Novel Speculations: Postrace Fictions in the 21st Century
This project charts the emergence of a postrace aesthetic in American fiction. It examines how American novels respond to the pressures of what has been called the paradox of the postrace era: that our images and rhetoric portray a nation moving toward racial equality while our statistics actually reveal the opposite. I argue that through the use of features such as futuristic orientation, racially unmarked characters, and the reconfiguration of racial groupings, postrace novels attempt to unsettle our notions of race – a paradoxical endeavor, for attempts to unsettle a category ultimately invoke it again. Capable of interrogating emergent cultural phenomena, postrace novels provide a crucial vantage point from which we can interpret the shifting operations of race in the 21st century.
Asian American studies
African American studies
African American literature
Asian American literature
Critical race theory
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