Race in Translation

Culture Wars around the Postcolonial Atlantic

Ella Shohat, Robert Stam

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Pädagogik


While the term “culture wars” often designates the heated arguments in
the English-speaking world spiraling around race, the canon, and affirmative
action, in fact these discussions have raged in diverse sites and languages. Race
in Translation charts the
transatlantic traffic of the debates within and between three zones—the U.S.,
France, and Brazil. Stam and Shohat trace the literal and figurative translation of these
multidirectional intellectual debates, seen most recently in the emergence of
postcolonial studies in France, and whiteness studies in Brazil. The authors
also interrogate an ironic convergence whereby rightist politicians like
Sarkozy and Cameron join hands with some leftist intellectuals like Benn
Michaels, Žižek, and Bourdieu in condemning “multiculturalism” and “identity
politics.” At once a report from various “fronts” in the culture wars, a
mapping of the germane literatures, and an argument about methods of reading
the cross-border movement of ideas, the book constitutes a major contribution to
our understanding of the Diasporic and the Transnational.