National Cultures and Racial Formations: Articulating the Knowledge Cultures of Kłoskowska And Du Bois
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One of the most powerful ways in which we can globalize knowledge, and sociology, is to figure ways in which leading intellectual figures within insufficiently articulated knowledge cultures might inform readings of the other’s work. With the recent revivals of Antonina Kłoskowska and W.E.B. Du Bois in Polish and US sociology respectively, it is a propitious time to figure the ways in which their scholarship aligns, contrasts, and can mutually transform. In particular, the two are both concerned for how marginalized communities with their associated subjectivities engage dominant cultures, but Kłoskowska works within a national/regional frame and Du Bois a global and racial one. Too, Du Bois theorizes from within that marginalized community, with political pointedness, not from outside it or with any attempt to refrain from value judgements. Finally, while Du Bois blends Marxist accounts with a culturally rich account of Blackness and its others, Kłoskowska offers a more semiotic and intersubjective hermeneutic view of how various fusions of horizons might also create a more open world. Those who extend Kłoskowska’s tradition exemplify that very potential while Du Bois, in his very conditions of existence, made racism’s hardest shell manifest. Figuring exemplars of national and racial leadership might, however, invite powerful figurations of the future, but only when their cultural and political constitutions are made explicit.
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