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On Anger

Race, Cognition, Narrative

By Sue Kim

Publication Year: 2013

Opening a stimulating dialogue between cognitive studies and cultural studies, On Anger uses narratives such as the film Crash, Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, and the HBO series The Wire to argue that race is central to our conceptions and experiences of anger.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Series: Cognitive Approaches to Literature and Culture Series


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

First, multitudinous thanks go to Frederick Luis Aldama, without whose constant support this book would not have been possible. I also thank his University of Texas Press Cognitive Approaches to Literature and Culture Series co-editors, Arturo Aldama and Patrick Colm Hogan; my editor at UT Press, Jim Burr; ...

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pp. 1-12

Anger gets a bad rap. Calling someone “angry” often labels that person as irrational, unstable, and unpredictable. To say “He’s just angry” or “She spoke out of anger” implies something beyond reason, acting as an excuse or an indictment. Regardless of the merits of that person’s reasons for anger, the characterization of “angry” can dismiss ...

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1. Anger as Cognition

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pp. 13-42

This chapter surveys current work on emotion and cognition, highlighting central insights and debates about anger within cognitive psychology. Despite discussion of a “warrior gene” that predisposes certain individuals toward greater aggression and violence (“Can Genes”), surprisingly little consensus exists among cognitive psychologists about what actually constitutes anger— ...

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2. Anger as Culture

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pp. 43-69

The previous chapter summarized key debates in cognitive psychology about anger; this chapter surveys some approaches to emotion and anger in cultural studies, broadly defi ned. That is, by “cultural studies” here I refer not only to cultural studies in the Frankfurt or Birmingham School tradition ...

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3. Liberal Anger: Technologies of Anger in Crash

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pp. 70-83

Why was the 2005 film Crash so popular? Critics have discussed how Crash actually exacerbates the racial problems that it strives to critique. Directed by Paul Haggis, the film spans two days in Los Angeles, focusing on characters of various races whose lives intersect to varying degrees of calamity. ...

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4. Temporality and the Politics of Reading Kingston’s The Woman Warrior

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pp. 84-100

When I teach THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X and Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior in my American literature survey, students invariably tend to do two things: they evince surprise that Malcolm X is so much less angry than they had expected, and they want to read The Woman Warrior as being about the cultural differences between China and the U.S. ...

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5. Anger and Space in Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions and The Book of Not

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pp. 101-128

While Tsitsi Dangarembga’s acclaimed first novel, Nervous Conditions, is characterized by what we might think of as “large anger,” the sequel, The Book of Not, consists of what we might dub “small angers.” That is, while the anger experienced and expressed by the women in Nervous Conditions—particularly Nyasha, ...

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6. Estranging Rage: Ngugi’s Devil on the Cross and Wizard of the Crow

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pp. 129-151

In his 2000 study of Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s works, Simon Gikandi notes an incongruity between Ngugi’s description of the “strong emotions and deep personal feelings” involved in writing the novel Devil on the Cross, and the lack of affect or sentiment in the novel itself. ...

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7. “This Game Is Rigged”: The Wire and Agency Attribution

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pp. 152-174

The eighth episode of the first season of HBO’s series The Wire, “Lessons,” provides a brief but striking example of the interactions of cognition, emotion, and context. Sarah, a young girl under the care of Wallace, a sixteen-year-old low-level drug dealer in the Barksdale drug organization, comes to ask him for help with her math homework. ...

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Conclusion. Anger and Outrage

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pp. 175-178

I started this book before the Arab Spring, the European anti-austerity protests, and the Occupy Wall Street movement. Since then, however, people around the world have transformed their frustration at capitalism, political repression, and explicit or implicit rule by the wealthy, or the 1 percent, into political and moral outrage. ...


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pp. 179-194

Works Cited

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pp. 195-208


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pp. 209-215

E-ISBN-13: 9780292748422
E-ISBN-10: 0292748426
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292748415
Print-ISBN-10: 0292748418

Page Count: 227
Illustrations: none
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Cognitive Approaches to Literature and Culture Series
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OCLC Number: 857605838
MUSE Marc Record: Download for On Anger

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Anger in literature.
  • Mass media -- Social aspects.
  • Anger -- Social aspects.
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