Wayward Reproductions: Genealogies of Race and Nation in Trasatlantic Modern Thought (Next Wave): Genealogies of Race and Nation in Transatlantic ... Wave: New Directions in Women's Studies) [Illustrated] 0822333031, 9780822333036

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Table of contents :
Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Genealogy Unbound: Reproduction and Contestation of the Racial Nation
2.Writing Feminist Genealogy: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Reproduction of Racial Nationalism
3. Engels’s Originary Ruse: Race and Reproduction in the Story of Capital
4. Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis: Darwin, Freud, and the Universalization of Wayward Reproduction
5. The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism:W. E. B. Du Bois and the Reproduction of Racial Globality
Coda: Genealogies for a New Millennium
Notes
Works Cited
Index
Recommend Papers

Wayward Reproductions: Genealogies of Race and Nation in Trasatlantic Modern Thought (Next Wave): Genealogies of Race and Nation in Transatlantic ... Wave: New Directions in Women's Studies) [Illustrated]
 0822333031, 9780822333036

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Wayward Reproductions

Next Wave New Directions in Women’s Studies a se r i e s e di t e d by inde r pa l g r e wa l , c a r e n k a pl a n , a n d roby n wi e gma n

Wayward Reproductions Genealogies of Race and Nation in Transatlantic Modern Thought

alys eve weinbaum duke universit y press

Durham & London 2004

© 2004 Duke University Press All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper  Designed by Rebecca Giménez Typeset in Sabon by Tseng Information Systems, Inc. Library of Congress Catalogingin-Publication Data appear on the last printed page of this book. Acknowledgments for the use of copyrighted material appear on page 349 which constitutes an extension of the copyright page.

for my parents

Sandy and Shelly

Contents Acknowledgments, ix Introduction, 1 1. Genealogy Unbound: Reproduction and Contestation of the Racial Nation, 15 2. Writing Feminist Genealogy: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Reproduction of Racial Nationalism, 61 3. Engels’s Originary Ruse: Race and Reproduction in the Story of Capital, 106 4. Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis: Darwin, Freud, and the Universalization of Wayward Reproduction, 145 5. The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Reproduction of Racial Globality, 187 Coda: Gene/alogies for a New Millennium, 227 Notes, 247 Works Cited, 307 Index, 339

Acknowledgments I have been working on the cultures and politics of reproduction for well over a decade and thus this book has roots in ideas, questions, and conversations that captured my imagination long before I began to conceive of it as a book. It is a pleasure to arrive at an end of sorts, in no small part because it provides an occasion to express my profound gratitude to those who have guided, inspired, and sustained me on an extended journey. My mentors, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Priscilla Wald, gave immeasurable gifts of teaching and scholarship, and continue to give the friendship and support that mean so much to me. Gayatri has modeled a feminist sensibility that I will always draw upon. Priscilla, as is her wont, has given commitment new meaning. For her boundless enthusiasm, wise counsel, and willingness to jump in I thank Susan Gillman. For getting me started so many years back I am deeply indebted to Neil Lazarus, Mary Ann Doane, Elizabeth Weed, and Jacqueline Rose. An extraordinary group of interlocutors have engaged this book at each stage. For reading the entire manuscript and offering thoughtful and detailed suggestions for improvement I thank Gail Bederman, Sarah Franklin, Susan Gillman, Miranda Joseph, and Priscilla Wald. The members of my feminist writing group at the University of Washington, Madeleine Yue Dong, Ranjana Kahanna, Uta Poiger, Priti Ramamurthy, and Lynn Thomas, offered astute commentary on much of the manuscript. I hope these readers find that my revisions reflect their contributions well. For generously engaging various pieces of this project and offering feedback on what worked and what needed more work I thank Carolyn Allen, Tani Barlow, Bruce Burgett, Michael Denning, Gary Handwerk, Nancy Hartsock, Paget Henry, Jeanne Heuving,

Andreas Huyssen, Matthew Frye Jacobson, Amy Kaplan, Rosalind Petchesky, Ellen Rooney, Henry Staten, and Laura Wexler. For talking Marx and sharing the vibrant reading group that gave fruition to my chapter on Engels I thank Miranda Joseph and David Kazanjian. And not least, for providing crucial forms of institutional support at the University of Washington I thank Kate Cummings, Dick Dunn, Susan Jeffords, Mark Patterson, Caroline Chung Simpson, Kathleen Woodward, and Shawn Wong. I have been fortunate, and am grateful for awards and fellowships that have supported the completion of this book. A postdoctoral fellowship at the Pembroke Center for Research and Teaching on Women at Brown University allowed me to add chapters to the original dissertation. A faculty fellowship from the Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington provided timely support for further research and a group of fellows who graciously commented on work in progress. During the final stages of writing, a grant from the Royalty Research Foundation at the University of Washington provided needed relief from teaching. At Duke University Press my editor Reynolds Smith, along with Sharon Torian and Justin Faerber, expertly shepherded this manuscript. I am thankful for their attentiveness and good humor throughout. My research assistants, Christina Miller and Anne Wessel, helped with the details of manuscript preparation; Stefanie Martin was mistress of indexing, and Jan Bultman the most dedicated copyeditor I could hope for. Daniel Lee, Eduardo Kac, and Catherine Chalmers generously granted permission to reproduce their fascinating artwork in the coda. Finally there are those people who have sustained me day by day and made my life feel full. I thank Ranjana Khanna and Srinivas Aravamudan for first making Seattle home. I thank Chandan Reddy for his radiant mind and abundant warmth, and Gillian Harkins and Jodi Melamed for their unstinting kindness and persistent critique. Together Chandan, Gillian, and Jodi—colleagues and true comrades—have made the period during which I completed this book intellectually and politically rich and lots of fun. I thank Kirsten Hudson for the gift of lifelong friendship, and the nearly unflappable Michael Miller for always being there. Brent Edwards and David Kazanjian have been my fellow travelers for the duration. Each has, in his own special way, enriched my thinking and contributed greatly to my happiness. Words expressing adx

Acknowledgments

miration and solidarity are here inadequate. I thank my parents, Sandy and Shelly Weinbaum, for sharing their deep sense of social justice, and the love that continues to inspire me. And, above all, I thank Nikhil Pal Singh, my most challenging interlocutor and companion in endeavors large and small. This book, like my life, would not be what it is without him. His brilliance and emotional honesty have been my ballast.

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction Crises occur when the social formation can no longer be reproduced on the basis of the pre-existing system of social relations. —Stuart Hall

In its relatively short history the word ‘‘reproduction’’ has accrued a variety of meanings. Today it is bandied about in discussions on topics as wide-ranging as Marxist theory and photocopy machines, sound systems and human cloning. When dates are attached to the disparate usages of the word, as they are in the Oxford English Dictionary, a trajectory emerges in its transformation over time. First used as a synonym for ‘‘resurrection’’ by seventeenthcentury theologians, in the eighteenth century ‘‘reproduction’’ migrated from the religious realm to the secular, coming into vogue within the emergent field of natural history.1 Initially ‘‘reproduction’’ replaced the term ‘‘regeneration,’’ especially of limbs and other bodily appendages. It was not, however, until the latter part of the eighteenth century that ‘‘reproduction’’ was decisively attached to the notion of species reproduction—the sense of ‘‘reproduction,’’ biological and sexual, that became pervasive in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and that so compelled the transatlantic writers, intellectuals, and pundits whom I treat in this book. Although the Oxford English Dictionary’s entry on ‘‘reproduction’’ can be mined to reveal permutations in the term’s usage, what it cannot convey—invested as it is in the production of its own authority and thus its distance from social, economic, and

political wrangling—is how changes in the definition of reproduction came about, and thus how the modern conception of reproduction, sexualized and biologized, was shaped by contests over its meaning. In answering these questions the chapters that follow analyze ideas about reproduction elaborated in a number of fields of intellectual inquiry and within an array of cultural and political discourses, including evolutionary theory, early anthropology, Marxism, feminism, and psychoanalysis. In so doing, these chapters explore how competing understandings of reproduction as a biological, sexual, and racialized process became central to the organization of knowledge about nations, modern subjects, and the flow of capital, bodies, babies, and ideas within and across national borders. In situating reproduction as a quintessentially modern concept and then creating an interpretive history of its transatlantic development, throughout this book I treat ‘‘reproduction’’ as what Raymond Williams has called a ‘‘keyword,’’ a linguistic unit that functions as an overdetermined repository of social conflict and contradiction of a decidedly historical character.2 For although Williams excludes an entry for ‘‘reproduction’’ from his Vocabulary of Culture and Society (as Keywords is subtitled), I have found that it pervades the principal discursive fields that comprise transatlantic modern thought. Like other keywords, ‘‘reproduction’’ is a highly condensed sign that performs ideological work. In this book I thus read the various representations of reproduction produced within the discursive horizon of modernity as so many strategic positions in a continuing struggle over meaning and power, as diverse bids for control over reproductivity, over the power that accrued to reproduction at the same historical moment that the concept’s biological and sexual dimensions were consolidated, and that reproductive processes began to be regulated by modern states, and studied by scholars in the humanities and sciences.3 Keywords, Raymond Williams reminds us, do not stand alone. They are intimately conjoined with other keywords in relation to which they derive their meaning. In the case of ‘‘reproduction,’’ its relationships with ‘‘race,’’ ‘‘nation,’’ and ‘‘genealogy’’ have been long and enduring. To fully expand our understanding of ‘‘reproduction’’ it is thus necessary to consider these related signifiers, all of which have been shaped by the concept of reproduction just as it has been contoured by them. And yet, whereas Williams accords relatively equal social and political weight to each of the key2 Wayward Reproductions

words discussed within his vocabulary, here I focus on how ‘‘reproduction,’’ ‘‘race,’’ ‘‘nation,’’ and ‘‘genealogy’’ constitute more than one terrain of contest or site of historical crisis among others. For, when taken together, this group of keywords constitutes a privileged discursive cluster, the exploration of which sheds light on the systems of domination and oppression that characterize transatlantic modernity, especially its regimes of classification, oppression, and social control; namely, racism, nationalism, and imperialism. As this book demonstrates, this discursive cluster, more than any other, expresses the raciological thinking that molded exclusionary forces into their most violent and enduring forms.4 In earlier scholarship, reproduction has been associated all but exclusively with women’s bodies and the domestic realm—with private issues of fertility, childbearing, and motherhood, rather than with politically charged issues of racism, nation building, and imperial expansion. Because of this narrow association, reproduction has been subjected to one of two antithetical treatments. On the one hand, reproduction and things reproductive have been marginalized and pathologized for many of the same reasons that ‘‘women’s issues’’ in general are routinely regarded as less legitimate topics of research: too ‘‘soft,’’ too unscientific, not important to public (let alone global) events, not worth funding, or, most damning, too unproductive. Symptomatically, even in Williams’s Keywords women’s reproduction of the species is only discussed in the entry for ‘‘Labour,’’ and even in this instance, it is not expressly named but is instead invoked in the limited guise of ‘‘childbirth’’ and then subsumed within a wider argument about the association of physical exertion and pain. On the other hand, in rectifying this situation, in restoring what has been excluded from dominant analyses of modern transatlantic culture and society, feminists have rendered reproduction a central and multifaceted concern. For some this has entailed persistent attention to reproduction’s instrumentalization in the subordination of women in patriarchal cultures. Many scholars and activists have sought to rediscover and then reclaim reproductive bodies and labor from historiographies and political cultures that have systematically omitted reproduction’s decisive social and philosophical importance. In work ranging from Adrienne Rich’s groundbreaking meditation on motherhood as experience and institution, Of Woman Born, and the French feminist celebration of the maternal body and écriture feminine, to the Marxist feminist Introduction

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reassessment and valorization of women’s unremunerated work, and analyses of the onslaught of reproductive technologies, a feminist rejoinder to the earlier scholarly dismissal of reproduction has been successfully launched.5 In significant ways this book contributes to the larger and ongoing project of feminist reclamation. It too prioritizes reproduction as an intellectual and political concern. But it also parts company with scholarship that reclaims and/or extols the maternal body or romanticizes reproductive labor not only to reconstruct but simultaneously to deconstruct the term with which it is preoccupied. Rather than reclaiming reproduction as a concept to be naturally embraced by feminism as its own, I examine it through a critical lens. Analyzing reproduction from the standpoint of the present, I approach its past genealogically. And thus although it is only in the coda that I treat what many have come to regard as a highly problematical situation (one animated by current debates about global population control, the proliferation of reproductive technologies, the exponential growth of genetic engineering, the emergence of biocolonialism and bioprospecting, an array of political movements aimed at so-called fetal protection, and that old standby so familiar to U.S. feminists, ‘‘reproductive rights’’), I implicitly and continuously look backward from the present to explore how the concept of reproduction became deeply embedded within modernity’s nodal systems of classification and social domination.6 The interconnected ideologies of racism, nationalism, and imperialism rest on the notion that race can be reproduced, and on attendant beliefs in the reproducibility of racial formations (including nations) and of social systems hierarchically organized according to notions of inherent racial superiority, inferiority, and degeneration. Two interrelated concerns thus form the broad arc of my investigation: First, how has the representation of women’s reproductive capacity been integral to the epistemological systems that are central to defining modernity? And, second, how have various representations of reproduction within the modern episteme played a part in winning assent to ideologies of racism, nationalism, and imperialism? In asking these questions Wayward Reproductions builds on the work of scholars of nationalism who have sought to understand the gendered dynamics of nation building (as I discuss in chapter 1), critical race studies and feminist scholars who have focused 4 Wayward Reproductions

on the intersection of racism and sexism, and American studies scholars who have sought to understand how national belonging and ideas about gender, sexual, and racial identity articulate in and through one another at different historical conjunctures.7 It also enters into dialogue with a group of thinkers who, although seldom positioned as interlocutors, are nonetheless engaged in theorizing the centrality of reproductive thinking to modern transatlantic social organization and cultural production. The members of this group have two principal orientations. First are those who have sought to transform political and social theory by foregrounding reproductive politics in a number of heavily canonized texts. Their work, although varied in focus, reveals how reproductive politics structure modern political and social conflicts, and how human reproduction and kinship function as twinned mechanisms that orchestrate inclusion in political societies. Second are a handful of scholars who have returned to a range of literary texts to explore how they embody reproductive politics and/or produce formal innovation through refiguration of the intersection of ideas about race and the maternal body.8 My present aims are in solidarity with this crucial work. This book examines the Western philosophical and political tradition and centers the reproductive ideas that exist within prevailing accounts of group affiliation and social organization; it also reworks received understandings of literary texts to attend to their otherwise neglected reproductive and racial figurations and themes. At the same time Wayward Reproductions has a distinct goal: the excavation of a persistent, if inchoate, ideological constellation that I refer to as ‘‘the race/reproduction bind.’’ As I demonstrate, this conceptual unit, rather than either of its parts alone, organizes the modern episteme—the complex of discourses that characterize the modern historical epoch, expressing and subtending its conflicts around meaning production within the United States and within the larger transatlantic context that has been shaped by the race/reproduction bind that simultaneously characterizes it.9 In this signal term the word ‘‘bind’’ expresses the inextricability of the connection between race and reproduction—the fact that these phenomena ought not to be thought of as distinct, though they have all too often been analytically separated. ‘‘Bind’’ is also instructive in that it conjures the double bind in which political thinkers and philosophers have found themselves when they have attempted to untangle race and reproduction by mistakenly misIntroduction

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apprehending the tenacity and resilience of the mutually dependent relationship that exists between the two. Given this bind this book offers neither a new take on reproductive themes within literary modernism nor a new theory of reproduction’s role in creating the modern nation state but rather a defamiliarized account of how race and reproduction are bound together within transatlantic modernity’s central intellectual and political formations. My hope is that this account will convince at least a few readers to (re)orient knowledge production about these formations around a new axis: race/reproduction. From one perspective it might have made sense to begin this investigation with a treatment of Thomas Malthus and his discourse on population, and to conclude it with examination of the eugenics movement that swept through the United States and Europe in the first decades of the twentieth century and reached an apotheosis in the genocide of World War II. Population control and eugenics are clearly sites in which race and reproduction intersect and become inextricable. In his Essay on the Principal of Population (1798) Malthus sets the stage for much of the reproductive thinking focused on here. His thesis that population growth and the control and containment of reproductive sexuality constitute a major problem for modern societies with diminishing resources was as hotly debated among the thinkers whom I discuss (especially Marx, Engels, and Darwin) as among the first-wave feminists involved in the birth control movement (here Margaret Sanger immediately comes to mind).10 Similarly, the forms of eugenic thinking that arose in the early part of the twentieth century pivoted on an understanding of the relationship of race to reproduction, and on notions of racial superiority and degeneration that are similar to those that pervade the texts treated throughout this book. And yet, Malthus and the racial, ethnic, sexual, and religious genocides of World War II haunt this study rather than bracket it for a simple reason: I am less interested in discourses that treat the race/reproduction bind on the level of manifest content than I am in those that are shot through or permeated by ideas about race and reproduction and yet are either seemingly unaware of this fact, or commonly treated by scholars as if the race/reproduction bind did not constitute the foundation of theoretical articulation and coherence. Thus, rather than focusing on the texts of population control and eugenics, fascism, and genocide, this 6

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book traces the lineaments of the struggles fought over the meaning of reproduction by a number of thinkers who are central to the articulation of transatlantic modern thought, but whose treatments of reproduction and attendant ideas of race, nation, and genealogy have not been the express object of critical attention or are truly inchoate or subtextual. As successive chapters demonstrate, modern transatlantic thought—that produced by modernity’s big systems builders and those who engaged them—is consistently undergirded by the race/reproduction bind because this conceptual unit has enabled the articulation of the modern episteme. Ideally at least a few of the often read texts I examine will be familiar to readers. What will be unfamiliar is how each comes to look when the race/reproduction bind that underpins the text in question is excavated. In some cases, texts are defamiliarized through readings that explore how they cement the relationship between race and reproduction in the interest of consolidating racial nationalism or imperial regimes of power. In others, defamiliarization proceeds through exploration of a textual struggle to detach race from reproduction, and thus to think about national identity and/or racial belonging as more than biologically reproduced inheritances. In still other instances, texts that have nothing to do with reproduction on the level of manifest content are shown to tacitly engage the race/reproduction bind in their production of rhetorical and conceptual coherence. Thus, in addition to addressing the two touchstone questions already mentioned (How are representations of reproduction integral to the epistemological systems considered central to the articulation of modernity? And how have such representations shored up racism, nationalism, and imperialism?), I pose several others that are derivative of these, but perhaps more generative because of their greater precision: How have modernity’s big systems builders inadvertently bound race ever more tightly to reproduction? How have various authors sought to produce representations of reproductive processes and bodies that challenge the notion that race is something that can be reproduced? And finally, how have thinkers who comprehend the incompatibility of racism and human liberation sought to transcend the race/reproduction bind altogether by rethinking or reappropriating the concept of human reproduction to antiracist ends? Answers to these questions are proffered across five chapters Introduction

