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Irony and Its Politics in Civil Rights Historiography

March 9, 2018 @ 12:00 am

Irony and Its Politics in Civil Rights Historiography

DateMarch 7, 2014

Time8:00am to 9:30am

Location
4357 Bunche Hall

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This paper is a draft section of my larger project, which is an attempt to excavate and reconstruct the philosophical foundations of the recent historiographical debate over how to periodize and understand the civil rights movement. Drawing inspiration from narrativist philosophers of history, including Hayden White, I argue that attention to the ways in which histories are narratively emplotted, using the insights of genre criticism, is indispensible for the task of disclosing the evaluative, ethical, explanatory, and aesthetic dimensions of historical narratives, as they are constructed and circulated in history, political theory, public philosophy, and the wider public. The exemplary stature of the civil rights movement in contemporary political thought draws largely, I argue, from romantic narrative tropes, but these are being increasingly contested by counterveiling narrative forms. Here, specifically, I focus on what I call “ironic” emplotments of civil rights and African-American history and attempt to give an account of their emergence, core explanatory and evaluative claims, and imaginings of politics and political action. I then offer some criticisms of this form of historical imagination and its implications for politics.

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Date:
March 9, 2018
Time:
12:00 am
Website:
/event/irony-and-its-politics-civil-rights-historiography

Details

Date:
March 9, 2018
Time:
12:00 am
Website:
/event/irony-and-its-politics-civil-rights-historiography