Disforming the American Canon: African-Arabic Slave by Ronald A.T. Judy

By Ronald A.T. Judy

Publication through Judy, Ronald A.T.

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Extra resources for Disforming the American Canon: African-Arabic Slave Narratives and the Vernacular (Disforming the American Canon : African-Arabic Slave Narratives and the Vernacular)

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The second concerns the importance of the conception of an emancipatory writing and the complex relationship between knowledge and power that emerged in modernity, achieving its greatest proportions in the Enlightenment concept of subjective freedom. Douglass's thinking about himself as a free man in terms of the relationship between experience and expression calls attention to the connectedness of Kant's conception of the Negro and his thinking about indeterminate linguistic referentiality. Establishing that tie requires that Kant's Critique of Pure Reason be read in a way that is at odds with the spirit of Anglo American Kant scholarship, which resembles dogmatism in its allergy to form as merely an accidental attribute.

It is in the question of the properly academic that Bundy finds the political aspect of knowledge, and that is the question of determining the legitimate ground for delineating disciplines. Accordingly, the very event of the Yale symposium opened a Pandora's box with far-reaching consequences. With insight into the obvious, Bundy remarked: "There will be more acts like this, and it is certain... that these studies begun here will be imitated or matched elsewhere" (174). Seemingly in validation of this assessment that the favorable results of the symposium were a foregone conclusion, Yale College faculty authorized the establishment of the Afro-American Studies Program on 12 December 1968.

This subjective freedom from nature lies at the crux of Kant's project to designate the structural possibilities of cognition. By concentrating in his Critique of Judgment on the purely transcendental faculties operative in aesthetic experience, disengaged from concern or interest in any particular object of aesthetic judgment, Kant could display the genealogy of cognitive agency, the discursivity of thought, as functioning in full autonomy from nature. Kebe's re-marking the historical limitations of that agency before Africa offers an insight into how Kant's discovery of the irresolvable indeterminacy of discursivity preempts any successful theoretical comprehension.

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