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.
Contents ? The Atlantic Enlightenment 1 The Red Atlantic 2 The Indigene and the Epistemological Crisis 7 The Black Atlantic and the Aporias of the Universal 13 Antinomies of the Enlightenment 17 White Voices against Imperial Reason 22 ? A Tale of Three Republics 26 Franco-Brazilian Liaisons 31 Brazilo-AmericanEncontros 38 Diasporic Longings 42 FromBlack Orpheus to Barack Obama 49 Between Anglo-Saxonism and Latinism 51 Racing Translation 57 ? The Seismic Shift and the Decolonization of Knowledge 61 The Protocols of Eurocentrism 61 The Postwar Rupture 68 The Radicalization of the Disciplines 75 Multiculturalism and the Decolonizing Corpus 82 Situating Postcolonial Studies 85 ? Identity Politics and the Right/Left Convergence 93 The Politics of Scapegoating 96 Troubling Diversity 101 The Bourdieu/Wacquant Polemic 106 An “American” Discourse? 113 Žižek and the Universal Imaginary 118 The Ghosting of the Particular 126 ? France, the United States, and the Culture Wars 132 Sobbing for the White Man 134 Minorities and the Specter of Identitarianism 137
“This transnational analysis makes Race in Translation an eye-opening, paradigm-shifting resource for numerous fields…Stam and Shohat offer a rich, triangular and new transatlantic framework linking national spaces too often analyzed in isolation. This marco-level endeavor arches over a wide array of exciting, insightful analyses that draw unexpected connections and open new pathways for future research.” -Interventions
“Race in Translation is a masterpiece, an extraordinarily bold and brilliant book rich with erudition and insight. The imaginative and in-depth analyses of intercultural conflicts and coalescences offer original and generative answers to the most important questions haunting contemporary scholarship and civic life.” -George Lipsitz,author of How Racism Takes Place
"A deeply researched, provocative synthesis of the ways in which race has been conceptualized in Brazil, United States and France. Arguing that ‘All nations are transnations,’ the authors explore the ‘Red,’ ‘Black’ and ‘White’ Atlantic, tracking the circulation of ideas and their translation. In doing so, they critically address both the rightist and leftist blindness to race. This is a balanced, thoughtful and clearly written work that should be used widely in university classrooms."-Francoise Verges,Goldsmiths College, London