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Incorporations: Race, Nation, and the Body Politics of Capital

Eva Cherniavsky
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    Incorporations offers a new way of thinking about issues of race, bodies, and commodity culture. Moving beyond the study of identity and difference in media, Eva Cherniavsky asserts that race can be understood as a sign of the body's relation to capital. Cherniavsky demonstrates how representations of racial embodiment have evolved, and suggests that “race” is the condition of exchangeable bodies under capital._x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9743-4
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction: The Body Politics of Capital
    (pp. xi-xxviii)

    This book is concerned with raced bodies—with how bodies were and are produced (quantified and qualified, institutionally and customarily) under the aegis of “race.”Incorporations: Race, Nation, and the Body Politics of Capitalhas emerged, in its present form, from a series of apparently discontinuous starts: my ruminations on the intraterritorial dynamics of U.S. colonialism, the contemporary disarticulations of nation and state, the cinematic mediation of whiteness, whiteness studies, and the politics of identi-fication. My writing on these matters was a guilty pleasure, a distraction from a projected book manuscript on racial fetishism whose aims and design continued to...

  5. Chapter 1 Subaltern Studies in a U.S. Frame
    (pp. 1-23)

    Theorizing colonial history for a postcolonial critical practice, Ranajit Guha observes: “Bourgeois culture hits its historical limit in colonialism.None of its noble achievements— Liberalism, Democracy, Liberty, Rule of Law, etc.— can survive the inexorable urge of capital to expand and reproduce itself by means of the politics of extra-territorial, colonial dominance” (“Dominance” 277). My project in this chapter is to consider how we might critically trace this historical limit in the context of specific forms of colonial domination that place in crisis the delineation of inside and outside implicit in Guha’s notion of “extra-territorial” expansion.¹ To map the vectors...

  6. Chapter 2 After Bourgeois Nationalism
    (pp. 24-48)

    These days, discussions of the nation-state in the era of globalization often invoke one side or another of a supposed debate on its continuing relevance to the study of capital’s social and cultural regimes. One side argues that the operations of mobile capital, and in particular the accelerated transfers of labor, commodities, and information across national borders, bring about the erosion of the nation-state, a position routinely attributed to Arjun Appadurai and to Masao Miyoshi; the other contends that the nation-state continues to exert a significant disciplinary function on the lives of its citizens and of noncitizens within its borders,...

  7. Chapter 3 Eskimo Television and the Critique of Whiteness (Studies)
    (pp. 49-70)

    A project in subaltern geography, Leslie Marmon Silko’sAlmanac of the Deademplots a five-hundred-year history of European colonialism in the Americas and a spatialized politics of fourth world resistance to the subjugation, decimation, administration, and conscription of indigenous peoples by (neo)colonial powers, whether in the name of national sovereignty or of free markets. Confronted by the territorial apparatus of nation-states established on stolen land (from the vantage of indigenous peoples, the epoch of foreign domination has never been “post-ed”) and by the deterritorialized operations of transnational capital, the colonized protagonists of Silko’s novel mobilize tribal affiliations and practices to...

  8. Chapter 4 Hollywood’s Hot Voodoo
    (pp. 71-99)

    In one of the cabaret performances folded (however loosely) into the narrative ofBlonde Venus(1934), Helen Faraday (Marlene Dietrich) arrives on stage disguised in a full-body gorilla costume. Seemingly stalking the chorus line of nubile women in blackface, who nevertheless lead it forward in chains, the gorilla then appears to escape its bonds and make its way to stage center, where the feral body is stripped away and Dietrich rises up and out of the cast-off form. Dressed in a lavishly sequined bodice trimmed with ostrich feathers that outline and amplify her buttocks (in back) and cascade between her...

  9. Chapter 5 White Women in the Age of Their Mechanical Reproduction
    (pp. 100-130)

    Not too long after Hank Quinlan’s insinuating inquiry, Miguel Vargas will discover that he has no idea where his wife may be. “This can’t be my wife’s room,” he tells the night clerk at the motel where he believed she was waiting, as he surveys in horror the devastated bed, the soiled lingerie. In apparent assent, the night clerk wails, “It stinks in here, it stinks”; rushing to open a window, he spots a half-smoked joint on the carpet and runs, still wailing, from the premises. Vargas, searching through his briefcase, discovers that his firearm is missing along with his...

  10. Chapter 6 Fast Capitalism and Consumer Ordeals
    (pp. 131-150)

    Broadly sketched, this chapter is concerned with the status of white embodiment in a regime of flexible accumulation, where the speed at which capital overtakes corporeal identity would seem to erode quite a few of the protections that accrue to this racial classification historically and juridically. If classic Hollywood cinema is the first mass medium to overtake the white body and abstract itas commodity,it does so, as I have argued, through grammatical maneuvers that function to intensify rather than eliminate the aura of white skin: whiteness as global commodity-image appears as a form of embodiment immune to the...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 151-168)
  12. Works Cited
    (pp. 169-178)
  13. Index
    (pp. 179-182)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 183-183)