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that explore the overlapping textual strategies used to bring race and reproduction into the text and either bind or unbind them from each other. Chapter 1, ‘‘Genealogy Unbound,’’ elaborates the connections among the cluster of keywords—‘‘reproduction,’’ ‘‘race,’’ ‘‘nation,’’ and ‘‘genealogy’’—upon which the rest of the chapters focus. It explains how racism and nationalism articulate through each other and how ideas of reproductive genealogical connection secure notions of belonging in those contexts in which the nation is conceived of as racially homogenous. The chapter develops genealogy as a concept that conjoins notions of racial ‘‘purity,’’ familial, and national belonging and then theorizes it as a method of critical historical inquiry, a heuristic capable of identifying and subsequently cutting through the race/reproduction bind that it subtends. The chapter treats several of the prevailing theories of nationalism and engages the two principal modern theorists of genealogy, Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault. Through close reading it unearths the unacknowledged racial and reproductive dimensions of their formulations about genealogical inquiry. And although the nineteenth-century southern author Kate Chopin has not before been situated alongside these two well-known thinkers as a fellow philosopher, the chapter makes recourse to her ideas about genealogical narration, rooted as they are in the conflicts of the post-Emancipation United States, to reinforce the inherently racial and reproductive dimensions of the diverse genealogical projects that have been orchestrated in the Atlantic theater. Overall chapter 1 demonstrates that genealogy is a self-reflexive methodological tool—the one I use throughout the rest of the book to unpack the dependence of racist, nationalist, and imperialist thought on notions of descent, kinship, and the reproduction of racial differences that more conventional ideas about genealogy naturalize or consolidate. Chapter 2, ‘‘Writing Feminist Genealogy,’’ builds on the previous chapter by analyzing how first-wave feminism and uncritical second-wave celebrations of it are together ensnared in an unexamined race/reproduction bind. It focuses on the work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the highly prolific turn-of-the-century U.S. feminist, and on her vexed brand of maternalist feminism. The chapter explores how her belief in the possibility of ‘‘purified’’ genealogical connection structured her thinking about national belonging within the context of the massive post-Reconstruction effort to imagine reunion of North and South and renegotiate the mean8

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ing of citizenship. It pinpoints the dependence of Gilman’s arguments about white women’s role in national reproduction on anti-immigrant and racial animus, and on the idea that a racially ‘‘pure’’ population could be reproduced if interracial sex, or ‘‘miscegenation,’’ could be avoided. Finally, considering the strength of contemporary resistance to analysis of the grounding of Gilman’s maternalist feminism in racism and nationalism by those who have been committed to the recovery of Gilman as a foremother, the chapter raises pressing questions about what it means to write feminist history, to construct genealogies of feminism that are antiracist—critical genealogies such as the one that both chapter 2 and the book as a whole seek to model. Chapter 3, ‘‘Engels’s Originary Ruse,’’ extends the argument about feminism by examining a partially analogous treatment of race in Marxist and socialist feminist theorizing produced in the 1970s and 1980s, and then returns to Friedrich Engels’s Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (1884), the account of the convergence of capitalism and patriarchy that has, more than any other, informed socialist and Marxist strands of feminist theory. By returning to Origin the chapter charts an alternative feminist approach to Marxism that reveals the centrality of ideas about race and reproduction to the development of capitalist society. For at core Engels’s ideas about private property and the modern state are infused with nineteenth-century scientific understandings of kinship, family, and tribe first found in the work of Lewis Henry Morgan, the American anthropologist upon whose studies of Native Americans Origin relies. Overall, chapter 3 shows that reproductive and racial thinking saturate Marxism’s highly influential origin story in a manner that has the potential to radically alter prevailing feminist readings of Marx and Engels’s contribution. If several of the writers treated in this book self-consciously negotiate the race/reproduction bind, viewing it as integral to their larger political projects, in the writings of others it is inchoate or subtextual. In the discussion of Marx, Engels, and Morgan, as in the subsequent one of Darwin and Freud, overlapping reproductive and racial figures are shown to work not only with but also against their authors’ manifest intentions. In tracking racial and reproductive figures I thus discern how foundational texts by modernity’s big systems builders can be read against the grain, as evidence of the deep embedding of racialized reproductive thinkIntroduction

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ing within major modern thought systems. Chapter 4, ‘‘Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis,’’ examines many of the nineteenth-century ideas about family, kinship, and tribe identified in Engels’s Origin by turning first to Darwin’s theory of ‘‘sexual selection’’ and then to Freud’s early studies on hysteria. The premise of the chapter is that Darwin’s now discredited theory of sexual selection—the theory developed to account for evolutionary processes of racial differentiation in The Descent of Man (1871)—opened up extensive anxieties about the power of the female of the species to alter the course of evolution through the choice of her mate. Although Freud rarely engaged Darwin directly, the chapter juxtaposes Darwin and Freud to reveal Freud’s theories about hysteria as implicitly in dialogue with ideas central to nineteenth-century racial and evolutionary science, as well as prevailing anti-Semitic ideas about race and reproduction. In writing on hysteria Freud attempted, I argue, to redress popular anti-Semitic views on wayward female desire and racialized reproductive and sexual excess by reworking prevailing scientific ideas about race and reproduction. In particular, a close reading of Freud and Breuer’s case study ‘‘Anna O.’’—the case thought to originate the ‘‘talking cure’’—reveals how Freud’s founding of psychoanalysis depended upon successful reappropriation of ideas about hysteria that were racially coded as Jewish. For, in crafting his account of the origins of his new science and defending it from racist scorn and stereotype, Freud universalized an array of antiSemitic stereotypes about Jewish reproductivity, effectively countering their racism. Like Freud, the African American intellectual and activist W. E. B. Du Bois attempted to reconstruct the relationship between race and reproduction in the interest of producing antiracist thinking—in this case about black belonging in the postReconstruction nation and in the world. Chapter 5, ‘‘The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism,’’ extends the arguments about Freud’s antiracist strategies by considering Du Bois’s attempts to transcend the ideas of reproduction that underwrote notions of racial belonging and citizenship in the United States. Through exploration of the various representations of black maternity created by Du Bois the chapter elaborates their rhetorical and political function in combating the racialization of national belonging, on the one hand, and in articulating universal black citizenship, or what I call racial globality, on the other. Beginning with an 10

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analysis of Du Bois’s treatment of the connection between reproductive politics and U.S. racial nationalism in The Souls of Black Folk, the chapter proceeds by examining Du Bois’s internationalist expansion of his argument through a reading of his romantic novel Dark Princess and concludes with an analysis of key passages from the semi-autobiographical Dusk of Dawn. Overall, the chapter moves from discussion of Du Bois’s critique of the ideological construction of the United States as a white nation reproduced by white progenitors to an examination of his figuration of a black mother out of whose womb springs a black diasporic antiimperialist alliance. In focusing on materials gathered from multiple national contexts and academic disciplines the archive that this book constructs and examines makes an argument: to study the race/ reproduction bind as a central feature of the modern episteme it is necessary to engage in theoretically oriented work that refuses to be nationally bound in scope. In insisting upon the juxtaposition of modernity’s big systems builders (Marx, Engels, Darwin, Freud) and well-known philosophers (Nietzsche, Foucault) with less widely recognized literary and political figures such as Gilman, Chopin, and Du Bois, this book also makes a second argument: the transatlantic racial formation is so complex, often so overwhelming, that to study it one must explore not only the confluence of ideas across national contexts but their confluence across textual sites that might otherwise seem unbearably heterogeneous. In short, when reproduction is positioned as a central object of knowledge it calls forth a new hermeneutic that implicitly challenges nation-based work, as well as the often unexamined hierarchization of the broad array of texts and disparate authors by whom they were produced. In constituting its archive as it does, this book countermands the fraught connection between national exceptionalism and the textual hierarchies that have predominated within the study of modernity on both sides of the Atlantic. With this last remark I do not mean to imply that by focusing on the race/reproduction bind I necessarily disengage from nation-based work—in this case, work broadly construed within the purview of American studies. To do so would diminish the fact that, regardless of the diverse national origins of the texts this book treats, it is predominantly literary and Euro-American in focus.11 Instead, I hope to underscore a slightly different set of concerns. On the more mundane level, nations are ‘‘semipermeIntroduction

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able container[s]’’ whose cultural and intellectual formations are always leaking out. Beginning in the 1870s and ending shortly before World War II, there was a strong and continuous flow of ideas and cultural products back and forth across the Atlantic and across national borders within Europe. As historians such as Daniel Rogers have argued, Europe and the United States were as tightly bound together by trade and capitalism as by the exchange of ideas.12 As already indicated Marx and Engels’s theories about the origins of private property and the modern state were built out of knowledge about Native Americans provided by the American anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan. Even though Darwin’s work is rarely considered alongside Freud’s, it had currency in the Austro-German intellectual scene in which psychoanalysis was crafted. And although Chopin and Nietzsche were probably entirely unaware of each other’s writings, their shared ideas about genealogy and race render them unanticipated theoretical interlocutors. Such intellectual crosscurrents are, moreover, often actual. Du Bois traveled to Europe and to Africa on several occasions in the early years of the twentieth century (and later as well), and his novel Dark Princess explores the form of utopian black internationalism made possible by his global circulation. Gilman’s feminism was regarded as groundbreaking not only by the Americans to whom she lectured, but also by the European feminists and progressives she met on her sojourns abroad. On a more analytical level, in framing Wayward Reproductions transatlantically and in creating often uncomfortable juxtapositions of fiction and nonfiction, celebrated and less well-known texts by big-name thinkers and perhaps unfairly marginalized authors and political activists, I hope to suggest that thinking about nations and nation formation is always caught within a racialized reproductive logic about the propagation of national subjects and citizens and is constituted through exchanges that take place within an unwieldy, awkwardly shaped, and truly heterogeneous cultural horizon. It is not just big systems builders who produce enduring ideas, just as it is not solely nationals who meditate upon the forms of nationalism that characterizes the nations in which they reside. In refusing to be nationally centered and in electing to be somewhat heterodox in the manner in which it convenes texts, this book is intended to delineate the deep, historically layered discursive context in which the relationships among race, reproduction, and nationalism are rooted in the United States. As 12

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will be evident I have taken my cues from others who have developed mind-opening rubrics including the ‘‘Black Atlantic,’’ the ‘‘circum-Atlantic’’ and the ‘‘North Atlantic World’’ to reveal and contest the U.S. exceptionalism that often characterizes U.S. literary, historical, and cultural study; for in a similar spirit I employ a transatlantic frame to cut through the nationalism of nationbased scholarship and to expose the racialized reproductive logic of modern U.S. nationalism as it was conceived within a polyphonic, multinational crucible.13 Stuart Hall, one of the founders of British cultural studies, proposes an understanding of historical crises that coincides, albeit unintentionally, with the transatlantic flow of ideas and struggle over meaning that this book documents. As Hall observes in the epigraph to this introduction, ‘‘Crises occur when the social formation can no longer be reproduced on the basis of the preexisting system of social relations’’ (emphasis added). In crafting this maxim Hall employs the concept of reproduction in a modified Marxist sense.14 Working through Antonio Gramsci’s earlier ideas about historical crises, Hall suggests that social formations fall into decline and are resurrected in new ways, that they are composites of economic and social relations subject to transformation and reformation catalyzed by social and economic pressures that continually threaten the hegemony of the dominant order. In other words, in drawing on Marxist theory Hall updates a familiar thesis: Crises occur when the processes of capitalist accumulation are unable to function, when the relations of production can no longer be reproduced. The manner in which Hall’s formulation links the concept of crisis directly to that of reproductive failure and situates both as objects of cultural studies is immediately provocative. Like other Marxist thinkers before him, Hall identifies reproduction as a pivotal historical process that palpably transforms and consolidates social relations. But what if Hall’s formulation were interpreted not only as an account of the processes by which historical crises become manifest but also quite literally? What happens when reproduction is situated not only as a mechanism of historical change but also as species reproduction, itself a crucial object of this historically transformative process? This book explores reproduction in just this two-pronged manner—as a structural mechanism of change and as a specifically racialized and sexualized mechanism of change—arguing that reproduction should be thought of as a Introduction

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self-reflexive concept within the context of the cultural study of transatlantic modernity. For, as the chapters that follow detail, reproduction is a figure for theory that is itself involved in a crisis. This is a crisis precipitated by the failure of the social order, particularly the modern racial nation, to continually reproduce itself without a glitch. In turn, it is an ongoing crisis in the meaning of the racialized and sexualized concept of reproduction—a crisis in the dominant racial and gender order that becomes visible in the failure of reproduction to achieve a stabilized meaning, in nothing less than reproduction’s becoming wayward.

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Chapter One Genealogy Unbound: Reproduction and Contestation of the Racial Nation

Forgetting is no mere vis inertiae as the superficial imagine; it is rather an active and in the strictest sense positive faculty of repression.—Friedrich Nietzsche The essence of a nation is that all individuals have many things in common, and also that they have forgotten many things.—Ernest Renan Forgetting, like miscegenation, is an opportunistic tactic of whiteness. —Joseph Roach

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‘‘Désirée’s Baby,’’ the turn-of-the-century story by the southern author Kate Chopin, revolves around a white-looking, fair-haired woman who is remorselessly disciplined for her alleged participation in the wrong kind of reproduction. The ironically named Désirée is a foundling taken in and raised by a childless Louisiana planter family. She grows up to be a Southern belle, and when she comes of age, she marries a neighboring plantation owner, who, although warned of her sketchy origins, throws caution to the wind. A blissful marriage ensues until Désirée and Armand’s first child arrives. Initially regarded as a blessing and a suitable heir, it soon becomes apparent to everyone who lays eyes upon the infant, and then finally to Désirée, that her son is not ‘‘pure’’

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white. Subsequently, Armand casts Désirée off for shaming and dishonoring his family name and decrees that Désirée is not herself white, as evidenced in her baby’s complexion. Although Désirée’s adopted mother begs her to return home, Désirée refuses, choosing instead to disappear with her child ‘‘among the reeds and willows that grow thick along the banks of the deep, sluggish bayou.’’ 1 The tragedy does not end with Désirée’s disappearance and the specter of infanticide, however, but with a characteristic Chopinesque twist. As Armand burns Désirée’s belongings he also destroys a fragment of a letter he has found at the back of one of her drawers. This letter, written in Armand’s mother’s hand, thanks ‘‘the good God for having so arranged [life] that [her] dear Armand will never know that his dear mother, who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery’’ (176). Recent critics have argued that this story testifies to the difficulty of constructing racial categories, and to the power of male prerogative—specifically white men’s ability to demarcate racial boundaries in their own interest.2 The reading of ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ offered here builds on this argument and suggests that the unstable racial formation that the story explores can also be read as a precarious national formation—for, as we shall see, Chopin’s tale is as much about the difficulties of taxonomizing race as about the problems that beset nation-states that depend on racial classification in disciplining, organizing, and defining their populations as national. Indeed, the reproductive body at the center of Chopin’s text also resides at the center of the discourse on the composition of the nation that the drama engages: Chopin represents race as reproducible, national belonging as maternally orchestrated, and the maternal body as the repository for imbricated racial and national identities. Although a cursory reading leaves readers assuming that Désirée is white and Armand a so-called mulatto, a second reading confounds this glib (il)logic, revealing that both parents— the orphan woman (who can be read as a racial ‘‘wild card’’)3 and the biracial man—as well as their visibly mixed-race child are all equally implicated in an interrupted line of descent in which the possibility of racial ‘‘purity’’ is perpetually deferred. Ultimately, there are no white people in this text, whose deepest meaning pivots on recognition of the pretense that neither the ‘‘pure’’ racial origins of individuals nor those of nations can ever be discerned. The vexed search for ontological certainty in which ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ engages readers can also be read against the grain, as a 16

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genealogical quest for information about descent, whose failure allegorizes the difficulties of securing racial identity in a past that cannot be accurately known. Whenever a white self fabricates a coherent racial identity in Chopin’s tale, it is always already a ruse, since racial ‘‘purity’’ emerges as a genealogical impossibility. In depicting the problematic nature of genealogical inheritance as one made visible on the surface of the body, Chopin’s story defies readers who would label it ‘‘racist’’ or racially prescriptive in any simple sense; for the faint traces and hints of color that are readily discerned in Désirée’s infant’s complexion liberate an infinite profusion of lost events that reveal the constructedness of the notion of racial belonging, rather than the solidity of regimes of racial ascription or the security of genealogical guarantees. Armand and Désirée have each fabricated coherent selves (they believe themselves white), but in Chopin’s narrative all selves are products of interracial reproduction. Miscegenation is the overdetermined origin that is finessed by all projections of subjective coherence that are grounded in the idea of a ‘‘pure’’ or knowable origin or ancestor. The white subject’s ontological certitude conceals nothing less than the pervasive history of racial mixing in the United States. And even though this revelation does not mitigate the story’s complicity in feeding racist anxiety about interracial sex, it does suggest that the idea of genealogy can be deconstructed such that race becomes an ambiguous category, and the racially ‘‘pure’’ nation a ruse. I begin this methodological chapter with a reading of Chopin’s allegory about racialized reproduction and racial nationalism for two reasons. First, this story concisely assembles the major themes that are treated by this book. These include the demarcation of racial categories and the gendered and sexed power relationships that underpin regimes of racial ascription; the centrality of notions of genealogical inheritance to the construction of racial and national identities; the differential power of mothers and fathers —reproductive vessels and inseminators—in shaping notions of first racial and then national belonging; the politics of the figuration of the maternal body as either a repository of racial identity or a racializing force; the dependence of modern nationalism and notions of national belonging on the idea that race is something that can be reproduced; and, finally, the centrality of the conceptual pair—what I have previously referred to as the race/reproduction bind—to those modern thought systems develGenealogy Unbound

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oped in the context of transatlantic racial nationalism as either contestations or critiques of its logic. ‘‘Désirée’s Baby,’’ like the range of texts treated in subsequent chapters, binds race and reproduction so tightly to each other that the figuration of the racialized maternal body comes to index the mechanism and meaning of the color line that characterizes and simultaneously contours the nation in which that body resides. The second reason this chapter opens with Chopin’s allegory is that the story can be read against the grain, to theorize the methodology or reading strategy I mobilize throughout this book to expose and cut through the race/reproduction bind that subtends the various texts I treat. In other words, in Chopin’s tale genealogy is simultaneously an object of analysis, a concept to be explored, and an active principal that allows for critical engagement with the racial and reproductive logic of the text. Consequently the reading of ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ offered here is self-reflexive and doubleedged: it exposes genealogy as a raced and reproductive object, and it transforms genealogy into a critical theoretical tool that can be used to contest the same biological ‘‘truths’’ that conventional notions of genealogy claim to trace, identify, and sanction. Maternal Allegories

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When Chopin wrote ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ the instability of purportedly white and black bodies as visual markers of inclusion within, or exclusion from, the newly unified nation had particular resonance. In the 1890s, as racial violence and legal wrangling over questions of race and citizenship engulfed the newly reunited states, Chopin’s antebellum drama implicitly joined popular discussions, particularly those about the legal system’s dilemma over how to classify and treat freedmen and freedwomen in the wake of the unfulfilled promise of Reconstruction. Although miscegenation statutes date back to the 1660s, instructively the focus of jurisprudence on miscegenation was most intense in the aftermath of the Civil War.4 In fact, Chopin’s story comes on the heels of some of the period’s watershed Supreme Court decisions regarding miscegenation. In 1883 Pace v. Alabama upheld a ruling that favored punishment for interracial sex, justifying this verdict by arguing that it punished blacks and whites equally. In turn, Pace was one of several cases that served as precedents for the ‘‘separate but equal’’ rhetoric that informed Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896.5 In this sense 18 Wayward Reproductions

