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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.63, No.2, 339 ~ 364, 2017
A Return of People: the Evental Intensity of the Black Presence in America
김준년 Junyon Kim
This paper originated in my concern with the Ferguson unrest which was intrigued by the death of Michael Brown. Looking carefully into its particular case of police brutality and black criminality, I take the Ferguson unrest seriously in conjunction with the French philosopher Alain Badiou`s thought about event and truth. Then I pay further attention to Badiou`s engagement with the Arab Spring in 2011. Reading closely his The Rebirth of History, I compare the nation-wide development of the Ferguson unrest to Badiou`s theorization of historical riot. On this basis, I argue that the Ferguson unrest can be seen as a significant example of the Badiouian historical riot. In the third section of my paper, I go so far as to bring about the difference between the quality of being and the intensity of being in the discursive context of race and being. To search for philosophical answer to the critical question of why Black Lives Matter, I examine Gilles Deleuze`s conceptualization of intensity as a key term to a fuller understanding of difference and repetition. Finally, I put on the table such a sensitive issue as the African-American collective identity. Considering the post-racial call of the Obama presidency, I as non-black African-Americanist suggest that it is high time for black America to go beyond the conventional harbor of race and class into a new peoplehood. For African Americans have many reasons to claim their subject position as a people and thus to make a pivotal contribution to a return of people.
Key Words
미국흑인, 퍼거슨 소요, 사건, 존재의 강도, 민중, Ferguson unrest, event, African Americans, intensity of being, people
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