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Published on Apr 5, 2012
Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner (AMST 246)
Professor Wai Chee Dimock focuses on the unresolved problem of race in Light in August, focusing her discussion on the variety of reflexive and calculated uses of the word "nigger" as a charged term toward Joe Christmas. She shows how the semantic burden of the word varies -- used under duress by Joe Brown and the dietician, deliberately made light of by Hightower and Bobbie, fused with the contrary meanings of Calvinist theology by Joanna Burden, and finally ironized by Joe Christmas himself. Dimock uses these multiple uses of the word "nigger" to meditate on the making of racial identities and our collective input into that process.
Warning: This lecture contains graphic content and/or adult language that some viewers may find disturbing
00:00 - Chapter 1. The Unresolved Problem of Race in Light in August 07:01 - Chapter 2. Joe Brown's Involuntary Use of the Word "Nigger" 09:45 - Chapter 3. The Dietitian's Involuntary Use of the Word "Nigger" 14:01 - Chapter 4. The Dietician's Instrumental Usage of the Word "Nigger" 16:54 - Chapter 5. Hightower's Agonized Usage of the Word "Nigger" 19:37 - Chapter 6. The Doubleness of Hightower as Metaphor 21:31 - Chapter 7. Bobbie's Trivial Usage of the Word "Nigger" 23:57 - Chapter 8. Bobbie's Involuntary Use of the World "Nigger" 26:58 - Chapter 9. Joanna Burden's Emotional Response to the World "Nigger" as an Eternal Curse 34:47 - Chapter 10. The Burden's Calvinist Genealogy 39:38 - Chapter 11. Joanna Burden's Licentious Use of the Word "Negro" 47:03 - Chapter 12. Joe Christmas's Ironic Use of the Word "Nigger"