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Chopin’s story anticipates the Supreme Court’s ruling in Plessy, in which the nation’s highest court upheld the constitutionality of separate treatment of black and white citizens by defining blackness in terms of ‘‘one drop of black blood’’ and then effectively transforming dual constitutional citizenship into dual racial citizenship based on this ‘‘fact.’’ I situate ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ in relation to the legal debates by which it was surrounded, to draw attention to the special temporality of fictions that meditate upon the intersection of race, reproduction, and nation. Set during slavery but written shortly after its end, Chopin’s story negotiates a legally sanctioned political shift in the relationship between nation and miscegenation from the antebellum to the postbellum period. By reflecting and refracting its moment of production Chopin shows readers the process by which historical continuities between a mythologized past and projected future are imagined. In ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ Chopin casts the racial formation of the nation as continuously white and as reproducible as such. In his classic account of the 1880s and 1890s, the southern historian C. Van Woodward argues that during the period of reconciliation between North and South, the national literature was Southern and Confederate in sympathy; the image of the South often combined the New South with the Old: ‘‘along with the glittering vision of a ‘metropolitan’ and industrial South to come developed a cult of archaism, a nostalgic vision of the past. One of the significant inventions of the New South was the ‘Old South.’ ’’ Woodward insightfully includes Chopin among those authors responsible for the southern literary revival that recuperated and celebrated the Old South and its aristocratic ways. He is at the same time critical of Chopin and other revival authors for failing to offer ‘‘a realistic portrayal of their own times.’’ 6 It is certainly evident that Chopin’s writings, which were primarily patronized by northern literary establishments and readers, provided a local view of the South that made it assimilable within an emergent national logic insistent on southern absorption. It is also possible to build on Woodward’s historical work by interpreting Chopin’s glance backward as a pointed commentary on her present. From this perspective her text emerges less as a poor reflection or myopic mystification of its moment of production than as a literary narrative directly involved in the complex staging of desire. In mingling a vision of the antebellum South with her Genealogy Unbound

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postbellum present, Chopin performs a historical straddling act in which an immemorial past mingles freely with a mythologized present and is then projected into a limitless future.7 In this way Chopin’s story effectively, if never intentionally, reveals the violent and continuous construction of the United States as a white nation in the past, in the present, and in the projected future. In so doing Chopin’s historically indeterminate tale highlights and then theorizes the special temporality of nationalisms founded on reproductive and racial thought. In the 1850s, when ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ is set, legislation retained slave status for interracial children, ensuring that all children born to enslaved black women became slaves. In the 1890s this same legislation began to function differently. In the aftermath of the Civil War white southern property was assaulted: whites (including Chopin’s family) lost their property, Confederate money became worthless, land values dropped, and land redistribution threatened. In other words, in the 1890s, although miscegenation law again stabilized the holdings of white property owners, this time rather than ensuring that a mother’s blackness rendered her children salable (like her own body), the legal apparatus attended to the complicated task of investing white blood with value—rendering whiteness a rare inalienable commodity—and then arresting its circulation in the body politic. As legal scholar Cheryl Harris observes, ‘‘The concept of whiteness was carefully protected because so much was contingent upon it. Whiteness conferred on its owners aspects of citizenship that were all the more valued because they were denied to others.’’ 8 The upshot of the broad legal and social valuation of whiteness in which Chopin’s work participated was that so-called white people were compensated for their losses with a new form of personal property. As Eva Saks explains in an important article on miscegenation law, jurisprudence restricting interracial sex and marriage always represents social practices as biological essences. In unwittingly exposing the gap between social and legal definitions of race and property, ‘‘the miscegenous body’’ that is the object of miscegenation law comes to stand ‘‘for the threatening clash and conjunction of difference: of black and white, of owner and owned . . . of legal and social forms of representation itself.’’ 9 Extending this line of argument, Harris traces the transvaluation of whiteness from skin color and/or blood to what she calls ‘‘status property.’’ Whiteness, she notes, ‘‘shares the critical characteris20

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tics of property even as the meaning of property has changed over time. In particular, whiteness and property share a common premise—a conceptual nucleus—of a right to exclude.’’ In the Reconstruction and immediate post-Reconstruction period, Harris concludes, ‘‘white identity became the basis of racialized privilege that was ratified and legitimated in law as a type of status property.’’ 10 Harris’s and Saks’s work has profound implications for the theorization of U.S. racial nationalism and is amply backed by the work of historians of whiteness such as Matthew Frye Jacobson and David Roediger.11 Together these scholars show us that whiteness, a concept initially used to differentiate the citizen from the slave, became the basis of racial citizenship, such that ownership of personal whiteness enabled one to claim membership in the white nation. Where a white person’s ownership of property in the form of land, animals, and slaves had been the criterion used to differentiate those entitled to the benefits of citizenship from those denied such benefits, after the Civil War, as blacks entered the national population as citizens, property instead came to reside in the body in the form of whiteness. In the period in which Chopin wrote, whiteness was no longer simply a matter of reputation but something that had retreated further out of reach through its legal consolidation, such that whiteness understood as inalienable ‘‘status property’’ worked as a principal of exclusion of new black nationals from the full entitlements that were their right as a consequence of their recent enfranchisement. Among the important corollaries of the valuation of bodily whiteness as a form of personal ‘‘status property’’ that legal and historical scholars sketch is one they leave open for further exploration—namely, the role of the maternal body in transmitting racial property across time. Chopin’s story, which thematizes the maternal body’s pivotal role in processes of racialization, is especially useful here, for it theorizes how the construction of bodily whiteness as personal status property relies upon the consolidation of a reproductive logic in which this form of property is understood to be bequeathed not by deed or will but by one’s mother. Indeed, Chopin’s fiction augments the existing legal and historical scholarship: on the one hand, ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ suggests that after the Civil War ‘‘miscegenous’’ bodies stood for and haunted the discourse of not only racial property but national belonging; on the other hand, the story reveals the postbellum replacement of the black maternal body (that was formerly negotiated as the source of Genealogy Unbound

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alienable property) by the white maternal body—for in ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ construction of a genealogical link to maternal whiteness, however fictive, emerges as the ultimate guarantee of national belonging in a nation comprised of white property holders. In meditating upon the transformation that was taking place in the legal definition of race, in depicting the postbellum nation as if its racial formation were frozen in time, stuck in a moment prior to the transformation in the relationship between race and citizenship that characterized the period in which ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ was actually written, Chopin’s story transforms the Reconstructing nation into a white nation reproduced by white mothers. From this perspective, it is thus not that Chopin fails to accurately portray her present (as Woodward argued), but rather that her work conjoins discourses of race, reproduction, and nation by projecting the present into the past as a wish, as a desire for a historical grounding for whiteness as a form of personal status property that is maternally guaranteed and effectively reproduced. ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ secures white nationhood in the ‘‘Old South’’ of the past and the ‘‘Old South’’ of the present by projecting—simultaneously backward and forward—an old but infinitely flexible discourse in which mothers rather than fathers are viewed as the source of racial identity and thus national belonging or exclusion. Armand rejects Désirée’s child, not only because once blackened he cannot perpetuate ‘‘one of the oldest and proudest [family names] in Louisiana’’ (174) but also because the act of rejection allows Armand to pass off the blackness he perceives in the child’s complexion onto its mother. When Désirée finally confronts Armand she insists that he interpret their baby’s appearance: ‘‘Look at our child,’’ she pleads. ‘‘What does it mean? Tell me’’ (176). Swiftly slipping from recognition of the child’s blackness to Désirée’s, Armand’s remarks that ‘‘the child is not white; it means that you are not white’’ (176). In so doing Armand accomplishes three displacements: he frees himself from potential enslavement by misrecognizing himself in his child and in turn enabling disavowal of his paternity;12 he secures his own passing act, even as the child’s body shakes the foundations of the dominant scopic economy of race on which his passing as white depends; and most important, in accomplishing these two objectives he achieves a third, he relegates blackness to the maternal body rather than locating it in his own. Unlike Désirée’s initial misperception of her situation, Ar22

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mand’s misrecognition of his predicament structures both his story and national history. His gender-specific dissociation of paternity from the reproductive process is in this sense paradigmatic of the constitution of modern racial nationalism and national belonging. Maintaining his whiteness as an inalienable estate, propagating the fiction of his racially ‘‘pure’’ blood, Armand grounds his subjectivity in an assumed objectivity that refuses to examine what lies closest. His gaze does not linger on his own body. His whiteness, he insists, runs in his veins; and thus his color-blind recollections of his past and parents amount to nothing more than a series of misrecognitions in which the truth inheres as an ideological effect. In such a situation a mother’s refutation of a father’s prerogative is all but impossible. When to Armand’s accusation Désirée levels a protest that appeals to the same bodily signifiers that her husband’s attack destabilizes, she is unable to put power behind her words: ‘‘It is a lie. . . . I am white!’’ she insists. ‘‘Look at my hair, it is brown; and my eyes are gray . . . and my skin is fair. . . . Look at my hand; whiter than yours, Armand’’ (176). Désirée challenges Armand’s production of race as an essence bequeathed by one’s mother, but to no avail. As Chopin mingles ante- and postbellum discourses of race and citizenship she conjures a nation that is white—always has been and always will be—a nation in which the blackened mother’s inclusion, like that of her child, is necessarily rescinded. Excavating the Race/Reproduction Bind

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A survey of contemporary scholarship on nationalism reveals that neither Armand’s color blindness nor his unconscious dependence on the construction of the maternal body as a racializing force— the two strategies that allow him confidently to claim membership in the white nation—are unique or time-bound. In fact, similar configurations of the relationship of maternity to racial and national belonging ground several of the most often cited theories of nationalism. Even as contemporary theorists proclaim their work as critical of processes of nation formation, their central formulations often rely, as do Armand’s, on the mobilization of a set of presuppositions that naturalize the connection between maternity and the reproduction of racial and national identity. In their dependence upon such grounding these theories maintain an unquestioned connection between race and reproduction—the same Genealogy Unbound

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connection that consolidates the race/reproduction bind and thus secures the forms of nationalism that most theorists of modern nationalism wish to criticize or at least expose. Although a number of treatises could be analyzed in elaborating these observations, I have found it productive to focus on the work of Benedict Anderson and Ernest Gellner.13 Their contributions are no longer the most current (both were first published in 1983), but together they unquestionably inaugurated a focus on nationalism that has cut across the disciplines and continues to be formative for an entire generation of scholars. As a review of the bibliographies of books on nationalism readily reveals, few scholars are as routinely cited in both the humanities and social sciences. Within literary scholarship on nationalism, nations, and narrative, this is especially pronounced: Anderson’s argument about nations as discursively ‘‘imagined communities’’ retains pride of place as one of the most ubiquitous, if controversial, arguments of the past two decades. The remarkable endurance of Anderson and Gellner is no doubt also related to the expansive abstraction and seeming universal applicability of their theories to an astoundingly wide variety of contexts on either side of the Atlantic and throughout Europe, as well as in North and South America. In stressing the foundational nature of Anderson’s and Gellner’s contributions to contemporary scholarship on nations and nationalism (and arguably to so-called postnationalist work that invokes the nation even as it imagines its eclipse as the central unit of analysis),14 I do not mean to imply that Anderson’s and Gellner’s contributions have not already been roundly critiqued by others. Implicitly and explicitly they have been taken to task by those wishing to bring questions of gender and sexuality to the study of nationalism, and/or by antiracist thinkers seeking to unpack the relationship between national formations and racial formations. During the past decade a steady stream of books, anthologies, and articles have criticized and then built upon these dominant theories by exploring the intersections among gender, nation, and race in nineteenth- and twentieth-century culture. Groundbreaking book-length contributions by George Mosse (Nationalism and Sexuality) and Anne McClintock (Imperial Leather) stand out, as do the various case studies collected in prominent feminist anthologies such as Woman-Nation-State, Nationalisms and Sexualities, Scattered Hegemonies, Between Woman and Nation, Dangerous Liaisons, and Gendered Nations among others.15 In short, my 24

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arguments are enabled by the contributions of theorists of nationalism who have examined women’s role as biological reproducers of nationals, as reproducers of the symbolic boundaries of nations, and as transmitters of national cultures. I begin from the feminist and antinationalist premise that, as McClintock has put it, ‘‘nationalism is . . . constituted from the very beginning as a gendered discourse and cannot be understood without a theory of gender power.’’ 16 At the same time as this book takes part in an ongoing feminist dialogue about nationalism, with it I hope to offer a distinct and complementary orientation. For in addressing the inadequacies of gender and race insensitive studies I focus on how foundational theories of nationalism are themselves constructed—on how the most formative work on nationalism (that which presents itself not in the form of a case study but as a generalizable theoretical model) depends upon and is built out of ideas about the relationship between race and reproduction that are similar to those that subtend nineteenth- and early twentieth-century nationalism. As a detour through Anderson’s and Gellner’s treatises demonstrates, the race/reproduction bind constitutes a hitherto overlooked epistemological unit that has been as instrumental in grounding theories about modern nations as in undergirding the array of historical texts that together comprise the modern transatlantic cultural horizon. Like those literary texts that consolidate the race/reproduction bind, theories of nationalism that turn upon this conceptual axis are characterized by two conceptual blind spots: the relationship of race to nation and that of racial nationalism to sexism. These aporia are neither discreet nor unrelated, but are produced by a common set of presuppositions. For this reason, even as Anderson’s and Gellner’s analyses diverge, they possess a deep structural similarity. In the epigraphs that begin each theorist’s treatise this convergence immediately emerges. Each has selected a quotation that brings gender to the fore and underscores the sexualized logic on which the argument in question depends; at the same time their chosen epigraphs, seemingly unwittingly, announce the gendered and sexualized concepts that are elided by the arguments that the epigraphs herald. Gellner’s volume begins with the following quotation from the turn-of-the-century Harvard philosopher George Santayana: ‘‘Our Nationality is like our relations to women: too implicated in our Genealogy Unbound

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moral nature to be changed honorably, and too accidental to be worth changing.’’ Santayana’s declaration resonates with Gellner’s central formulation: nationalism is a form of false consciousness. Like sexism (though tellingly Gellner never uses the term) nationality and associated feelings of national belonging are so ingrained that they are neither easily discerned nor readily altered. The epigraph is intended, moreover, to be at once humorous and ironic. Gellner, after all, wishes to demonstrate that nationalist false consciousness can be overcome when exposed to the blinding light of analytical reason. The principal difficulty with Gellner’s epigraph is that in his preoccupation with exposing the irrationality of nationalism, he elides the gendered, heterosexist, and reproductively oriented form of false consciousness that enables Santayana’s and his own formulation of the problem of nationalism. With the ‘‘our’’ prefacing ‘‘relations to women,’’ he casts nationality as a male prerogative whose heterosexual presumptions require no investigation.17 Gellner’s treatise, moreover, never returns to the question of whether women possess nationality (the quotation implies that it is inconsequential whether they do or don’t, since nationalism is quintessentially fraternal), or that of why nationality and men’s heterosexual relations with women are so readily analogized. Instead, as in Chopin’s story, in which Armand secures his sense of self by producing Désirée as the repository of race while simultaneously silencing her body’s ability to tell its own ‘‘truth,’’ Gellner invokes the female body in order to launch his theory, even as he neglects its enabling role. From Gellner’s perspective, as from Armand’s, nationality is a definitionally male entitlement, and nationalism an implicitly heterosexist theory. Anderson’s epigraph is similarly instructive. The lengthy quotation from Daniel Defoe’s The True-Born English-Man that prefaces Imagined Communities reads:

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Thus from a Mixture of all kinds began, That Het’rogeneous Thing, An Englishman: In eager Rapes, and furious Lust begot, Betwixt a Painted Britton and a Scot: Whose gend’ring Offspring quickly learnt to bow, And yoke their Heifers to the Roman Plough: From whence a Mongrel half-bred Race there came, With neither Name nor Nation, Speech or Fame. 26

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In whose hot Veins new Mixtures quickly ran, Infus’d betwixt a Saxon and a Dane. While their Rank Daughters, to their Parents just, Receiv’d all Nations with Promiscuous Lust. This Nauseous Brood directly did contain The well-extracted Blood of Englishmen. . . .18 These lines portray the ‘‘True-Born English-Man’’ as a fiction constructed in the face of the reality of pervasive intermixture or corrupted genealogy. They are effective because notions of ‘‘wellextracted blood’’ and ‘‘true’’ or ‘‘pure’’ nationality are thrown into question when provided with a history that exposes the active construction of these identities. Anderson’s retention of Defoe’s italicized appellations—‘‘Britton,’’ ‘‘Scot,’’ ‘‘Roman,’’ and so forth —emphasizes this point. Myriad groups contribute to the Englishman’s ‘‘blood,’’ which can only be rendered ‘‘well-extracted’’ through the creation of a fictive genealogy that is naturalized and systematized into what Anderson refers to as a ‘‘cultural system.’’ If nations exist, Anderson argues, someone has had to create the narratives that constitute them. And thus, just as Gellner’s epigraph resonates with his book’s core argument, so too does Anderson’s: nations are imagined communities, collectively agreed-upon fictions that fly in the face of the complex historical realities that, if pursued, would patently contradict them. In Anderson’s view, however, nationalism is not false consciousness (Gellner’s formulation) but a form of imaginative invention that belongs ‘‘with ‘kinship’ or ‘religion,’ rather than with ‘liberalism’ or ‘fascism’ ’’ or other ideologies (15). Although Anderson fleetingly notes reproduction’s role in the imagining of the modern nation in several passages (as discussed shortly), he does not engage the gendered and sexualized idea his epigraph raises, namely that wayward reproduction constitutes the motor of national belonging. As already indicated, in making this point, I join a host of scholars who have enumerated the problems with Anderson’s gender insensitivity.19 And yet I am not principally concerned with omission of gender and sexuality from Anderson’s work. Rather, I am interested in how gender and sexuality are bound together through reproduction, and then deeply embedded within his theory, even though reproduction is not acknowledged as constituting its ground. For it is not so much that gender and sexuality are missing from Imagined Communities Genealogy Unbound

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on the level of manifest content but that these interrelated ideas silently constitute the (reproductive) condition of possibility for theoretical elaboration. The repressed reproductive mechanism of meaning production that pervades Anderson’s text can be located in the vestigial traces of the figure of reproduction in key passages. For example, in a chapter entitled ‘‘Cultural Roots’’ Anderson invokes, but does not name, reproduction three times. First, he suggests that a notion of continuity is required to think the nation, for the nation ‘‘concerns itself with the links between the dead and the yet unborn, [and with] the mystery of re-generation.’’ The same wonder is felt at the birth of nations and children; both enable apprehension of ‘‘a combined connectedness, fortuity, and fatality’’ that is thought of through the reproductive ‘‘language of ‘continuity’ ’’ (18). In the second instance in which Anderson invokes but does not name reproduction, he uses reproductively laden notions of ‘‘continuity’’ and ‘‘re-generation’’ to underpin the oft-quoted lines in which he declares that nations ‘‘always loom out of an immemorial past, and . . . glide into a limitless future’’ (19). In short, he describes the nation’s temporality throughout Imagined Communities as cyclic; for the manner in which the national imaginary stretches back into an ‘‘immemorial past’’ and forward into a ‘‘limitless future’’ depends upon a biological notion of time and a related conception of the nation as a reproducible, organic entity.20 In the third instance in which Anderson invokes but does name reproduction, its role in structuring his argument is paradigmatic of the structure of his larger thought process and constitutive omissions: ‘‘With Debray we might say, ‘Yes, it is quite accidental that I am born French; but after all, France is eternal’ ’’ (19). The idea that one is born French—or more broadly that nationals are reproduced—is naturalized as the motor of national belonging; simultaneously, the reproductive dimension of the nation’s ‘‘eternal’’ or cyclical temporality—that which enables the thinking of the nation as an entity comprised of French-born citizens—is obscured. ‘‘Nation,’’ a word derived from natio (Latin, to be born), is evidently shot through by a consistently unexamined reproductive logic. In the course of Anderson’s analysis of the two cultural forms—religious community and dynastic realm—that are akin to nationalism, he again invokes reproduction but glosses over its importance to the production and coherence of his larger argument. Religious community and dynastic realm are like national28

