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I Hope I Join the Band

Narrative, Affiliation, and Antiraciset Rhetoric

Frankie Condon

Publication Year: 2012

"Both from the Right and from the Left, we are stymied in talking well with one another about race and racism, by intransigent beliefs in our own goodness as well as by our conviction that such talk is useless. . . . White antiracist epistemology needs to begin not with our beliefs, but with our individual and collective awakening to that which we do not know."

Drawing on scholarship across disciplines ranging from writing and rhetoric studies to critical race theory to philosophy, I Hope I Join the Band examines the limits and the possibilities for performative engagement in antiracist activism. Focusing particularly on the challenges posed by raced-white identity to performativity, and moving between narrative and theoretical engagement, thebook names and argues for critical shifts in the understandings and rhetorical practices that attend antiracist activism.

Published by: Utah State University Press


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. ix-xiv

It is customary at such moments in a book to write, “This work could not have been completed without ...” and so on. And yet, how else can one begin. No one writes alone, despite the stories we tell one another about how lonely writing is, about how isolated we may feel or may...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-26

One autumn day, I was driving my daughter Grace to a figureskating lesson in Omaha. The journey would consume most of an hour and I was using the time to think about the keynote address I was scheduled to deliver at the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing...

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2. Chattering with Angels

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pp. 27-56

“I wonder,” says my colleague, “if I could ask you a question.” We are sitting in a restaurant booth in the Midwest. I’ve been invited here to offer a workshop on antiracism. Our conversation had wound slowly to this moment, my colleague telling me a little of her childhood, her experience...

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3. Wrestling with Angels

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pp. 57-85

The last time I tried to save my brother I drove from Minnesota to Wisconsin on a gray February day. The snow lay in dirty piles along the roadside and my car plowed dutifully through the slush that covered the tarmac. I was feeling good. This time I had a plan. I had been dispatched...

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4. Angels before Thee

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pp. 86-119

Performative antiracism engages actors in forms of individual and individualized resistance—in work at the interior of one’s self and one’s affiliative relations with others. But performative antiracism demands more of us than this. Performative antiracism is labor that undoes the distinctions...

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5. An Open Door for Elijah

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pp. 120-144

In the fall of 2009, the Midwest Writing Centers Association held its annual conference in Rapid City, South Dakota. I chose to drive to the meeting rather than fly, and I chose to drive alone rather than traveling with consultants...

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6. After the Fire, a Still Small Voice

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pp. 145-184

The following chapter began with the exchange of letters written between November 2010 and late January 2011 between Vershawn Ashanti Young and me. Vershawn and I met in Chicago one winter at a conference on race and writing centers at the University of Illinois-Chicago...

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pp. 185-189

Years ago, Elizabeth Boquet was the keynote speaker at a National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing held in Lawrence, Kansas. The conference organizers had arranged a band for the conference reception. During one of their sets, Beth stepped up to the microphone...


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pp. 190-193


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pp. 194-195

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About the Authors, Back Cover

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pp. 196-196

Frankie Condon is an associate professor of English and the faculty coordinator of the writing center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She lives in Lincoln with her husband, Mike, her three children, Dan, Lucy, and Grace, her mom, Suzy, and two dogs, a cat, and two chinchillas...

E-ISBN-13: 9780874218770
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874218763

Page Count: 180
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 777375420
MUSE Marc Record: Download for I Hope I Join the Band

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Anti-racism.
  • Rhetoric -- Social aspects.
  • Racism.
  • Racism in literature.
  • Racism -- Study and teaching.
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