. If not, well Jun 20, Monique rated it really liked it Shelves: queer-lgbti , affect , critical-race-theory. This book was super interesting and I'm glad I read it but I have to agree with some of the other reviewers here - it seemed really incomplete and jumped around a lot.

    As already mentioned, bits of the text read like an annotated bibliography for the argument Holland planned to write but didn't! In this sense it was like a bad academic thesis at times. As Erotic Life makes clear, the touch renders undeniable the threat of shared belonging, the fact that the contamination which Rosa dreads has already occurred.

    The Erotic Life of Racism

    While we do get occasional glances at the various shapes in which this connection might manifest itself, a comprehensive analysis remains to be done. Opening this can of worms, Holland leaves it to the reader to untangle the myriad implications of this inquiry. In this manner, a plethora of urgent related questions is raised, but never explicitly addressed. Yet here it appears to serve merely to tease the reader.

    Erotic Life seems to dance around, rather than really take on these questions. While The Erotic Life of Racism thus calls for more studies on these topics, there are many moments in the text which allow us to see the potentials, and not only the anxieties, which lie buried in the intimate encounters of our mundane lives. Chude-Sokei, Louis. Durham: Duke UP, Faulkner, William. Absalom, Absalom! The Corrected Text. New York: Modern Library, []. Seigworth, Gregory J.