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ism, because they too were once ‘‘taken-for-granted frames of reference’’ (20). Offering the example of so-called barbarians who were incorporated into China’s Middle Kingdom by painstakingly learning to paint ideograms, Anderson argues that in this instance community was bound together by shared and sacred spoken language and written script.21 What is significant about this example, however, is that as Anderson expands it the figure of reproduction rather than that of language becomes central. Quoting from the early-nineteenth-century Colombian Pedro Fermin de Vargas, Anderson observes that for this allegedly liberal policy maker Indian assimilation, like Middle Kingdom absorption of ‘‘barbarians,’’ would best be facilitated by miscegenation: ‘‘it would be very desirable that the Indians be extinguished, by miscegenation with the whites, declaring them free of tribute and other charges, and giving them private property in land’’ (21, original emphasis). Of this proposal Anderson wryly remarks: ‘‘alongside the condescending cruelty, a cosmic optimism: the Indian is ultimately redeemable— by impregnation with white, ‘civilized’ semen, and the acquisition of private property, like everyone else’’ (21, original emphasis). Identification of the difficulties that beset Anderson’s recourse to the figure of miscegenation is instructive. Unaccountably his argument shifts focus: it moves from discussion of religious communities to that of Chinese ideograms; then from discussion of the Middle Kingdom to that of nineteenth-century Latin America; and finally from analysis of linguistic absorption (so-called barbarians learning to paint ideograms) to invocation of the figure of miscegenation—a move that analogizes the roles of linguistics and reproductive biology. When Anderson travels from discussion of religious community to dynastic realm his argument’s reliance on reproductive ideas becomes glaring: ‘‘one must remember,’’ he writes, that ‘‘antique monarchical states expanded not only by warfare but by sexual politics . . . [for it is] through the general principal of verticality, [that] dynastic marriages brought together diverse populations under new apices’’ (26, emphasis added). Having arrived at a rather bald expression of the reasoning I wish to lay bare, Anderson avers that ‘‘in fact, royal lineages . . . derived their prestige, aside from any aura of divinity, from shall we say, miscegenation?’’ (27, emphasis added). The glue that binds religious communities and dynastic realms is one and the same: miscegenous or interracial reproductive sexuality. Although from one perspective Anderson’s use of ‘‘miscegenaGenealogy Unbound

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tion’’ is historically inaccurate (the term, as discussed in the final section of this chapter, was not coined until1864, well after Fermin de Vargas is reported to have used it, and well after the majority of dynastic realms had reached for national cachet),22 it is nonetheless to this concept that Anderson’s argument repeatedly returns, employing it as the conceptual tool or ‘‘concept metaphor’’ that best describes the substance, the glue, that binds the various communities that pave the way for the nation form proper.23 Indeed, in mobilizing a reproductive logic similar to that espoused by Armand, on the one hand, and that proposed by Fermin de Vargas, on the other, Anderson secures his argument: he (ab)uses the figure of reproduction in order to naturalize the notion of belonging, while he simultaneously, if unintentionally, hangs his argument upon an uncritical politics of extermination through assimilative processes of orchestrated, often ritualized forms of ‘‘miscegenation.’’ 24 For Gellner, as for Anderson, reproduction is central to the explanation of the social formations from which nationalism emerges but goes missing in the discussion of nationalism proper. Although the nation takes shape in the industrial period, Gellner argues that it originates in an earlier agrarian one, in which a specialized clerisy provides the foundation for the national bureaucracy. While language is part of the power of the clerisy, whose literacy is the precondition for the mass literary that characterizes the modern nation, Gellner, like Anderson, implies that the power of this group is as much reproductive as linguistic. As he explains, in order that individual clerics are not swayed from ‘‘the stern path of duty’’ or endowed with ‘‘too much power’’ the agrarian socius is divided into two groups—the ‘‘gelded’’ and the ‘‘stallions’’—instructively labeled with terms borrowed from animal husbandry. The ‘‘gelded’’ are prohibited from reproduction (and consequent nepotistic corruption), while the ‘‘stallions,’’ the ruling elite, are free to ‘‘reproduce themselves socially, and retain their positions for their offspring’’ (15–16).25 If the reproductive logic of Anderson’s and Gellner’s seminal (and I choose the word deliberately) arguments is central if inchoate, the racial logic to which the reproductive logic is inextricably bound is likewise submerged. To explore this connection it is necessary to examine how ideas about race are complexly, if never explicitly, conjoined with those about reproduction. In Imagined Communities nationalism is made possible by the inven30 Wayward Reproductions

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tion in the nineteenth century of the Gutenberg printing press and print capitalism on a mass scale. According to Anderson, widespread use of print technology made it possible for universal literacy to replace marriage, alliance, and kinship as the glue binding together the community. Moreover, internationalization of print technology made nationalism exportable—available for pirating by states that may not have gone through the modernization processes that European nations had but that were nonetheless united as speakers and readers of a common language.26 Because Anderson never deviates from his print culture model of national imagining, it is unsurprising that he actively dismisses race and racism as possible factors in creating nationalism.27 And yet the manner in which he wards off potential threats to his theory’s hegemony is instructive. The chapter in which Anderson treats racism’s relationship to nationalism also addresses the affective pull of nationalism—‘‘the attachment that peoples feel for the inventions of their imaginations’’ (129). Racism and nationalism are distinct, he affirms, because they appeal to different ideas and emotions: The fact of the matter is that nationalism thinks in terms of historical destinies, while racism dreams of eternal contaminations, transmitted from the origins of time through an endless sequence of loathsome copulations: outside history. Niggers are, thanks to the invisible tar-brush, forever Niggers; Jews, the seed of Abraham, forever Jews, no matter what passports they carry or what languages they speak and read. . . . The dreams of racism actually have their origin in ideologies of class, rather than in those of nation: above all in claims to divinity among rulers. . . . No surprise then that . . . on the whole, racism and anti-Semitism manifest themselves, not across national boundaries, but within them. In other words, they justify not so much foreign war as domestic repression and domination. (136, original emphasis)

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Initially the incompatibility of racism and nationalism appears self-evident; the idea that nationalism draws on feelings of shared ‘‘historical destiny’’ seems reasonable given Anderson’s prior argument about the temporality of nationalism. By contrast with nationalism, racism draws on feelings of ‘‘loathsome’’ genealogical ‘‘contamination’’ and on biological rather than historical ideas of temporality. To further separate racism and nationalism AnderGenealogy Unbound

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son joins world systems theorists in suggesting that racism originates in ideologies of class and concludes that racism (including anti-Semitism) is manifest as an internal tension within the nation, while nationalism results from the larger external tensions that are used to ‘‘justify . . . foreign war.’’ 28 On closer inspection this argument about racism and nationalism is riddled with contradictions: How are ‘‘historical destiny’’ and genealogical continuity distinct? How is the vague idea of ‘‘historical destiny’’ discreet from that of ‘‘re-generation,’’ the concept that makes the imagination of the national community possible? Is the concept of ‘‘destiny’’ truly less reproductive than that of genealogy? How does Anderson shift from discussion of racism, a belief system he casts as superstructural (having its ‘‘origin in ideologies of class’’) to discussion of race as a biological posit? How is it possible to argue that nationalism justifies ‘‘foreign wars,’’ and racism only internal domestic conflicts? And, finally, how can Anderson in good conscience divorce imperialism from the array of nineteenth-century racial sciences that were routinely mobilized to justify conquest and colonization? These questions are, of course, rhetorical. I enumerate them to call attention to Anderson’s dissociation of racism and nationalism as a strategy that obscures, if unintentionally, the multiple interconnections not only between race and nation but among race, nation, and reproduction. Indeed, separation of nationalism and racism obfuscates the workings of reproduction both as a racialized biological process and as an ideological formation that challenges the integrity, homogeneity, and universal applicability of Anderson’s print culture model. In the same way that ideas of race and nation are disassociated within Imagined Communities, racial and national belonging are posed as antithetical within Gellner’s work. In ‘‘Social Entropy and Equality in Industrial Society,’’ Gellner treats the transition from agrarian to industrial society—the transition from a stable stratified social structure, to a ‘‘culturally homogeneous’’ society characterized by ‘‘egalitarian expectations and aspirations’’ (73). Within the latter, universalization of literacy makes cultural homogeneity and then nationalism possible. As Gellner notes, however, ‘‘entropy-resistant’’ populations who refuse to become ‘‘evenly dispersed throughout the entire society’’ always exist (64). Though Gellner might have drawn on any number of ‘‘real life’’ examples in making his point about the relationship of race to nation, he creates a hypothetical community whom he calls the ‘‘blue people’’ 32 Wayward Reproductions

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and describes as ‘‘by an accident of heredity, pigmentally blue’’ (65): ‘‘blue people,’’ he concludes, are constitutively inassimilable within national culture. In fact, ‘‘blue people’’ allow Gellner to bypass discussion of the multiracial British context in which he writes, and simultaneously make plain the troubling idea that Anderson implies but does not asseverate: It is not simply racism and nationalism that are antithetical, but minoritarian racial otherness and national belonging.29 According to Anderson’s theory anyone can become a national so long as s/he can master the language; nations are democratic organizations that hold out the possibility of formal equality to all those who would learn to read. And yet, an ‘‘entropy-resistant’’ trait such as ‘‘blueness’’ or ‘‘conspicuous colour’’ (67) provides a loophole within a theory of national culture as ideally inclusive. By acknowledging the existence of unassimilable minoritarian racial others, Gellner reveals the existence of populations who are not absorbed into the nation within the terms of the general model that is proffered (in Gellner universal literacy, in Anderson print culture). As Gellner concludes, unless ‘‘blue people’’ establish homelands or nations of their own, they are doomed to self-imposed marginality within the nations in which they reside. It would seem that in both Gellner’s and Anderson’s theories, it is not that national homogeneity requires the purging of those marked as racially other from within the national body, but that the construction of the modern nation requires the transvaluation of whiteness into a dominant category that can be mobilized to racialize the majority as white. Contra Anderson and Gellner, what emerges from this alternative vantage point is the possibility that there are no nations that are race-free; rather, the issue is how particular racial groups are constructed as dominant and thus national. In retrospect neither Anderson nor Gellner treats the reproductive and racial ideas their arguments, when juxtaposed, adumbrate. Neither explores the repression of the racialized reproductive logic of national belonging, and neither contends with the racial politics that contour the reproductive politics that characterize not only prenational social formations but also nations. Neither examines how racism invents the idea of racial difference in the process of justifying both intranational hostilities and foreign wars. Rather, each in his way represents racism and nationalism, race and nation as antithetical, leaving unquestioned the myriad and complex ways in which racialized reproductive ideas cement the Genealogy Unbound

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ideology of nationalism and provide putatively homogeneous nations with a form of memory that is both racist and sexist. Although Anderson and Gellner touch on ideas of race and reproduction upon which their arguments about nation depend for coherence, the relationship among race, reproduction, and nation is never centered in their work as it is in a text such as ‘‘Désirée’s Baby.’’ Toward a Theory of National Reproduction The French Marxist theorist Etienne Balibar works within the social scientific tradition on which Anderson and Gellner draw and to which they contribute, but his work inhabits this location differently. In this section I build on Balibar’s contributions to develop a theory of nationalism that renders the workings of the race/reproduction bind transparent, and thus avoids complicity, however unintentional, with nationalist thought. Although Balibar’s primary concern is contemporary France, his work is germane to the postwar moment in which ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ was written and the antebellum moment in which it is set. This is not because Balibar’s theory is universalizable, but rather because it prioritizes racism as an analytic category and carefully accounts for the cycles of ‘‘historical reciprocity’’ that render racism and nationalism overlapping structures. Of particular interest are Balibar’s contributions to Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities, a volume composed of interlocking essays by Balibar and world systems theorist Immanuel Wallerstein. In his chapters Balibar examines how populations reproduce themselves as nations ‘‘through a network of apparatuses and daily practices’’ that project individual members of a group into the weft of a collective whole. Racism and nationalism, he argues, are engaged in cycles of ‘‘historical reciprocity,’’ such that the circumstances in which nation-states establish themselves on historically contested territories require that one group of people produce themselves as a dominant community, whose shared ethnic bonds (Balibar uses the term ‘‘ethnic’’ interchangeably with ‘‘racial,’’ and I follow him in this) take precedence over all other social divisions (48). Although Balibar rarely discusses race (and never without quotation marks around the word), he is expressly interested in racism, for it is racism that naturalizes ‘‘race’’ in the process of producing 34 Wayward Reproductions

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the nation. Starting from the antiessential premise that ‘‘race’’ does not exist naturally and/or biologically, he argues that nationalism’s dependence on ‘‘race’’ must be understood as ‘‘fictive.’’ Racism produces ‘‘race’’ and not the other way around (as Gellner, for example, suggests). The nation is always a majoritarian racial entity, and the majoritarian memory of the nation is always racist: ‘‘It is not ‘race’ which is a biological or psychological memory . . . [but] racism which represents one of the most insistent forms of the historical memory of modern societies. It is racism which continues to effect the imaginary fusion of past and present in which the collective perception of human history unfolds’’ (44).30 In sharp contrast to those who reify race as a legible biological sign (e.g., Gellner’s ‘‘blue people’’), Balibar casts ‘‘race’’ as a historical process. To conceptualize the nation, an understanding of the dialectic between processes of racism and nationalism is necessary. As Balibar wryly comments, ‘‘the discourse of ‘race’ and nation are never far apart,’’ though all too often they are only brought together ‘‘in the form of a disavowal’’ (37). In retrospect Anderson’s and Gellner’s theories, and Armand’s self-production as a white national, share precisely such a posture of ‘‘disavowal.’’ Throughout his writings Balibar posits racism and nationalism as ideologies. Such treatment implicitly challenges Anderson’s conceptualization of nationalism as a ‘‘cultural system’’ (as opposed to an ideology) and Gellner’s understanding of nationalism as false consciousness.31 On the one hand, Balibar’s view of nationalism is resolutely materialist; on the other, it is noneconomistic, or nondeterminist in its conceptualization of the role of nationalist ideology in the development of productive forces. Balibar’s is not an argument about base and superstructure; nationalism is neither immaterial nor a by-product of class relations. Departing from world systems theory (and thus offering an alternative to Wallerstein’s approach) he explains the shortcomings of the core/periphery model. In this model, racist ideology facilitates the domination of the states of the periphery by those of the core by legitimating an international division of labor (North and South) that is racial and imperialist in character. By contrast to world systems theorists, Balibar considers racist ideology as partially autonomous from global class relations and as possessing independent material effects. It is not solely the expansion of capital that produces racism; rather, racism is sparked by the need of exGenealogy Unbound

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ploiters and exploited alike to construct a shared ideological world despite the antagonism between them. As Balibar explains, the history of market society is ‘‘a history of the reactions of the complex of non-economic social relations [i.e., racism and all manner of kinship systems], to the de-structuring with which the expansion of the value form threatens them’’ (8).32 In the uneven universality created by global capitalism, racism emerges as a constant, a ‘‘paradoxical universality’’ within which nationalism (also a form of universality) is embedded.33 In this sense, racism is simultaneously internal and external to nationalism. It is not a consequence of the global splitting of core and periphery, as Wallerstein would have it, nor is it reducible to an internal aspect of nationalism. Whereas world systems theory inscribes the nation as a racially unified social and economic entity within the field of global class struggle, Balibar insists that racialized classes are inscribed within the nation form. It is this last point that is important to my present argument; for it is within the analysis of the relationship between racism and nationalism that Balibar begins to clear space for theorization of the manner in which racial nationalism grounds itself in the race/reproduction bind. Even though Balibar painstakingly avoids the term ‘‘reproduction’’—which he views as too overdetermined within the context of Marxist theory—he speculates about the intersection of racism, nationalism, and sexism, and the forms of sexism that are exercised in the name of the state control of women’s reproductive sexuality.34 In contrast to Anderson and Gellner, who relegate reproduction to their epigraphs, Balibar examines the racism in which nationalism is grounded by making visible the centrality of ideas about genealogical continuity to the (re)production of notions of ethnicity and race, be such notions ‘‘fictive.’’ There are two passages that merit close reading. The first discusses how racial nationalism draws upon sexism:

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The phenomenon of ‘depreciation’ and ‘racialization’ which is directed simultaneously against different social groups which are quite different in ‘nature’ (particularly ‘foreign’ communities, ‘inferior races,’ women and ‘deviants’) does not represent a juxtaposition of merely analogous behaviors and discourses applied to a potentially indefinite series of objects independent of each other, but a historical system of complementary exclusions and dominations which are mutually interconnected. In other 36 Wayward Reproductions

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words, it is not in practice simply the case that an ‘ethnic racism’ and a ‘sexual racism’ exist in parallel; racism and sexism function together and in particular, racism always presupposes sexism. (49, original emphasis) In positing sexism and racism as inseparable forms of racialization, this passage resonates with one of the principal arguments of this book: racism and sexism cannot be thought separately precisely because reproduction is a racializing force. Indeed, although Balibar self-consciously elects not to use the term ‘‘reproduction’’ I would suggest that his work implicitly comprehends that racism and sexism converge within the concept of reproduction. Race and reproduction are not biological entities but articulated ideological structures—what Balibar refers to above as ‘‘historical system[s] of complementary exclusions and dominations which are mutually interconnected.’’ In contrast to Anderson, who argues that nations are special types of communities that are ‘‘imagined,’’ Balibar insists that all communities are imagined. The nation distinguishes itself by imaging itself as racially homogenous, as having a single racial origin, ‘‘a concentrate of qualities which belong to nationals ‘as their own.’ ’’ It is in the ‘‘ ‘race of its children,’ ’’ Balibar observes, ‘‘that the nation contemplate[s] its own identity in a pure state.’’ 35 This is the familiar projection of the fantasy of a ‘‘pure’’ national genealogy examined in ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ and the type of race-based nationalism that enables Armand’s belief in his whiteness. According to Armand, the true national has ‘‘pure’’ blood and a ‘‘pure’’ genealogy that can be traced back to an untainted origin. In effect, Balibar’s formulation might be read as Armand’s motto: ‘‘it is around race that [the nation] must unite, with ‘race’—an inheritance to be preserved against any kind of degradation’’ (59). To maintain itself as a genealogically ‘‘pure’’ entity, the nation purges itself of unwanted elements by practicing both ‘‘internal’’ and ‘‘external’’ racism.36 It directs internal racism toward populations regarded as minorities within the national space. During Reconstruction African Americans and Native Americans were prime targets. In exercising internal racism, the United States identified all false, exogamous, ‘‘cross-bred,’’ or ‘‘miscegenous’’ elements and then defined itself in opposition to these disruptive bodies. Armand’s assertion of his whiteness and unquestioned entitlement to citizenship are intertwined expressions of internal Genealogy Unbound

