Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mills Response 3.25.08

Charles W. Mills to me
show details 10:45 am (2 days ago)

Hi Caitlin: No, I didn't know (by coincidence I came to work a while ago
and found an e-mail from a guy called Deven, who says they just won CDA
[?]--maybe it's they?). I don't agree that WS should be a "prior" issue
for every debating subject, obviously. There are many oppressions, the
"big three" of class, race, and gender, and others also. If you want,
you could look at TRC, where you'll see that in that long endnote near
the start (137-38, n. 3) I do explicitly cite other oppressions, while
saying that race is what I want to focus on in the book and also that I
believe race has had differential significance in this complex system of
multiple intersecting oppressions. But that's different from saying race
is the ONLY oppression, and the only one we should be talking about. So
you'd be citing the authority of Mills. For empirical stuff, let me
recommend a 2007 book by Douglas Massey, Categorically Unequal, which is
full of useful facts, figures, and graphs on the multiple inequalities
in the U.S., of class and gender as well as race. Paula Rothenberg has a
well-known anthology that has gone through multiple editions with a lot
of valuable readings on the legal and historical background of these
oppressions in the U.S. context. I'm blanking on the exact title, but
look her up on amazon, and you should be able to identify which one it
is. There are a huge number of anthologies on intersectionality, e.g.,
The Black Feminist Reader, ed. Joy James and T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting
and Words of Fire, ed. Beverly Guy-Sheftall. Finally (not to seem to be
plugging my own work, but if I'm being cited already...), you could look
at my most recent book, Contract and Domination, with Carole Pateman,
especially my ch. 6 (were you there at the launching? I can't recall).
How would a "black aesthetic" work in debating?!
Congratulations on the NU acceptance! It was good to have you in the
class (though you need to speak up more--especially now that I've
discovered you're a debater!), and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Keep me
informed re the debate stuff, since I may be "advising" both sides!
Charles Mills

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