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    Original Essays | September 21, 2015

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Other titles in the Perverse Modernities series:

Freedom with Violence: Race, Sexuality, and the Us Stat (Perverse Modernities)


Freedom with Violence: Race, Sexuality, and the Us Stat (Perverse Modernities) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.


Explores the relationship between race, knowledge, and violence that underpins U.S. modernity.

About the Author

Chandan Reddy is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Washington.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction. Freedom's Amendments: Race, Sexuality, and Disposability under the State Form 1

Part I

1. Freedom and Violence in W. E. B. Du Bois's Souls of Black Folk: The Land of Racial Equality 55

2. Legal Freedom as Violence in Nella Larsen's Quicksand: Black Literary Publics during the Interwar Years 90

Interlude 134

Part II

3. Rights-Based Freedom with Violence: Immigration, Sexuality, and the Subject of Human Rights 143

4. Moving beyond a Freedom with Violence: The Politics of Gay Marriage in the Era of Racial Transformation 182

Conclusion. Don't Ask, Don't Tell 219

Notes 247

Bibliography 283

Index 297

Product Details

Reddy, Chandan
Duke University Press
Ethnic Studies
Ethnic Studies - General
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Perverse Modernities: A Series Edited by Jack Halberstam and Lisa Lowe
Publication Date:

Related Subjects

Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » Sociology » Violence in Society
History and Social Science » US History » General

Freedom with Violence: Race, Sexuality, and the Us Stat (Perverse Modernities) New Hardcover
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Product details 320 pages Duke University Press Books - English 9780822350910 Reviews:
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Explores the relationship between race, knowledge, and violence that underpins U.S. modernity.
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