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racism: he produces himself as white through differentiation of his body from those of his blackened wife and child. In fact, Armand’s racism expressly animates his nationalism by supplying the absolutely necessary fiction of filiation upon which his understanding of nationalism’s ethos of ethnic unity, its ethnos, depends. In ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ internal racism is the condition of possibility for nationalism; it is not an aberrant expression of prejudice but an aspect of nationalism that is constitutive. In contrast to internal racism, external racism manifests itself as extreme xenophobia. One of the paradoxes of external racism is its convergence with internal racism in its a priori requirement of internal homogeneity in order to project external difference. In his discussion of such homogeneity, or what he calls ‘‘fictive ethnicity,’’ Balibar indicates the second way in which nationalism presupposes sexism. In generating an idea of ‘‘the people’’ in which each individual is instituted as homo nationalis, nationalism draws on notions of home, family, kinship, and genealogy that are racial and reproductive. Even as he avoids the term ‘‘reproduction,’’ it becomes clear that the national community distinguishes itself from other imagined communities through particular reproductive processes: What we are solely concerned with here is the symbolic kernel which makes it possible to equate race and ethnicity ideally, and to represent unity of race to oneself as the origin or cause of the historical unity of the people. . . . [T]he race community dissolves social inequality in an even more ambivalent ‘similarity’; it ethnicizes the social difference which is an expression of irreconcilable antagonisms by lending it the form of a division between the ‘genuinely’ and the ‘falsely’ national. . . . The symbolic kernel of the idea of race . . . is the schema of genealogy, that is, quite simply the idea that the filiation of individuals transmits from generation to generation a substance both biological and spiritual and thereby inscribes them in a temporal community known as ‘kinship.’ (99–100)

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The nation is a racial community that represents its ‘‘historical unity’’ to itself as a function of its racial homogeneity. Existing social ‘‘antagonisms’’ are either erased by projections of racial unity or prescribed as ethnic differences. In such a situation racial others emerge as ‘‘ ‘falsely’ national,’’ and the racial majority as genuine. As Balibar explains, the nation is little more than ‘‘one big family’’ 38

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(100), belonging within which is a function of ‘‘filiation,’’ ‘‘kinship,’’ or more broadly, genealogical connection. Despite Balibar’s principled refusal of the term ‘‘reproduction,’’ when his intuitions about the relationships among racism, nationalism, and sexism are fully expanded, racial nationalism, or more pointedly, nationalist racism, emerges as a form of reproductive nationalism, and the majoritarian racism that defines nationals as an ideology of genealogical continuity or reproductive racialization. Unlike Anderson and Gellner, who relegate ‘‘sexual politics’’ to a prenational moment and imagine nationalism as distinct from racism, Balibar helps us to see ‘‘sexual politics’’—or, as I prefer to specify, reproductive politics—as the racialized foundation upon which are built nations and those theories of nationalism that are inattentive to the dynamics of racism. The Racial Grounding of Genealogical Critique

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In concluding his remarks about sexism’s relationship to nationalism, Balibar wonders whether nations would be able to ‘‘reproduce’’ themselves if the modern family—heterosexual, nuclear, patriarchal, and biological in conception—were to be substantially transformed such that the ‘‘relations of sex and procreation’’ that currently characterize it were to be ‘‘completely removed from the genealogical order’’ (102). This initial question sparks others about the global socioeconomic and geopolitical formations that might emerge in a situation in which the fiction of the family as a racially homogeneous group—and thus the fiction of the racial nation—was no longer tenable. In short, Balibar’s question asks us to consider whether modern nations would cease to exist if genealogy ceased to function as a guarantor of reproducible racial kinship. Although Balibar appears unconcerned about the transformations wrought by the array of new reproductive technologies proliferated globally, or the socialization of reproductive labor power that has likewise become transnational, these phenomena that together transform the meaning of maternity, paternity, and the distinctions among generations might be considered in the course of answering his question in our present moment.37 And yet, while I will return to a discussion of contemporary scientific and social transformations in the meaning of reproduction in this book’s coda, for my present purposes the answers to Balibar’s query that can be proffered from a historical perspective are more compelGenealogy Unbound

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ling. For transatlantic history can be mined for family forms and concepts of genealogy that exist outside of the genealogical order of the nation; indeed, the history of American racial slavery provides one, perhaps unanticipated, answer to Balibar’s question about genealogy. When ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ is read for the shadowy figures that haunt the narrative, historical precedent for the alternative family form and type of maternity about which Balibar inquires emerge. Désirée is not the only mother, nor hers the only family in Chopin’s tale. When Armand accuses Désirée of being black, he does so by invoking a black, enslaved woman who resides on his plantation. To Désirée’s plea that he look at her hand, which she insists is ‘‘whiter’’ than his own, Armand responds by comparing Désirée’s purported whiteness to that of a light-skinned slave living just beyond his front yard: your hand, he spits, is ‘‘as white as La Blanche’s’’ (176). Readers can identify the ironically named La Blanche for two reasons: first, because Chopin has indicated that Armand can hear his child’s cry as far away as La Blanche’s cabin (thus begging a question about why he might be in her cabin at all). And, second, because Chopin reveals that La Blanche is the mother of several children, including the ‘‘quadroon boy’’ who tends Désirée’s baby, fanning him with peacock’s feathers. Taken together these details inform careful readers of Armand’s mulatto concubine and second family; they also insinuate that La Blanche and her child may be Désirée’s and her baby’s precursors, a mother and child who, like Désirée and her baby, were regarded as white until the postpartum moment that their blackness came to mark them as property. Although initially Chopin’s narrative leaves readers assuming that Désirée and La Blanche have little in common—the former is a misunderstood white woman, the latter a light-skinned slave—attention to La Blanche’s peripheral presence reveals that these mothers are doubles: La Blanche’s story is also Désirée’s. Not coincidentally it is while looking upon La Blanche’s son as he tends her own that Désirée’s baby’s blackness is revealed to her. In absently shifting her gaze from one child to the other she notes a commonality. Does the so-called quadroon resemble her own son in feature? Or does the similarity Désirée observes reside in a shared hint of color? Is Désirée’s racial awakening linked to her sudden awareness of the putative visibility of her son’s racially marked body, to her ‘‘quasi-hallucinatory’’ recogni40

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tion of his blackness? 38 Or is her color consciousness triggered by an intuition of literal kinship between La Blanche’s child and her own? Although Chopin never directly answers these questions, her overarching message is clear: Désirée’s descent from whiteness into blackness places her in a position similar to La Blanche’s, no more or less entitled to freedom than a white-skinned slave whose progeny are the chattel of their father. As historian Barbara Fields notes, the economic logic of slavery made it possible for white women to give birth to black children, but never for black women to give birth to white ones.39 In extending Field’s astute formulation into the postwar period, I would add that in a nation that imagines itself as white, it is at the moment of birth that white mothers of black children are effectively blackened. As their reproductive processes fail to reproduce the national genealogy, white mothers are rendered national outcasts incapable of securing national belonging for their progeny. When we return to Balibar’s suggestion that the racial nation might be undermined by the existence of a form of family that is ‘‘removed from the genealogical order,’’ we can see that black mothers and their children have historically provided such an example. Rather than redefine the meaning of ‘‘family’’ in the aftermath of the Civil War so that black families might be fully included within its definition, the U.S. legal system, despite impassioned protest by black men and women, went to great lengths to undermine and delegitimate the black family by denying it its rightful role in the (re)production of nationals entitled to equal protection under the nation’s laws.40 In the antebellum South, as in the white nation that is imagined to succeed it, black mothers did not fully calculate as nationals; despite the promise of the Fifteenth Amendment and the initial hopes that were pinned upon national Reconstruction, they were unable to guarantee national belonging for their progeny—though they could potentially subvert, or at the very least challenge, the alleged ‘‘purity’’ of the national genealogy.41 Although the case is seldom interpreted through either a reproductive or genealogical lens, the Supreme Court’s watershed ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson produced black maternity as anathema to national belonging. In its decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Jim Crow doctrine of ‘‘separate but equal,’’ Plessy effectively legislated black inequality by producing white racial identity as the signal criterion for full entitlement to citizenship. And Genealogy Unbound

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although Plessy does not dwell on issues of genealogical inheritance, in implicitly sanctioning the disqualification of all those with so-called black blood from fully equal legal protection, the case put into play a number of implicit notions about reproduction, genealogy, and pedigree. To garner equal treatment one had to prove one’s freedom from blackness and one’s possession of white ‘‘status property.’’ Although Albion Tourgée, the lawyer for the defendant, sought to reveal Jim Crow segregation (in this case separate seating as truly unequal seating) as unconstitutional, in constructing his defense of Homer Plessy’s right to ride in a ‘‘white only’’ railroad car in Louisiana, he argued that Plessy, who was ‘‘seven-eighths white’’ according to the racial (il)logic of the day, had a right to preserve his reputation, his claim to his whiteness as ‘‘status property’’ because of his genealogical inheritance. In other words, Tourgée’s argument relied upon the same genealogical notions of race that would prove to be the case’s undoing. In an argument that was appropriated by the opposition and turned back against Tourgée, he averred that nothing less than Plessy’s ‘‘pedigree’’ be regarded as a reasonable guarantor of his ‘‘race.’’ 42 Of course, Plessy’s invisible drop of ‘‘black blood’’ proved a stumbling block. As Harryette Mullen has argued, ‘‘ ‘Pure’ whiteness has actual value, like legal tender, while the white-skinned African American is like a counterfeit bill that is passed into circulation, but may be withdrawn at any point that it is discovered to be bogus.’’ 43 In the eyes of the Court, as in those of many U.S. citizens, Homer Plessy possessed the wrong genealogy; he was a fake in a nation in which full civil rights and thus truly equal treatment were contingent upon inheritance of reproduced whiteness and collective disavowal of racial equality.44 Even as Chopin’s story resecures the fiction of racial ‘‘purity’’ for its male protagonist, it refuses to foreclose the threat of racial mixture that it unleashes. Given the instability that ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ conjures and maintains, it can be argued that Chopin, if unwittingly, produced the competing ideas of genealogy that I discuss at this chapter’s outset: the idea of ‘‘pure’’ genealogy (that which is based upon the repression of interracial reproduction), as well as a form of critical genealogy (that which apprehends the ruse of racial ‘‘purity,’’ and thus the uncomfortable things selectively repressed by would-be white nationals). For, in exposing Armand’s whiteness as fictive, ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ allows a critical figuration of genealogy to emerge alongside a conventional one. In the criti42

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cal version the contradictions inherent in the conceptualization of race as a reproducible inheritance passed down over time can be set to work in the interest of antiracist, antinationalist feminism. It is not that Chopin, who never expressly allied herself with feminist or antiracist politics, intended to produce feminist theory about the intersections among race, nation, and reproduction, but rather that when her work is read against the grain it theorizes genealogy as a critical historical methodology that foregrounds the impossibility of racial ‘‘purity’’ rather than the solidity of racial identity.45 In suggesting that ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ contains a form of genealogical narration that dismantles the form of racial nationalism that is predicated on the consolidation of the race/reproduction bind, I position it as a theoretical text that can be placed into transatlantic dialogue with the two principal modern theories of the concept of critical genealogy, those proposed by the French poststructuralist Michel Foucault and the nineteenth-century German philosopher from whose writings many of Foucault’s ideas about historical method are derived, Friedrich Nietzsche. My intention is positioning ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ thus is not to elevate Chopin’s ‘‘local color’’ fiction as philosophy (as should be evident this book mitigates against such entrenched hierarchies), but rather to use Chopin’s story to bring questions of race to bear on dominant theories of genealogy—those in which race plays a role, albeit one that has rarely been foregrounded. To this end I propose a twoway conversation about racial nationalism and critical genealogical inquiry: while Foucault’s and Nietzsche’s more recognizable philosophical formulations about genealogy help foreground the critical dimensions and potential theoretical uses of Chopin’s narrative, Chopin’s express concern with ideas about race and reproduction likewise facilitates excavation of the race/reproductive bind that subtends Nietzsche’s and Foucault’s formulations.46 In his various studies of the discursive operations of power and the creation of knowledge and objects of knowledge, Foucault employs the genealogical methodology gleaned from his reading of Nietzsche. In one of his best-known historical case studies, The History of Sexuality, for example, he uses a genealogical methodology to reexamine prevailing pieties about Victorian sexuality. The question of Victorian sexual repression (which preoccupied literary historian Steven Marcus in his 1964 book, The Other Victorians) is misguided.47 Rather, Foucault argues, the concept of sexual repression must itself be placed under scrutiny, so that we Genealogy Unbound

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may analyze how the notion that sex was repressed came to constitute a vector of power deployed by an emergent bourgeoisie seeking to distinguish itself from the aristocratic class that preceded it. In creating a narrative of modern bourgeois subject formation in which the discourse of sexuality produces individuals and populations subject to sexually repressive regimes, Foucault inverts the prevailing historical narrative: repression did not characterize the Victorians; rather, the Victorians discursively produced their repression in order to lend themselves the distinguishing aura of sex. In so arguing, Foucault takes the historian’s own moment as an object of investigation, asking how a set of arguments about the past acquire the force of ‘‘truth’’ in the present. The question, he insists, should never be ‘‘What really happened?’’ (or ‘‘Were the Victorians really repressed?’’), for such questions can never be definitively answered. Instead we must ask how objects of historical inquiry become fulcrums of value that gain meaning for us as we look back in time. In his influential essay ‘‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History,’’ Foucault culls the genealogical methodology employed in the History of Sexuality and in several other historical studies from its Nietzschean source.48 Nietzsche develops the genealogical method to consider the ‘‘origin’’ of morality, asceticism, justice, and punishment; in the process he eschews the metaphysical search for ‘‘truth’’ that had captivated other philosophers inquiring into the origin of values. Instead of searching for ‘‘truth,’’ Foucault explains, Nietzsche used genealogy to reject ‘‘the metahistorical deployment of ideal significations’’ and to simultaneously reveal difference, nonidentity, and dispersion. When Nietzsche ‘‘refuses to extend his faith in metaphysics,’’ when he deploys a genealogical method, ‘‘he finds that there is ‘something altogether different,’ behind things . . . not a timeless and essential secret, but the secret that they have no essence or that their essence was fabricated in a piecemeal fashion from alien forms’’ (78). In opposing itself to the ‘‘search for origins’’ (77) and ‘‘inviolable identity’’ (79), in refusing the premise that a stable, originary ‘‘truth’’ can be found, Nietzschean genealogy challenges the basic premises of historical inquiry as they have been traditionally defined. Distinguishing the critical genealogical quest from a ‘‘traditional historical’’ one, Foucault gives Nietzschean genealogical inquiry the alternative moniker ‘‘effective history.’’ The latter ‘‘corresponds to the acuity of a glance that distinguishes, separates and 44

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disperses; that is capable of liberating divergence and marginal elements—the kind of dissociating view that is capable of decomposing itself, capable of shattering the unity of man’s being through which it was thought that he could extend his sovereignty to the events of his past’’ (87). Effective history refuses timeless constants and thus evades metaphysics and the philosophical penchant for empiricism. It refuses the certainty of absolute ‘‘truths’’ and reveals the historical object to be just as complexly and contradictorily configured as the subjective lens through which the historian views the archive. The purpose of effective history, Foucault concludes, ‘‘is not to discover the roots of our identity, but to commit itself to its [identity’s] dissipation’’ (95).49 In deconstructing Nietzsche’s writings, Foucault distinguishes among the German terms used by Nietzsche to designate dispersion at the origin, the nonidentitarian ‘‘truth’’ uncovered by the genealogist or effective historian. Of these, Herkunft is especially relevant to the present discussion. Nietzsche uses Herkunft when writing about an origin in relation to notions of ‘‘stock’’ or ‘‘descent,’’ and develops the term as an equivalent of ‘‘affiliation to a group [by] bonds of blood, tradition, or social class’’ (80). Because Herkunft is biologically freighted, Foucault argues, its invocation involves Nietzsche in ‘‘consideration of race or social type’’ (81). And yet, although Nietzsche understands the racial, even eugenic, dimensions of Herkunft, Foucault adamantly insists that Nietzsche never uses the term to indicate quantities that he believes to be organic, knowable, or ‘‘pure.’’ By contrast to other nineteenth-century thinkers who attempted ‘‘to master the racial disorder from which they [the German people] had formed themselves’’ (81) by imagining that a neatly organized national genealogy might be established, Foucault argues that Nietzsche used Herkunft to expose how the supposedly ‘‘generic characteristics’’ that inhere in the concept of the ‘‘origin’’ of a people are in fact subverted by it. Although Herkunft initially appears to mark a terrain of biological origination in Nietzsche’s work, it does the opposite: ‘‘far from being a category of resemblance,’’ Foucault writes, Herkunft allows the study of ‘‘beginning—numberless beginnings, whose faint traces and hints of color are readily seen by a historical eye’’ (81, emphasis added). Foucault never amplified fully the racial, reproductive, and national implications of his reading of Nietzsche, but these can be inferred: genealogical analysis of descent results not in the excaGenealogy Unbound

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vation of the ‘‘pure’’ origin of the nation or its subjects, but in the ‘‘dissociation of the self,’’ in recognition of ‘‘empty synthesis’’ (81). Rather than uncovering the solidity of German national identity, the genealogical quest liberates ‘‘a profusion of lost events’’ (81). Indeed, in Foucault’s hands, Nietzschean genealogy becomes a form of critique of exactly the type of organic, finite, empirical knowledge about the self that more conventional notions of genealogy—and, in turn, notions of racial nationalism predicated on the reproducibility of race—presume to designate: Genealogy does not resemble the evolution of a species and does not map the destiny of a people. On the contrary, to follow the complex course of descent is to maintain passing events in their proper dispersion; it is to identify the accidents, the minute deviations—or conversely, the complete reversals—the errors, the false appraisals, and the faulty calculations that gave birth to those things that continue to exist and have value for us; it is to discover that truth or being does not lie at the root of what we know and what we are, but the exteriority of accidents. (81)

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The search for descent undertaken by critical genealogists does not produce knowledge about the ‘‘evolution of a species,’’ the ‘‘destiny of a people,’’ or the ‘‘course of descent’’ but contributes to the disruption of ‘‘evolution,’’ ‘‘species,’’ and ‘‘people’’ by fragmenting biological fields previously thought to be unified. If thinkers have heretofore believed that genealogical inquiry into the past reveals absolute ‘‘truths,’’ this is a grave mistake. In Foucault’s reading, Nietzschean genealogical investigation exposes ‘‘dispersion,’’ ‘‘minute deviations,’’ ‘‘errors,’’ ‘‘false appraisals,’’ ‘‘faulty calculations,’’ and other misconnections, misalliances, and ‘‘accidents’’ that together constitute our forgotten history, the repressed ground upon which we build our identities and our understandings of who we are. Although Foucault’s philosophical treatise and Chopin’s short story might at first appear to be so stylistically incompatible and generically distinct as to defy comparison, Foucault’s formalization of the Nietzschean understanding of genealogy as a critical historical methodology coincides with the critical understanding of genealogy elaborated in ‘‘Désirée’s Baby.’’ Chopin’s narrative figures genealogical confusion, exposes contamination at the origin, and details the vexed history of racial mixing in the United 46 Wayward Reproductions

