Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

I am grateful that this book has been the recipient of much good fortune. A generous line of people told me that this was more than a vagabond errand. David W. Noble, dear friend and treasured colleague, was the first to say to me, years before I started this project and in response to a conference paper that I wrote, “I think your next book should be on the university.” ...

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Introduction: Affirmative Actions of Power

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pp. 1-18

Let this image be a lesson to you. In fact, think of it as an archive, but one that records what typical depositories refuse to document. It’s called Self-Portrait 2000. The piece is a collage by African American philosopher and conceptual artist Adrian Piper. It’s made up of two columns and a picture residing at the base. ...

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1. The Birth of the Interdisciplines

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pp. 19-40

If we think of the archive not simply as an institution but as a social formation, we might say that the United States is the archival nation par excellence. In Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression, Derrida argues that the word archive is derived from the Greek arkheion, which was understood to be the residence of “those who commanded.”1 ...

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2. The Proliferation of Minority Difference

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pp. 41-75

You have heard that in the first days Zeus and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory, had nine daughters, each one a muse for a different talent. But in fact there was a tenth muse, an even more outside child whose province would be those bastard inspirations of minoritized communities. ...

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3. The Racial Genealogy of Excellence

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pp. 76-109

Not until the years after World War II would “yes” become a word attached to minority difference. Prior to that minorities would be most familiar with “no” and its many lacerations. In the decade of the sixties, however, new technologies would arise for saying “yes.” ...

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4. The Reproduction of Things Academic

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pp. 110-146

Almost everyone credits black studies with having led the charge of instituting the study of race. Interesting as this distinction is, its significance runs a little deeper and goes beyond the pomp of being first among the ethnic studies. More important, that Weld helped to midwife interest in and inaugurate the dispersion of minority difference. ...

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5. Immigration and the Drama of Affirmation

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pp. 147-179

It’s not often that the history of immigration is taken up in discussions of the antiracist movements. The social movements of the sixties are imagined typically as having to do with domestic minorities, civil rights, and affirmative action. Such frameworks tend to imagine the immigrant as an international entity inadmissible ...

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6. The Golden Era of Instructed Minorities

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pp. 180-208

For an extremely long time, the academy was the place where things stayed the same—where today would yield only begrudgingly to tomorrow. It was the domain where content was assumed to be stable and where student and faculty bodies were presumed to be eternal. ...

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7. Administering Sexuality; or, The Will to Institutionality

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pp. 209-226

The preceding chapters have dealt with the ways in which race, nationality, and gender have been maneuvered by hegemonic affirmation. This chapter turns to sexuality’s journey in power’s latest mode. In particular, it looks at sexuality to ask, What changes does a mode of difference undergo in administrative contexts? ...

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Conclusion: An Alternative Currency of Difference

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pp. 227-232

In Cedric Smith’s mixed-media piece Black Currency, a photograph of the scientist and black history icon George Washington Carver appears on the obverse of a colorfully painted thousand-dollar bill. This bill differs from its 1934 counterpart, which features President Grover Cleveland and in which the Treasury seal reads “The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Missouri.” ...

Notes

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pp. 233-254

Index

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pp. 255-286

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About the author

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pp. 298-298

Roderick A. Ferguson is professor of race and critical theory in the Department of American Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He is author of Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique (Minnesota, 2003) ...