Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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Preface

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pp. ix-xiv

Unless I bury it in my backyard, the desktop computer on which I am writing will almost certainly end up in a mountain of toxic trash in Ghana. There, desperately poor children will strip it of tiny amounts of marketable metals and in the process destroy their health and drench the earth in poisons. I can pretend this reality does not exist. I can con-...

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1. Postmodern Fundamentalism

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pp. 1-36

Recently I attended a college graduation ceremony at which three English professors spoke. The first read a long, dark poem about our inability to control life. The second praised the uselessness of studying literature. The third stated that we have the questions, not the answers, and offered an extended interpretation of the final scene of Alfred Hitchcock’s...

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2. What David Walker and Harriet Beecher Stowe Still Have to Teach Us

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pp. 37-76

Not agitate!” African American author and editor Pauline Hopkins exclaims in her piece titled “Monroe Rogers” in the Colored American Magazine in 1902. “Republics exist only on the tenure of being constantly agitated” (276). With these words Hopkins ends her biography of a black man unjustly extradited to North Carolina from Massachusetts despite angry,...

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3. The Multicultural Imperative

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pp. 77-101

At an academic lecture on Asian American literature that I recently attended, an audience member asked the speaker why he didn’t place quotation marks around the word race. Didn’t his failure to use quotation marks simply support the erroneous idea that race is real? Was he asking us to fall back into “pre-post-race thinking”? The speaker responded...

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4. Rising Waters

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pp. 103-138

In The Souls of Black Folk in 1903 W. E. B. Du Bois prophesied that the problem of the twentieth century was the problem of the color line. It does not take a prophet today to predict that the problem of the twentyfirst century is the problem of ecological disaster. ...

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5. Jesus, Marx, and the Future of the Planet

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pp. 139-174

Women’s studies conferences and panels in the United States have taught me many things about literature, history, societal norms, economic disparities, health issues, reproductive rights, sexuality struggles, political hurdles, and the fight to end racism. But not until I attended the International Women’s Studies Conference in Kampala, Uganda, ...

Acknowledgment

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p. 175

A Note on Method

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p. 177

Works Cited

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pp. 179-190

Index

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pp. 191-197