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States. Her story demonstrates that genealogical inquiry can tell us more about the ‘‘dispersion’’ and ‘‘faulty calculations’’ that characterize the past—particularly our personal histories and our narrations of our familial genealogies—than the racial ‘‘purity’’ and coherent subjectivity that Armand insists is his birthright. In Chopin’s tale, Armand’s forgetting of the history of miscegenation in the United States and, more specifically, the racial mixture in his own past, is a ‘‘positive faculty’’ of what Nietzsche, in the epigraph to this chapter, labels ‘‘repression.’’ 50 As in Foucault’s writings on Nietzsche’s genealogical quest for the origins of morality, the genealogical quest that Chopin’s readers undertake is inherently critical, for what is uncovered in the process of reading is the waywardness of reproduction—the fact that there are no ‘‘pure’’ white people in ‘‘Désirée’s Baby,’’ nor, as is implied, in the reconstructing nation whose racial formation the story allegorizes. Insofar as it puts questions of race and reproduction front and center, ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ offers readers insights into genealogy as a critical historical methodology capable of coming to terms with the racism and sexism of traditional historical narration—especially narration of the origins of the modern nation—in ways that Foucault’s work on Nietzsche, and Nietzsche’s own writings might, if pushed, but on the level of manifest content and overt aims do not. Indeed, just as Anderson’s and Gellner’s text are subtended by the race/reproduction bind that they leave unacknowledged, so too are Nietzsche’s and Foucault’s. As becomes apparent when one rereads Foucault and Nietzsche with the foregoing reading of Chopin in mind, both tacitly invoke notions of reproductive racial mixing, especially at those points in Foucault’s and Nietzsche’s texts in which they give form to abstractly designated genealogical findings, those Foucault marks with ambivalent formulations such as ‘‘empty syntheses’’ or ‘‘profusion of lost events.’’ When Foucault focuses on the human body as an ‘‘inscribed surface of events’’ (83) to which ‘‘descent attaches itself’’ (82), race and reproduction lurk just below the surface. In opening his essay on Nietzsche, he writes of genealogy as ‘‘gray, meticulous, and patiently documentary’’ and suggests that it operates ‘‘on a field of entangled and confused parchments, on documents that have been scratched over and recopied many times’’ (76). Although ‘‘gray’’ conjures multiple things (archives, dusty books, gray mice, and even Hegel and Minerva’s owl), genealogy is at least in part figGenealogy Unbound

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ured as ‘‘gray’’ because it brings into view wayward reproduction and the history of racial mixing that characterizes transatlantic culture. In fact, a popular understanding of race as a body script pervades the language, adopted from Nietzsche, in which Foucault discusses the genealogist’s findings as bearing ‘‘faint traces of color’’ that are manifest as epidermal alterations of the palimpsest that is the human body. Genealogy ‘‘establishes marks of its power and engraves memories on things and even within bodies’’ (85), Foucault writes. Europe is ‘‘the land of interminglings and bastardy,’’ and the nineteenth century, the period in which Nietzsche wrote, that ‘‘of the ‘man-of-mixture’ ’’ (92). In arguing that the racial parameters of genealogy originate not solely in Foucault’s writing but derive in large part from Nietzsche’s, I treat Foucault’s formulations genealogically, and argue for a deeper, more palimpsestic understanding of the overdetermined connection between the development of a critical genealogical methodology and nineteenth-century transatlantic discourses on race. For the racial and reproductive ideas that haunt Foucault’s writings are not strictly of Foucault’s invention so much as syncretic formations produced as Foucault rereads and reworks Nietzsche’s writings. And thus, even though Foucault does not expressly focus on race as an analytic category developed by Nietzsche, through his close and persistent attention to the details of Nietzschean language and metaphor (including Herkunft), the racial discourses that circulate in Nietzsche’s text appear, get reproduced, and even augmented. The advantage of posing the issue of the connection between the development of a theory of critical genealogy and discourses on race in this way is that it becomes possible to retain the historicity of Foucault’s thought, while at the same time acknowledging the traces of the historical discourses on race by which Nietzsche was surrounded. In so doing the historical grounding of Nietzsche’s text begins to undercut and in the process challenge Foucault’s own sense of the historical, productively interfering with Foucault’s understanding of Nietzsche outside of the confines of Foucault’s express reading of him. Not surprisingly, figurations of race, racial mixture, and genealogical corruption become that much more unavoidable when we return to On the Genealogy of Morals. When we read closely, with attentiveness to Nietzsche’s figures and metaphors, a linkage between genealogy’s grayness, its color coding, and the racial coding 48

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of morality becomes apparent. Nietzsche alerts us to the structure of this metonymic chain in his preface: The [genealogical] project is to traverse with quite novel questions, and as though with new eyes, the enormous, distant, and so well hidden land of morality—of morality that has actually existed, actually been lived; and does this not mean virtually to discover this land for the first time? . . . It must be obvious which color is a hundred times more vital for a genealogist of morals . . . namely gray . . . [for] what is documented, what can actually be confirmed and has actually existed, . . . [is] the entire long hieroglyphic record, so hard to decipher, of the moral past of mankind! (21) This passage, written just three years after Germany’s entrance into the colonial contest, reverberates with the language of discovery and conquest of foreign lands. Evidently it is the passage to which Foucault refers when he denotes the genealogical object as ‘‘gray.’’ The genealogist, Nietzsche tells his readers, possesses visual powers that make discovery of what has not been seen or known before possible. This is not because the ‘‘land of morality’’ has before been too ‘‘distant’’ or ‘‘well hidden’’ but rather because previous viewers have not known on what to focus their searches. When it becomes evident that it is neither black nor white but a potent combination of the two that marks the newly discernible object of inquiry, Nietzsche identifies ‘‘gray’’ as the color that best denotes the genealogist’s object. Extending the metaphor further he suggests that ‘‘gray’’ also characterizes the ‘‘hieroglyphic record,’’ the ancient Egyptian system of signs that is ‘‘so hard to decipher’’ because previous viewers have not known how to make meaning of this writing, distinct as it is, from more familiar marks etched in black ink on white paper. Although in his preface Nietzsche does little more than colorcode the genealogical object, in the first of the three essays that comprise his treatise the constituent elements of gray—black and white— repeatedly figure racialized bodies, the ‘‘true’’ identities of which, like the coordinates of ‘‘the hidden land of morality,’’ are known to the critical genealogist but unknown to those who have not yet learned how to interpret the raced body’s message. As Nietzsche cogently explains, the search for the origin of morality or ‘‘the value of existing valuations’’ (55) begins with the distincGenealogy Unbound

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tion between master and slave morality, for relative moral systems are built out of the opposition that is produced between ‘‘the wellbeing of the majority and the well-being of the few’’ (56)—groups that have, in turn, been repeatedly cast as racially distinct. According to Nietzsche the best way to commence investigation into the origin of the racialized distinctions within systems of valuation is to set out upon the heretofore untried path of linguistics, or etymology. ‘‘The right road,’’ he writes, ‘‘was for me the question: What was the real etymological significance of the designations for ‘good’ coined in various languages?’’ (27). Nietzsche is driven by the idea that it is possible to trace the ‘‘evolution of moral concepts’’ (55) by looking at language itself, as comparative etymology demonstrates the arbitrariness of the accepted linguistic organization of (moral) reality by foregrounding language’s status as metaphor.51 In the course of his investigation Nietzsche finds that ‘‘noble,’’ ‘‘aristocratic,’’ and like designations of social rank have been consistently connected to basic concepts of ‘‘ ‘good’ in the sense of ‘with aristocratic soul,’ ‘noble,’ ‘with a soul of high order’ ’’—a development that he argues ‘‘runs parallel to’’ that in which ‘‘common,’’ ‘‘plebian,’’ and ‘‘low’’ form the basis for ‘‘bad’’ (28). And yet it was not simply by referring to themselves as ‘‘good’’ and ‘‘superior’’ (masterful, noble, and commanding) that the dominant social group (variously designated as ‘‘nobles’’ and ‘‘masters’’) established their goodness, but rather by calibrating these laudatory self-assessments to ‘‘typical character trait[s]’’ thought to inhere in individuals by birth. Spinning his discussion of ‘‘bad’’ out of the Latin root for the word black, Nietzsche explains:

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malus [bad] (beside which I set melas [black or dark]) may designate the common man as the dark-colored, above all as the black-haired man (‘‘hic niger est—’’), as the pre-Aryan occupant of the soil of Italy who was distinguished most obviously from the blond, that is Aryan, conqueror race by his color; Gaelic, at any rate, offers us a precisely similar case—fin (for example in the name Fin-Gal), the distinguishing word for nobility, finally for the good, noble, pure, originally meant the blond-headed, in contradistinction to the dark, black-haired aboriginal inhabitants. The Celts . . . were definitely a blond race; it is wrong to associate traces of an essentially dark-haired people which appear 50 Wayward Reproductions

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on the careful ethnographic maps of Germany with any sort of Celtic origin or blood mixture. . . . [I]t is rather the pre-Aryan people who emerge in these places. (30) The metonymic chain, the links of which Nietzsche gives form to one by one, is here finally completed. The color coding of the genealogist’s object that commences in Genealogy’s preface with its designation as ‘‘gray’’ is, in the course of the first essay, constituted through a historically and etymologically reciprocal relationship with the racial coding of morality. On the one hand, ‘‘bad’’ is blackened and ‘‘black’’ racialized; on the other, alleged ‘‘character traits’’ such as ‘‘black-haired’’ and ‘‘dark-colored’’ are morally coded as ‘‘bad,’’ and thus blackened. Conversely, that which is good is whitened, purified, and designated as ‘‘Aryan’’ and/or ‘‘blond.’’ These color-coded distinctions between Aryan and preAryan, good and bad are based not solely upon analogical relationships but also upon a complex signifying system, the contours of which reveal as much about language’s function as a repository for social meaning as about the imbrication of systems of moral valuation and nineteenth-century racialist thought. Indeed, in elaborating the connection between power differentials and racial distinctions, Nietzsche taps into a long tradition with deep roots in German romanticism and romantic nationalist discourses in which power imbalances and the subordination of the laboring, common, and servant classes found justification in the racial coding of the distinction between the vanquished and the vanquishers. As Laura Doyle has contended, ‘‘What one may call ‘domestic’ race distinctions—between Gaul and Frank, Celt and Norman, Norman and Frank—not only shape[d] Romantic thought, but also form[ed] the seedbed for colonial racial thought.’’ Though seldom acknowledged, these racial distinctions, most often cast in the language of blood, shaped how contemporaries understood events like the French Revolution, which was sometimes regarded, as Doyle points out, ‘‘as a racial or ethnic conflict as much as a class war,’’ since noble and common classes were thought ‘‘to derive from different races.’’ 52 While what might be termed the racial unconscious at the heart of German romanticism certainly helps us to begin to historicize Nietzsche’s racialist meditations on the genealogy of morals, in attempting a precise contextualization of the racialized discourse that saturates the passage in question I initially made recourse to Genealogy Unbound

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prevailing approaches to ideas about race in Nietzsche’s philosophy. By invoking ‘‘black’’ to denote ‘‘bad’’ Nietzsche partakes in a long and well-documented philosophical tradition in which race is used to give expression to moral conceptions of judgment, rationality, and ethical subjectivity. As scholars such as Sander Gilman, David Theo Goldberg, and David Lloyd have argued, Western philosophy (and particularly German philosophy, including those pillars of thought to whom Nietzsche responded: Kant and Hegel) depended upon the figuration of enslaved blackness to demarcate that which lies outside the realm of the aesthetic, the rational, the ‘‘civilized,’’ and the moral.53 The invocation of blackness in Nietzsche’s passage on melus might also be considered in relation to the history of German imperialism at end of the nineteenth century. As historians have begun to demonstrate, although many ideas about blackness in German thought were ‘‘uncontaminated by reality’’ prior to German forays into Africa beginning in 1884 and 1885, there was nonetheless a seventeenth- and eighteenth-century tradition of racialist thinking (including the romanticist thought discussed above) upon which Germans drew as they readied themselves for their belated scramble for colonies.54 As recent Nietzsche scholars have maintained, Nietzsche himself negotiated a complex personal and political stance in relation to German imperialism, a geopolitical and economic formation that budded and then blossomed its gruesome flower as he composed his philosophy and managed a painful split with his beloved sister Elisabeth, who had, to his deep dismay, married a colonist and Aryan-supremacist.55 Yet still other scholarship on race and racism in Nietzsche’s writings—and this is undoubtedly the principal forum in which discussions of race arise—focuses on Nietzsche’s figuration of Jews and Jewishness, and on coming to terms with his vexed relationship to anti-Semitism and the genocide committed in its name during World War II.56 Understanding something of Nietzsche’s anti-Semitism, his views on European colonialism and German imperialism, his treatment of the philosophical tradition’s figuration of blackness, and of the race-laden romantic nationalism on which he draws are all extremely helpful in elucidating his views on race in general. However, existing scholarship does not answer one of the pressing questions begged by Nietzsche’s particular discourse on melus/malus—that is, how notions of black and bad related in the period in which he wrote, not only to ideas about Germans’ proto52 Wayward Reproductions

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typical racial others (Jews) and German colonial subjects (Africans) but also to ideas about Italians and Celts. To understand how Italianness and Celticness signify in Nietzsche’s theorization of the genealogy of morals I have found it useful to shift the terms of the discussion of race in Nietzsche’s work off German soil and out of German colonies.57 For in accounting for the racial economy of the text it is necessary to consider transatlantic ideas about Italianness and Celticness that circulated in the period in which Nietzsche wrote. For it is these racialized figurations that rhetorically move Nietzsche’s argument along and that reverberate within and through the philosophical formulations that Nietzsche’s passage elaborates. According to historians Nietzsche’s library was replete with racial scientific tracts—with texts that, following Paul Gilroy, I label with the shorthand raciology. In such works the same ‘‘character traits’’ (such as hair type and skin color) that Nietzsche uses to designate bad and good repeatedly appear as race traits, indices of difference commonly cited on both sides of the Atlantic in the quickly growing body of Euro-American literature that was invoked to justify the construction of racial taxonomies and to assign racial belonging.58 This literature produced and developed the language of racism, that of species, types, craniometrics, and phrenology. For such raciology was preoccupied with the idea that race could be seen, scientifically measured, and quantified, and with the fantasy that racial mixture or wayward reproduction etched its mark directly on the body. In selecting Italians and Celts as his principal examples, Nietzsche joined a well-established conversation about the racial classification of these peoples, who were in the middle and late nineteenth-century emigrating in great numbers from the Old to the New World, and there mixing with the so-called Anglo-Saxon population. And thus, while it may appear that we have strayed far from Chopin, Nietzsche’s discussion of the racial coding of morality compels us to circumnavigate the Atlantic and briefly sketch the scene—one that was transatlantic in character—in which Nietzsche, like Chopin, his near contemporary, wrote. As scholarship on nineteenth-century racial science and the racialization of Europeans, including Irish (used interchangeably in the U.S. context with Celts) and Italians has repeatedly demonstrated, both were viewed as distinct from Northern Europeans or Anglo-Saxons by virtue of their race. Beginning in the 1850s Genealogy Unbound

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John Beddoe, an influential British doctor and ethnologist, devoted nearly thirty years to measuring the ‘‘index of nigrescence’’ among the peoples of greater Britain and not unexpectedly found it highest for the Irish. In 1880 the term ‘‘white Negro’’ was coined in reference to the Irish who were described in period terminology as ‘‘Celtic Calibans.’’ 59 In the mid-1840s, in response to the Great Famine, nearly two million people left Ireland, many arriving in the United States. The animus directed toward these immigrants did not express itself as restrictionism (which had not yet gained full force at mid-century) but as a fear of job usurpation, as an anxiety about reproductive intermixture, and as a suspicion that so-called Celtic peoples possessed kinship with blacks.60 In the years leading up to the Civil War, Irish communities were ghettoized and Irish people’s impoverished lives depicted as less than human, as simian. On both sides of the Atlantic the popular press routinely characterized the ‘‘Celtic physiognomy’’ by a ‘‘small and somewhat upturned nose’’ and a ‘‘black tint of the skin’’; conversely, ‘‘smoked Irishman’’ was common nineteenth-century slang for ‘‘Negro.’’ 61 As historian David Roediger relates, adjectives used in describing the Irish consistently coincided with those used to designate and denigrate African slaves: ‘‘low-browed,’’ ‘‘savage,’’ ‘‘groveling,’’ ‘‘bestial,’’ ‘‘lazy,’’ ‘‘wild,’’ and ‘‘sensual.’’ In short, the Irish were often regarded as a separate race, perhaps originating in Africa.62 Like the Irish, Italians (particularly Sicilians) were portrayed in late-nineteenth century raciology as dark racial others and located as a source of acute anxiety. Particularly in the U.S. South, Italians, who often shared with blacks a niche in the labor market, freely fraternized with blacks, and sometimes intermarried with them, were thought of not as white, but as ‘‘Dagoes’’ or ‘‘white niggers.’’ They were cast as swarthy, often as virtually black in complexion. In a Harper’s Magazine piece Italian ghetto dwellers in New York are distinctly Africanized: ‘‘it is no uncommon thing to see at noon some swarthy Italian . . . resting and dining from his tin kettle, while his brown-skinned wife is by his side.’’ 63 According to historian John Higham, when anti-Italian violence reached its height in the 1890s, attaining a fever pitch in the lynchings of eleven Italian immigrants residing in New Orleans, widespread animus was filtered through racialized stereotypes of Italians as bearing ‘‘the mark of Cain’’ and suggesting ‘‘the stiletto, the Maffia,’’ and deeds ‘‘of impassioned violence.’’ 64 54 Wayward Reproductions

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When we inspect Nietzsche’s passage closely, we see that while he follows the dominant trend and racializes as black those to whom he refers as the ‘‘pre-Aryan’’ occupants of Italian soil, he vociferously defends against the classification of Celts as black, arguing that this association mistakes the ‘‘blond-headed’’ conqueror race with the ‘‘pre-Aryan’’ occupants of ancient lands (including Germany) who were dark-haired and of ‘‘mixed blood.’’ 65 Thus, while Nietzsche evidently engages the dominant sociolect in which it was debated whether Italians and Celts were black, it would be inaccurate to conceive of the notions of blackness that he discusses as either entirely complicit with this discourse, or as uniform. Rather, it is precisely Nietzsche’s deviation from the popular ideas about Celtic ‘‘nigrescence’’ and Italian blackness (even as he takes these ideas as his point of departure) that embodies his philosophical challenge. As he argues by way of his shifting and shifty racial and racist metaphors, categories of goodness and badness, like those of whiteness and blackness, were highly variegated and constantly changing. As in romantic racialist discourse, when a group is cast as masterful and conquering it gains ‘‘blond-headed’’ Aryan status but loses this status when it becomes, through a turn of historical events, the conquered or common class and thus ‘‘aboriginal’’ or ‘‘pre-Aryan.’’ Through figuration of Italianness and Celticness as at one historical moment white or ‘‘Aryan’’ and at another black or ‘‘preAryan,’’ Nietzsche undermines the consistency of racial categories and the solidity of notions of racial belonging. Through revelation of the instability of racialized conceptions of the vanquished and vanquishers, the arbitrariness of racial designations and the moral valuations that are built out of them is revealed. For the shifts and changes in racial formations of which Nietzsche writes index the arbitrariness of accepted linguistic organizations of both morality and reality. With the figures of the Italian and the Celt Nietzsche tells readers that ‘‘bad’’ like ‘‘black’’ is a metaphor— one employed by a romantic nationalist tradition to justify domination, among other aims. And thus while Nietzsche explicitly and uncritically engages the racial sciences of his day in crafting his discourse, he nonetheless transgresses raciology’s principal findings. If the ‘‘hidden land of morality,’’ like the Egyptian ‘‘hieroglyphic record’’ of which Nietzsche wrote in his preface, is best characterized as ‘‘gray,’’ this is because this record and this land, like the racially marked body that figures the moral system whose genealGenealogy Unbound

