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    Racial Blackness and the Discontinuity of Western Modernity

    By: Lindon Barrett & Justin A. Joyce & Dwight A. McBride & John Carlos Rowe

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    "Racial Blackness and the Discontinuity of Western Modernity is the unfinished manuscript of Lindon Barrett, who died tragically and unexpectedly in 2008. John Carlos Rowe has assembled the completed chapters, and provides an introduction that offers some background and context for the writings. The project offers a genealogy of how the development of racial blackness within the mercantile capitalist system of Euro-American colonial imperialism was constitutive of Western modernity. Barrett explores the complex transnational systems of economic transactions and political exchanges foundational to the formation of modern subjectivities. In particular, he traces the embodied and significatory violence involved in the development of modern nations, and characterizes that time of nation-building as one which created unprecedented individual and communal detachments, facilitating the exclusion of racialized subjects from modern understandings of what it means to be human, or a subject. Ranging from an analysis of the mass commodity markets that were created by colonial economic expansion and which relied on the decimation of populations of indigenous people unsuitable for exploitation as well as the transport and sale of enslaved African workers, to literacy and the autobiography The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, The African, Written by Himself, to later legal and literary texts, the work masterfully connects historical systems of racial slavery to postenlightenment modernity, and will be pathbreaking in a number of fields"--

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