Articulations of Responsible Freedom writes into existence the very alternative stories and their articulations that challenge the seemingly never-ending perpetuation that racialized injury and suffering can only be addressed by the state, or as a perpetual conflict and possible reconciliation with abuse. Of course, this perpetuation is part of the way the state reproduces itself as the ethical mechanism for the regulation of life in the late capitalist era. While systemic, the turn to the state for the very abuse it causes positions us in an infinite return to abuse itself. This dissertation is thus concerned with this very conundrum: why do we turn to the system of abuse for addressing the abuse it causes? Is this not an irresponsible way for thinking about ending abuse? What articulations of responsible freedom emerge when we read cultural texts beyond statist modes of recognition? My aim is to further Hortense Spiller’s articulation of responsible freedom as it pertains to the inner life of racialized peoples. Specifically, the project hinges on exploring the wild and reckless thoughts too as the goal is not necessarily a kind of utopian thought but is instead venturing into even the “occupation” of our inner thoughts; this is significant as the project explores the very ways power manifests itself as internal to racialized life which in being vital to identify ways to further decolonize the occupation of our minds, it is also instrumental in identifying the way we regulate ourselves in the instrumentation of power. Having said that, in endeavoring to articulate responsible freedom, the dissertation looks for inwardness in its sovereign wildness which also means not necessarily trying to build a proper, and authentic reiteration of black, Chicanx and Latinx identity but instead, consider the many nuanced and complex terrains of the interior world of racialized life within discourses of redemption and resistance. At times, we may find resistance and solidarity and in other times this dissertation also finds, as Spillers cautions, avenues towards places that are not necessarily idyllic. What we do with such revelations of the interior is of concern here and will be discussed but I am more concerned with the journey of traveling inward and away from the expectation of resistance for racialized life than a journey inward solely to find an authentic confrontational spirit. That work is important, vital and done much better by scholars such as Facio, Lara and Anzaldúa for instance. This project’s goal is to take an experimental leap beyond the expectation of resistance within the inward and interior of racialized folks through critical readings of the work of artists, the narrative of film characters and literary protagonists, the archival projects of students, and the oral history of loved ones.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation.June 2018. Major: American Studies. Advisor: Bianet Castellanos. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 274 pages.
Articulations of Responsible Freedom: Black, Latinx and Chicanx Life and Interiority Beyond Statist Redemption.
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