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ogy Nietzsche sketches, lacks clear-cut antecedents and a purified, static point of origination. The choice of the hieroglyph as a textual figure, like that of Italians and Celts, is historically overdetermined. As Nietzsche wrote, Egypt emerged as a focal point for imperialist anxieties and passions and the field of Egyptology rapidly expanded. As Edward Said has amply demonstrated, within nineteenth-century orientalist discourse the hieroglyphs of Egyptian history and the mysteries of ancient religious practices symbolized the unknown, the radically other. Like Italians and Celts, Egypt and things Egyptian were, by the 1860s, repeatedly invoked in heated debates about racial belonging, purity, and mixture.66 In particular, the discussions that swirled around the question of whether blacks were a civilized race or a distinct race with a separate point of origin often hinged upon ideas about the nature of ancient Egyptian civilization.67 If it could be proven that Egyptians were black, raciologists such as Beddoe, Robert Knox, Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau, Josiah Nott, and George Gliddon argued, then it could be proven that blacks were civilized. Conversely, if Egyptians were white, this would substantiate claims about black racial distinction and inferiority. Though several of these thinkers held diametrically opposed views on these questions, they agreed that the associated reproductive question had to do with whether the hybrid offspring of unions between different races were fertile or infertile. If fertile, this would show that blacks and whites were of the same species from the beginning of time; if infertile that they were of separate origin and that racial mixing had produced degeneration of entire populations, posing a particular threat to nations such as America, in which black and white were especially prone to intermingle. Among those writing on these issues, Nott (a southern slaveholder and professor of anatomy at the University of Louisiana) and Gliddon (an English Egyptologist who had lived most of his life in Cairo) were especially eager to collaborate in bringing together Egyptology and reproductive biology. In a series of publications in the 1840s and early 1850s they stridently argued that the ancient Egyptians were Caucasian, and that study of Egyptian civilization provided unequivocal evidence that blacks and whites had been separate races throughout recorded history. If Egyptians had been racially ‘‘hybrid,’’ they argued, their world would have faltered rather than flourished. As Gliddon averred, ‘‘I am hostile 56 Wayward Reproductions

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to the opinion of the African origin of the Egyptians, I mean of the high caste—kings, priests, and military. . . . We, as hieroglyphists, know Egypt better now, than all the Greek authors or the Romans.’’ Concurring with his colleague, Nott added that ‘‘history, the Egyptian Monuments, her paintings and sculptures, the examination of skulls . . . and everything else connected with this country, combine to prove beyond possible doubt, that the Ancient Egyptian race were Caucasians.’’ 68 Apparently, in characterizing the genealogist’s object as ‘‘gray’’ Nietzsche again took racial science as a starting point, if only to manipulate its findings to argue for the ‘‘impurity’’ of the origins of systems of valuation. As his figure of the gray ‘‘hieroglyphic record’’ attests, the origin of things Egyptian is neither white nor black, but better characterized as impure, mixed, at best indecipherable. The debates about the racial origins of Egyptians are, not coincidentally, connected to the etymology for a term coined to describe racial mixing several years prior to Nietzsche’s writing of On the Genealogy of Morals. ‘‘Miscegenation,’’ a neologism built out of the Latin miscere (to mix) and genus (race)69 that was intended to replace the previously pervasive designation, ‘‘amalgamation,’’ was invented in 1864 by the authors of an anonymous pamphlet published on the eve of the U.S. presidential election. These pundits, rabid antiabolitionists, hoped to conjure the threat of national ‘‘mongrelization’’ that would result if abolitionists were to prevail in the Civil War, by posing as scientifically informed advocates of a racially mixed nation: a miscege(nation). In intentionally incendiary passages such as the following, they cast interracial reproduction as the fervent desire of the abolitionists and as the central tenet of their plan for national salvation:

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It is clear that no race can long endure without a commingling of its blood with that of other races. The condition of all human progress is miscegenation. The Anglo-Saxon should learn this in time for his own salvation. If we will not heed the demands of justice, let us, at least, respect the law of self-preservation. Providence has kindly placed on the American soil for his own wise purposes, four millions of colored people. They are our brothers, our sisters. By mingling with them we become powerful, prosperous, and progressive; by refusing to do so we become feeble, unhealthy, narrow-minded, and unfit for nobler offices of freedom and certain of early decay.70 Genealogy Unbound

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Although the pamphlet’s authors drew on several prevailing ideas about hybridity in arguing for the benefits of a national policy of miscegenation, near the center of their text is a chapter— ‘‘The mystery of the pyramids—the sphinx question answered’’— in which they, like Nietzsche, invoke Egypt and things Egyptian as ultimate proof of civilization’s mixed origins. Expressly contravening the earlier findings of Nott and Gliddon, they write: Historians have given us different accounts of the color of the Egyptians. Herodotus states that they were black and woolyhaired; still other Greek writers have said they were dark colored but with straight hair, among mummies are found all varieties except the pure white. It is clear, therefore, that the Egyptians were a composite race. It was here that civilization dawned, because it was here that first conditions for civilization existed . . . the judicious intermingling of divers tribes from different parts of the earth, produced an intelligent, brave, and progressive people, the like of which has probably never since appeared upon the planet . . . the arts of which have made Greece famous were all undoubtedly of Egyptian origin; the philosophy that is still discussed in our schools, was first evolved from the miscegenetic mind developed upon the banks of the Nile. (21)

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Although the miscegenation pamphlet was as hotly debated in Europe as in the United States (it was an editorial in the proSouthern London Morning Herald that first exposed the pamphlet as an antiabolitionist hoax), there is no evidence that it fell into Nietzsche’s hands.71 Nonetheless, its claim about the ‘‘intermingling of divers tribes’’ and of the ‘‘miscegenetic mind[s]’’ of those who inhabited the ‘‘banks of the Nile’’ are of a piece with Nietzsche’s figuration of the Egyptian hieroglyphic record as best characterized as ‘‘gray.’’ Expressing the central argument in the terms later echoed in the color-coded language that pervades On the Genealogy of Morals, the miscegenation pamphlet’s authors conclude that Americans must ‘‘accept the facts of nature [and] . . . become a yellow-skinned, black haired people—in fine . . . miscegens.’’ 72 Evidently, ideas about race and reproduction are as deeply embedded within Nietzsche’s philosophy as within Chopin’s narrative. As I have argued, the racial and reproductive resonance of ‘‘gray’’ as a figure for impurity at the origin becomes pronounced 58

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when we consider the wider transatlantic context in which Nietzsche, like Chopin, wrote—that in which the emergent raciological discourse inscribed race within a visual economy of physiological differences that indexed moral and social worth, and in which interracial reproduction was thought to have left traces on the surface of the bodies that were its legacy. In such a context ‘‘race’’ was not only a conception, but also a perception, something that was thought to be tangible and knowable because it could be seen.73 In revealing the imbrication of Nietzsche’s and Chopin’s thought with the raciology of their day, I have sought to identify a deep connection between racial science and genealogical thinking—thinking, that as I have been arguing, can be read as racist, but might at the same time be mined for its critical potential. For even as Nietzsche’s and Chopin’s genealogical narratives drew upon racialist and often racist discourses about ‘‘purity’’ and the corruption produced by wayward reproduction, both simultaneously elaborated a critical form of genealogy, one that can be used to cut through the race/reproduction bind that subtends discussions about racial ‘‘purity’’ and reproductive mixing. In this chapter I have also shown that it is precisely because the concept of genealogy is imbricated with ideas about race and reproduction that it constitutes a privileged lever for critiquing racial nationalism and for undoing the race/reproduction bind that structures ideologies of racial nationalism that have been pervasive in the transatlantic context. As I explore in the chapters that follow, the idea that racial ‘‘purity’’ can be reproduced is a ruse. Indeed, from the vantage point of critical genealogical inquiry, it is an idealization of reality that can only be produced by disavowing what is all too well known, and by repressing or otherwise manipulating the dimly, sometimes unconsciously perceived complexity of our racial and reproductive histories. For this reason, while racial nationalism depends on what Nietzsche labeled ‘‘the faculty of repression’’ and is subtended by conventional notions of belonging grounded in ideas of genealogical inheritance, racial nationalism is at the same time an idea we, critical genealogists, are in a unique position to set aside. For when genealogy’s entanglement within the race/reproduction bind is turned against itself and set to work—as it is throughout this book— it can be used to expose and then undo the destructive interdependence of the racial and reproductive dimensions of transatlantic modern thought. As Foucault reminds us, the common conception of genealogy Genealogy Unbound

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as a quest for ‘‘pure’’ origins can be transformed into ‘‘effective history’’ by introducing ‘‘discontinuity into our very beings—as it divides our emotions, dramatizes our instincts, multiplies our body and sets it against itself’’ (88). Foucault’s and Nietzsche’s ideas of genealogy instruct us in the performance of such dramatic procedures of division and multiplication. In turn, Chopin’s genealogical narrative introduces us to the discontinuity that lies at the heart of ‘‘our very being’’ and thus at the heart of the modern racial nation and the identities of the racially ‘‘pure’’ nationals who comprise it. Specifying the power of genealogical critique, Foucault writes, ‘‘Genealogy will never neglect as inaccessible the vicissitudes of history. On the contrary, it will cultivate the details and accidents that accompany every beginning; it will be scrupulously attentive to their petty malice; it will await their emergence, once unmasked, as the face of the other’’ (80). Reading this passage for what I hope is now its evident racial residue, we can conclude that genealogy traces the ‘‘vicissitudes of history,’’ the misalliances, and the ‘‘miscegenous’’ encounters, and ‘‘await[s] their emergence’’— nothing less than their manifestation in the form of a disrupted pedigree that the critical genealogist can apprehend in the unfamiliar ‘‘face of the other.’’ This is the face of the individual who is inadmissible within the confines of the racial nation, namely the black mother and her progeny—the La Blanches and Désirées and the children to whom they give birth—those subjects whose wayward reproduction threatens to disrupt even the most reputable lineages.

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Chapter Two Writing Feminist Genealogy: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Reproduction of Racial Nationalism

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In one of the stranger passages in her autobiography, the turnof-the-century feminist writer, reformer, and activist Charlotte Perkins Gilman humorously registers her concerns about wayward reproduction while in the process of confessing half-seriously that she has never felt completely confident in regarding herself as a true American because of her symbolically inauspicious birthday. Noting that her arrival into the world on 3 July 1860 was untimely, she laments, ‘‘If only I’d made it to the glorious fourth! This may be called the first misplay in a long game that is full of them.’’ 1 Here, as in much of her work, Gilman informs readers that the ideal national is hard to reproduce, for the perfect American citizen must be free of the various forms of ‘‘misplay’’ to which reproduction is prey in current form. The idea that something was terribly wrong with the national reproductive process was, this chapter argues, the issue that most compelled Gilman. The diagnosis of the ravages on the United States effected by wayward reproduction across racial lines, and the proposal of an array of solutions, were her life’s work. In acid political polemics, parables drawn from experience, and deceptively playful fiction, Gilman repeatedly expressed her hope for the creation of women who were conscious and capable of reproducing a better national body and a purified national genealogy. Curiously, despite the pervasive racial and national politics that undergirded Gilman’s corpus, her reception by most femi-

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nist scholars, although persistently engaged, has been largely uncritical of the most troubling aspects of her work. As this chapter details, neither those scholars who originally recovered Gilman’s writings in the 1970s nor many of those who have subsequently written on Gilman in the past two decades have found it necessary to contend with the centrality of racialized reproductive thinking to her feminism, or to her maternalist racial nationalism. In addressing the most vexed aspects of Gilman’s feminism, I forge an alliance with a small and increasingly vocal cohort of thinkers who have bucked the scholarly trend and begun the contentious task of excavating Gilman’s racism and nationalism. At the same time, in this chapter I explore the implications for the forms of contemporary feminism(s) to which we all contribute of the troublingly pervasive approach to Gilman—namely celebration of Gilman as a so-called foremother who, despite serious flaws, nonetheless continues to be situated uncritically at the origin of a genealogy of feminism of which we are the alleged inheritors. In assessing the relationship between scholarship that has sought to recover and reclaim Gilman’s feminism and Gilman’s own writings, this chapter locates conceptual continuities between Gilman’s theorizing and the theory of the history of feminism that is implicitly reproduced by Gilman scholars who are engaged in recovery and/or celebration of Gilman’s work. In tracking the persistence of reproductive and genealogical ideas within Gilman’s writings, this chapter simultaneously draws attention to the relationships among racism, nationalism, and imperialism within contemporary feminist knowledge production. And yet it should be stressed at the outset that revelation of the grounding of this dominant strand of contemporary feminism in older forms of racism and nationalism is not the principal reason I return to Gilman— though this is an important project unto itself. Rather, I return to her in order to explore how the gender politics that Gilman expressly advocated were constituted through an all but completely neglected sexual politics that was racial in character. For, as we shall see, the sexual dimensions of Gilman’s feminism have remained unavailable to readers who have neglected Gilman’s racism and nationalism. Indeed, as the concluding section of this chapter demonstrates, in uncritically reclaiming Gilman’s feminism as a precursor of contemporary feminism the decidedly ‘‘queer’’ 62

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sexual politics that Gilman constituted in and through her relentless racial nationalism have been obscured. As in the previous chapter, within the present one genealogy emerges as a pivotal concept—as both the object of analysis and the principal method of inquiry. Within Gilman’s substantial corpus, the concept of genealogy is pervasive. Repeatedly Gilman associates ideas about the perfection of national reproductive processes with ideas about white women’s role in the purification of the national genealogy. Her nonfiction argues that women’s work should not be solely in the home but also in the reproduction of a robust, racially ‘‘pure’’ nation; likewise, her fiction offers utopian reproductive scenarios and outlines an alternative social vision based upon the transformation of maternity. And thus of Gilman’s writings I ask: How are conventional notions of genealogy used to buttress accounts of ancestry and of the history of reproductive relationships? How are issues of pedigree, descent, and the reproduction of populations treated? How do ideas about reproduction inflect concerns about nation building? And finally, how are racialized ideas about nation building conjoined within those about sexuality? If the reproductive and racial themes that obsessed Gilman lead me to situate genealogy as my central object of inquiry, the troubling rhetoricity of much of the most influential scholarship on Gilman compells me to choose genealogy as my methodology. As in chapter 1, in this chapter I again turn to Nietzsche and Foucault. In the opening lines of his philosophical treatise On the Genealogy of Morals, Nietzsche avers that genealogy is a critical philosophical tool. Genealogy—conventionally defined as a quest for origins in terms of descent from ancestors, as the elaboration of a pedigree— can also be regarded as a critical knowledge project. Addressing his fellow philosophers, Nietzsche articulates the problem of epistemological reorientation that the adoption of his genealogical methodology entails: ‘‘We are unknown to ourselves . . . and with good reason,’’ he asserts, for since ‘‘we have never [previously] sought ourselves—how could it happen that we should ever find ourselves.’’ 2 If we follow Nietzsche’s reasoning it becomes clear that feminist knowledge seekers will only gain self-knowledge, if we stop searching for long-lost progenitors and instead create new relationships with familiar objects of knowledge by posing questions that may be uncomfortable but are nonetheless urgent. Writing Feminist Genealogy 63

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These include questions about the racism and nationalism that are endemic to Gilman’s feminism; those about the desirability of discovering in Gilman’s feminism an antecedent for contemporary feminism; those about the structural resonance between the drive to recover a genealogy of feminism that stretches back to Gilman and Gilman’s own quest for a ‘‘pure’’ national genealogy; and, perhaps most important, questions about the conjoining of Gilman’s maternalist racial nationalism and her inchoate sexual politics. In short, the critical genealogical questions this chapter raises neither presuppose the existence of a feminist ‘‘foremother’’ nor of a ‘‘pure’’ genealogy of feminism waiting to be unearthed; rather, they interrogate the origins of contemporary feminism and explore how such origins are constructed and reproduced. For a genealogical inquiry questions ‘‘the value of the origin of value’’ within the history of feminism.3 In addressing the questions enumerated above I contribute to the work of those who have eloquently argued that race animates Gilman’s thinking and that Gilman (like other first-wave feminists) was involved in shoring up an evolutionary discourse about white civilized womanhood.4 I also augment this scholarship in two ways: first, by elaborating the metacritical claim that issues of pedigree, descent, ‘‘purity,’’ and kinship—all conventional genealogical notions—ground both Gilman’s feminism and that of those who have sought to reclaim it; and, second, that blockage to knowledge about feminism’s historical relationship to racism and nationalism has the perhaps unintended consequence of promulgating a type of gender-focused feminism that obscures consideration of sexuality. For, as this chapter demonstrates, Gilman’s racism and nationalism are articulated in heterogeneous ways not only in and through her gender politics, but also in and through central if less overt sexual politics that are inseparable from her gender politics.5 In teasing out and identifying the sexual politics that pervade Gilman’s maternalist racial nationalism, this chapter hopes to invigorate forms of antiracist and antinationalist feminism. It draws attention to the work of the race/reproduction bind that lies at the foundation of the type of feminism that Gilman advocated, and the feminism that seeks to recover her work. For so long as an unselfreflective portrait of Gilman remains dominant, Gilman’s disturbing ideals will continue to haunt feminist self-conception and promulgate the mistaken belief that it is possible for a feminism that 64

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does not account for the racialization of gender and sexual formations to be truly liberatory. Gilman’s Genealogy On first leafing through the biographies and bibliographies that record Gilman’s accomplishments, it is easy to comprehend the designation of this formidable woman as a ‘‘foremother.’’ In the prime of her life Gilman lectured widely; wrote fiction, poetry, social analysis, and political polemic; single-handedly produced her own journal, The Forerunner (1909–16); published eight novels, 171 short stories, nine book-length nonfiction manuscripts; and was the author of over one thousand essays.6 Gilman was a transatlantic phenomenon with wider geographic cachet. When H. G. Wells came to the United States Gilman was the one person with whom he requested a meeting; when she traveled to England she was welcomed into Fabian circles. Comparing Gilman to the famous British luminary, an American editor dubbed her ‘‘the George Bernard Shaw of America, unless we prefer to call Mr. Shaw the Charlotte Perkins Gilman of England.’’ Women and Economics, Gilman’s bestseller, was heralded as among the most groundbreaking philosophical arguments on women’s rights ever written. William Dean Howells insisted that with it Gilman anticipated the radical economist and social critic Thorstein Veblen. The London Chronicle argued that Gilman’s masterpiece rivaled John Stuart Mill’s Subjection of Women.7 And, not least, Gilman’s writings were translated into German, Dutch, Italian, Russian, Hungarian, and Japanese and used as textbooks in a number of college classrooms. In a eulogy Zona Gale, a colleague, aptly captured the feeling among period intellectuals: ‘‘In the long, slow development of our social consciousness, Charlotte Perkins Gilman has flamed like a torch. This seems the right simile, for she has burned her way around the world.’’ 8 If Gilman lived in the limelight for the better part of her life, by its end she was no longer in its glow. Her numerous works were out of print, and her contributions were nearly forgotten. Not satisfied to leave her posthumous fame in other hands, in an attempt to emerge from what has in retrospect proved a fleeting moment of obscurity, Gilman restarted her autobiography. Aware of a spreading cancer, and of the fact that her first autobiographical musings had serious shortcomings, Gilman tried to persuade a biographer Writing Feminist Genealogy 65

