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Freedom with Violence: Race, Sexuality, and the US State (Perverse Modernities: A Series Edited by Jack Halberstam and Lisa Lowe) - Softcover

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9780822351054: Freedom with Violence: Race, Sexuality, and the US State (Perverse Modernities: A Series Edited by Jack Halberstam and Lisa Lowe)
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In Freedom with Violence, Chandan Reddy develops a new paradigm for understanding race, sexuality, and national citizenship. He examines a crucial contradiction at the heart of modernity: the nation-state’s claim to provide freedom from violence depends on its systematic deployment of violence against peoples perceived as nonnormative and irrational. Reddy argues that the modern liberal state is organized as a “counterviolence” to race even as, and precisely because, race persists as the condition of possibility for the modern subject. Rejecting liberal notions of modernity as freedom from violence or revolutionary ideas of freedom through violence, Reddy contends that liberal modernity is a structure for authorizing state violence. Contemporary neoliberal societies link freedom to the notion of legitimate (state) violence and produce narratives of liberty that tie rights and citizenship to institutionalized violence. To counter these formulations, Reddy proposes an alternative politics of knowledge grounded in queer of color critique and critical ethnic studies. He uses issues that include asylum law and the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to illustrate this major rethinking of the terms of liberal modernity.

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Freedom with Violence is a one of a kind, once in a generation book. Chandan Reddy argues that ‘American political modernity’ depends absolutely on a notion of freedom crafted out of a constitutive violence which takes the form of race. In chapters on Du Bois and the logics of nationality and territoriality; Nella Larson and the history of black alienation; immigration and sexuality; and gay marriage and the perils of legal recognition, he pulls his argument into tighter and tighter spirals, connecting his thesis about race to brilliantly original accounts of sexuality and making stunning connections between North American racial politics and European colonialism. This is a classic, landmark study.”—Judith Halberstam, author of The Queer Art of Failure

Freedom with Violence is one of the most important books of our time. Chandan Reddy formulates a new understanding of the relationship between the state and nonnormative social identities, explains the epistemological foundations for prevailing political practices, and argues for the urgent need to deploy queer of color critique and build a critical ethnic studies from it. Moving deftly across disciplines and decades, analyzing literature and law, social identities and state formation, expressive culture and critical theory, he reveals unexpected links between the race-gender-sex-citizenship nexus that emerged at the turn of the twentieth century and the one that prevails at the turn of the twenty-first.”—George Lipsitz, author of How Racism Takes Place

“Deft, capacious, and provocative, Freedom with Violence promises a major shift in how we think race, sexuality, and US imperialism in relation to the compromised project of modernity. Our political and intellectual formations will never be the same again.”—M. Jacqui Alexander, author of Pedagogies of Crossing: Meditations on Feminism, Sexual Politics, Memory, and the Sacred

“[A] significant contribution in both critical ethnic studies and queer studies. Reddy’s willingness to look beyond his examples could even be the reason it offers so much.” Author: Stine H. Bang Svendsen Source: Ethnic and Racial Studies

“In this ambitious book, Reddy examines the coupling of freedom and violence under the modern state. He untangles literary texts, legal structures and social practices to argue that the state legitimizes further racial violence through granting freedom.” Author: Chandra Russo and Howard Winant Source: Sexualities

“Reddy has produced a substantial work that rethinks the interconnections between race and sexuality as constitutive to the vision of freedom and identity, and he exposes the violence that attends those ideals in the 20th century. . . . This book forced this reviewer to rethink his own engagement with these issues in his teaching. It will challenge many boundaries in the university and in US culture. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Sophisticated upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, researchers, faculty.” Author: D. E. Magill Source: Choice

“Reddy’s previous work brilliantly spilled over disciplinary boundaries in ways that have made Freedom with Violence one of the most widely awaited first books in my memory. George Lipsitz’s back cover assessment of it as ‘one of the most important books of our times’ captures both the import and the timeliness of Reddy’s contribution.” Author: David Roediger Source: American Quarterly

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  • PublisherDuke University Press
  • Publication date2011
  • ISBN 10 0822351056
  • ISBN 13 9780822351054
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages318
  • Rating
    3.96 avg rating
    ( 51 ratings by Goodreads )

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