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to do the job of writing her story for her; when she was refused she was forced back on herself. Though she reworked the manuscript, finished the proofreading, and selected the photographs and cover, she did not live to see The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman in print.9 As she heroically professed in a note appended to the book’s last page, ‘‘When all usefulness is over, when one is assured of unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one. . . . I have preferred chloroform to cancer.’’ 10 Despite her persistence in recording her life right up to her own death, Gilman’s meticulously crafted portrait reveals deep ambivalence about writing her story. Lack of enthusiasm for a project that involved recollection and introspection (as opposed to Gilman’s favored genres: polemic about the present or vision for the future) partially explains the final manuscript’s shortcomings. This was not the sort of book she liked to write; it was not useful in the immediate way that a political manifesto or prescription for a better world can be. And thus, in a forced effort at least to make her story exemplary, Gilman produced a strangely lackluster book. As Gilman’s biographers concur, the book’s ‘‘greatest disappointment is that it does not have the author’s heart in it’’; ‘‘it has an unfinished quality’’ and is full of ‘‘self-deceptions’’ and ‘‘purposeful misreadings.’’ 11 Though it is difficult to disagree with the consensus, the book’s dearth of literary brilliance and historical accuracy are nonetheless compelling. The uncomfortable, self-conscious, and often selfserving passages that pervade Living can be read against the grain to reveal ideas about nation and race caught within the maze of Gilman’s autobiographical maneuvers. As in the birthday passage with which I began this chapter, in the opening pages of her autobiography Gilman announces the heart of her conceptual edifice, dwelling on the reproduction of highly perfected human beings and reiterating her belief that racial and national belonging ought to intersect in the reproduction of citizens. Gilman may not have been born on ‘‘the glorious fourth,’’ but, she insists, her exemplary pedigree itself instructs. Although Gilman’s father had wryly warned her, ‘‘There are a great many persons between you and the throne and I should not advise you to look forward to it,’’ at fifteen Gilman defiantly began an investigation into her forebears.12 In a chapter of Living entitled ‘‘Background’’ she traces in abundant detail her ‘‘extremely remote 66 Wayward Reproductions

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connection to English royalty.’’ In a volume of American Families of Royal Descent found in Providence, Rhode Island’s public library, she claims to have pursued her lineage through ‘‘a bunch of New Englanders’’ to their relatives in Essex and then to a truly significant ancestor, Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, son of Edward III and Phillippa of Hainault, who were in turn descended from ‘‘that universal progenitor, William the Conqueror.’’ When in Europe, wherever Gilman casts her gaze she discovers her connection to aristocracy, if not to royalty, never once encountering a name to which she does not find it fitting to lay claim. By contrast, when Gilman crosses the Atlantic and shifts her sights to her American ancestors her approach changes markedly. On these newer shores her forebears are identified as persons of ‘‘piety and learning,’’ but she cannot be bothered to record their names ‘‘glutted’’ as she already is ‘‘with [her] list of remote glories’’ (2–3). In America Gilman noticeably limits her claim of filiation to the previous two generations, to ‘‘the immediate line [of which she is] really proud . . . the Beecher[s],’’ a family of ‘‘world servers’’ that includes theologian Lyman Beecher, his minister sons, and Gilman’s great-aunts, author/abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, reformer Catherine Beecher, and the less famous but no less civicminded Isabella Beecher Hooker. How do we make sense of Gilman’s transatlantic heritage and of the divergent approaches taken to Old and New World relations? How should we interpret the uneven genealogical sketch that Gilman offers as ‘‘Background’’ to a life story the unfolding of which she defers until a subsequent chapter ironically entitled ‘‘Beginnings’’? In Gilman’s view genealogical background was as important as life experience. As a reformer committed to social change she was caught up in period ideas of ‘‘social evolution’’ and, like other Age of Reform intellectuals, she often conflated these concerns with those about evolution proper, biological and Darwinian.13 Although there is little doubt that readers are intended to humor willful young Charlotte when she testifies to her delight in discovering her connection to William the Conqueror, it is just as important to take Gilman at her word. In recollecting youthful antics she ensures recognition of her noble roots. In furthering her link to royalty and empire she situates herself as an inheritor of a legacy of imperial conquest and assures skeptics that she is of old stock, an exceptional individual who can lay claim directly to Old World breeding. No new arrival but a great-grandniece of the revolution, Writing Feminist Genealogy 67

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Gilman is not to be confused with a new immigrant from Asia or Southern or Eastern Europe. And thus, following other nativists, she refers to her ‘‘Englishness’’ with paradoxical effect: she renders her Old World genealogy that of a ‘‘true’’ American. Her autobiography is useful not only because of the good breeding it exhibits as a life lived, but also by virtue of the self-proclaimed good breeding that it proffers as guarantor of her pedigree.14 Maternalist Feminism and ‘‘Race Suicide’’ Recognition of Gilman’s ancestry is not all that her genealogical narration demands. William the Conqueror was of course also known as ‘‘William the Bastard,’’ the son of a nobleman and his consort Arlette (variously known as Herleva or Arlotta), a lowborn daughter of a tanner from whose name the word ‘‘harlot’’ derives.15 It is thus not surprising that Gilman’s sense of pride in her esteemed lineage coexists with acute anxiety about the accuracy of any genealogical claim, such that her assertion of prodigious origins mingles with pronounced fear about ‘‘purity’’ of stock. Far from deceiving herself about the coexistence of contradictory impulses, Gilman foregrounds the conundrum by transforming it into an object lesson: ‘‘Unfortunately, as one learns to lay out one’s ancestors in concentric circles, doubling the number with each ring after the simple ‘Father and Mother’ in the first, glittering lines leading to far off dignitaries shrink to mere isolated threads, and are overwhelmed by crowding multitudes of ordinary people—or worse. . . . When we reach the Kings, Edward being in the seventeenth circle, there are 131,072 ancestors—and only one King!’’ 16 Recognizing that recovery of ‘‘pure’’ origins is an inherently flawed project, in which definitive connections are detoured by the confusion imposed by ‘‘crowding multitudes of ordinary people,’’ Gilman acknowledges that for every king she locates she might have turned up ‘‘worse.’’ Indeed, Gilman’s anxiety about the discovery of wayward reproduction was pervasive and longstanding.17 In a curious genealogical parable written two decades before the autobiography, Gilman’s fact-based ‘‘Background’’ chapter finds precedent in fiction. In ‘‘My Ancestors’’ Gilman relates a dream from the perspective of ‘‘a Captain of Industry of no mean position,’’ a new urban bourgeois American who has been ‘‘taught to 68

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revere’’ his forefathers and sees himself, as does Gilman, as the rightful heir to the nation. This narrator, who has a nighttime visitation from a ‘‘Shadowy Huge Form’’ who asks him ‘‘Wouldst Thou see thine Ancestors?’’ bravely answers in the affirmative. While Gilman amplifies her genealogical purview with the aid of an edition of American Families of Royal Descent, her narrator magically acquires a form of vision that enables him to see in a ‘‘marvelously magnified’’ manner all of the people who radiate for ‘‘mile on mile . . . without limit’’ from the center of a genealogical web whose most interior point he occupies. Gilman and her fictional counterpart invoke the same metaphor of concentric circles to give form to their genealogical findings. Even though the Captain of Industry discovers a few Kings amongst the dross, he, like Gilman after him, observes that the outer rings of the trunk of his family tree are so densely populated that it is not hyperbolic to state that he bears a connection to the entire population of the globe. And again, as with Gilman, this alarms: the people whom he finds are not only ‘‘unfamiliar,’’ but he is ‘‘forced to admit,’’ decidedly ‘‘less desirable.’’ For his genealogical landscape is comprised of ‘‘that great mass of human beings,’’ and he is ‘‘shamed to the soul’’ to realize that the remoter the region, the greater the likelihood that it is populated by ‘‘every grade, not only Kings, but slaves. Not only those proud pure ladies in their ruffs and stomachers, but others not proud, not ladies—not even pure.’’ 18 As Gilman herself would come to confess, the ‘‘crowding multitudes,’’ the members of the population of the globe whom she would later designate with the damning adjective ‘‘worse,’’ rapidly encroach. But to exactly whom do Gilman and her fictional predecessor allude? Where Gilman’s autobiography vaguely invokes the specter of genealogical misfortune the narrator of ‘‘My Ancestors’’ forges on unabashed. Embellishing and thus giving form to the purported misalliances that he locates, the Captain of Industry emerges as the more reliable narrator; in moving beyond the metaphoric language of concentric circles, webs, tapestries, and fine threads he names the knots or crossings of fibers, the illicit points of contact that corrupt his genealogy. While in Gilman’s ‘‘Background’’ chapter the Beechers alone comprise ‘‘the beaded fringe,’’ in ‘‘My Ancestors’’ the narrator admits that his own ‘‘beaded fringe of modern dignitaries seemed but the merest edge on the border of civilizaWriting Feminist Genealogy 69

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tion . . . [a] border that narrowed momently in contrast to the long, dark web of life behind.’’ (75) As he elaborates, ‘‘Mixtures of race, I found, scarce any in the world not represented. . . . [T]here was a Spanish ancestor, a Moorish ancestor . . . with darkening skin and thickening lip—a Nubian line. In my veins ran the blood of Ethiopia! Strange cousins had I, Javanese and Jew, Russian, Mongolian—there was no limit to their range in race’’ (74). Needless to say, the relations identified are not randomly selected. From 1890 to 1930—during the years Gilman was active as a writer, journalist, and women’s rights advocate—the United States entered a period of unprecedented expansion of its immigrant, foreign-born population, a situation that incurred widespread concern about the birthrate of ‘‘white’’ Anglo-Saxons and an accompanying intensification of anti-immigrant animus. Starting in the 1880s debates over immigration, deportation of foreigners, implementation of restrictive immigration legislation, and demographic changes in the population shaped the national scene as it responded to outbursts of intense anti-immigrant violence and the extensive transformation of labor markets and urban centers.19 In 1891, just after Gilman began writing, Francis Amasa Walker, an outspoken restrictionist, compiled the first comprehensive statistical case documenting what came to be known as ‘‘race suicide.’’ What Walker observed was the beginning of a discrepancy between the birthrates among newly arrived immigrants and ‘‘old stock Americans,’’ which led him to conclude that there was a direct correlation between immigration from abroad and the falling birthrate among the native born.20 In Poverty, published nearly fifteen years later, Robert Hunter expressed an extreme and increasingly popular conclusion: one kind of people, those hastily lumped together by Gilman with the catch-all adjective ‘‘worse,’’ were replacing the ‘‘better’’ kind of people, who, in a paradoxical twist in the term’s meaning, came to refer to themselves as ‘‘Native Americans.’’ By 1905, when Theodore Roosevelt condemned the trend toward smaller native families as a sign of national decadence and moral decay, the discourse of ‘‘race suicide’’ had reached its apogee.21 The term ‘‘race suicide,’’ although popularized by Walker, was coined by E. A. Ross, a prominent sociologist with whom Gilman conducted a life-long correspondence and on whom she relied to supply her with the readings that kept her abreast of debates 70

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within the social sciences.22 In his influential essay ‘‘The Causes of Race Superiority,’’ Ross details the various human personality traits that he regards as ‘‘race traits.’’ ‘‘Climatic adaptability’’ is not common to Anglo-Saxons, he argues, a fact that has rendered them poor colonists of geographic regions plagued by fever, heat, and tropical weather. This said, Caucasians are a race of such high ‘‘energy’’ that they are perfectly suited to the pursuit of colonizing temperate zones and expanding westward into the American wilderness. Indeed such energy, ‘‘stimulated to the utmost by democracy,’’ has the added advantage of ensuring ‘‘self-reliance,’’ as is evident in the exemplary case of Daniel Boone, not to mention Ralph Waldo Emerson. In sum, so-called racial traits are worth possessing if they are Anglo-Saxon, undesirable if characteristic of ‘‘lesser races,’’ and arguably a ‘‘function of association’’ rather than ‘‘race’’ if desirable but uncommon among whites. Ross’s purpose in writing his essay, first addressed to the American Academy of Political and Social Science, was not simply to catalogue the ‘‘superior racial’’ heritage bequeathed to ‘‘true Americans’’ but also to urge whites to preserve these traits for posterity: The superiority of a race cannot be preserved without pride of blood and an uncompromising attitude toward the lower races. In Spanish America the easy going and unfastidious Spaniard peopled the continent with half-breeds and met the natives half way in respect to religious and political institutions. . . . In North America, on the other hand, the white men have rarely mingled their blood with that of the Indian or toned down their civilization to meet his capacities. . . . [T]he net result is that North America from the Behring Sea [sic] to the Rio Grande is dedicated to the highest type of civilization; while for centuries the rest of our hemisphere will drag the ball and chain of hybridism.

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In Ross’s view the situation still bade well. Anglo-Saxons had not yet degenerated; Indian extermination had been a ‘‘success,’’ and thus interbreeding of Anglo-Saxon ‘‘Natives’’ and Native Americans was negligible. Silence on the issue of African Americans suggests that in Ross’s mind black/white and black/red mixing were either unspeakable and/or so successfully repressed that they did not trouble his reasoning. And yet, for all his rationalizations, Writing Feminist Genealogy 71

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Ross’s ideally ‘‘pure’’ national genealogy was haunted by the specter of reproductive mayhem. He played on fears of ‘‘Yellow Peril’’ as he built the case for impending doom: ‘‘Asiatics flock to this country and, enjoying equal opportunities under our laws, learn our methods and compete actively with Americans . . . but if their standard of life is only half as high . . . the Asiatic will rear two children while his competitor feels able to rear but one.’’ Reproductive competition, Ross argued, could have but three possible results: The American might lower his standard of life to match that of the Asiatic; the Asiatic might raise his standard and thus halt his rapid increase; or—and this is the scenario that is heralded and feared—the Asiatic (referred to at this point as ‘‘the Chinese’’) may refuse to assimilate, thereby causing Anglo-Saxons to ‘‘wither away before the heavy influx of a prolific race from the Orient.’’ 23 Although Ross did not advance policy recommendations, the implications of his essay are transparent: immigration of unassimilable elements must cease; meanwhile, Anglo-Saxons must reproduce a racially superior nation with haste. Gilman’s ideas about genealogy should be situated within the context of the larger debates among the nativists and restrictionists with whom she was in dialogue, especially Ross. Although her writings on immigration were not as popular as were his or those written by other well-known figures—for example, Madison Grant’s The Passing of the Great Race (1916) and Lothrop Stoddard’s The Rising Tide of Color, against White World-Supremacy (1920)—she elaborates closely related prejudices and employs stylistically similar forms. In a 1923 polemic, ‘‘Is America Too Hospitable?’’ Gilman states that ‘‘there is a question [that is] sneeringly asked by the stranger within our gates: ‘What is an American?’ ’’ In crafting an answer to this query, first posed by the Frenchman J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, Gilman reveals her narrow restrictionist vision:24 ‘‘The American who knows he is one but has never thought of defining himself . . . is rather perplexed by the question [what is an American? For to this person] a simple answer is suggested: ‘Americans are the kind of people who make a nation which every other nation wants to get into.’ ’’ Gilman’s hostility escalates as she continues:

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employment than they can find at home. . . . The amazing thing is the cheerful willingness with which the American people are giving up their country to other people, so rapidly that they are already reduced to scant half of the population. No one is to blame but ourselves. The noble spirit of our founders, and their complete ignorance of sociology began the trouble. Consequently they announced, with more than royal magnificence, that this country was ‘‘an asylum for the poor and oppressed of all nations.’’ Initially Gilman insists that true Americans need not countenance the self-evident ontological question, but she then proceeds to contradict herself. The founding fathers—the most American of Americans—were unable to envisage a strategy for keeping Americans American because they were unable to comprehend that not all people were assimilable. Baldly placing herself in a line of direct descent from the founding fathers Gilman claims that Americans have no one to blame for the immigrant influx save themselves, for it is ‘‘we’’ who have been shortsighted in the sacrifice of ‘‘the good of the country to private profit,’’ a sacrifice that has required the scouring of Europe for cheap labor and ‘‘the resultant flood of low-grade humanity.’’ If it appears that Gilman is primarily troubled by the influx of foreign labor and the greed of private enterprise, the genealogical and reproductive issues constitutive of her nativism quickly surface: ‘‘We [Americans] used fondly to take for granted that the incoming millions loved the country as we did. . . . Some of them do. Enormous numbers do not. It is quite true that we ourselves are a mixed race—as are all races today—and that we were once immigrants. All Americans have come from somewhere else. But all persons who come from somewhere else are not therefore Americans. The American blend is from a few closely connected races.’’ 25 With predictable precision Gilman identifies those who comprise the particular blend that engenders the ‘‘true American’’ and naturalizes it. Taking cues from Ross she avers, ‘‘the Eurasian mixture is generally considered unfortunate by most observers’’; among ‘‘European races some seem to mate with better results than others . . . [for] where there is a complete and long-standing mongrelization . . . the result is not an improved stock.’’ Asians and Southern and Eastern European immigrants appear to pose the greatest threat, for ‘‘the American People, as a racial stock are Writing Feminist Genealogy 73

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mainly of English descent, mingled with the closely allied Teutonic and Scandinavian strains’’ (291–93). All other mixtures, Gilman concedes, are patently disastrous.26 In hierarchizing various kinds of ‘‘mixture,’’ Gilman attacks the idea of the American ‘‘melting pot.’’ This ‘‘misplaced metaphor,’’ as she calls it, stands for the indiscriminate blending of races. Far from agreeing with the liberal benevolence of contemporaries Horace Kallen or Israel Zangwill, Gilman argues that the melting pot is a ‘‘crucible . . . [that] has to be carefully made of special material and carefully filled with weighted measured proportions of such ores as will combine to produce known results.’’ If one is too shortsighted—by implication, as are proimmigrant reformers and founding fathers alike—and ‘‘put into a melting pot promiscuous shovelfuls of anything that comes in handy, you do not get out of it anything of value, and you may break the pot’’ (291).27 Transposing this thought into sexually charged and scientifically authoritative language, Gilman pinpoints the specter of reproductive chaos: ‘‘since genus Homo is one species, it is physically possible for all races to interbreed, but not therefore desirable. . . . We are perfectly familiar in this country with the various blends of black and white and the wisest of both races prefer pure stock.’’ 28 In specifying ‘‘mixture’’ of black and white as a familiar index case Gilman imbricates the discourse of ‘‘race suicide’’ with a long-standing discourse about black/white miscegenation. Nearly fifteen years prior to writing ‘‘Is America Too Hospitable?’’ she elaborates this connection in an essay that specifically treats the question of the entry of freemen and freewomen into the nation after Reconstruction. In ‘‘A Suggestion on the Negro Problem’’ she focuses her anxiety on the ‘‘transfusion of blood . . . [and] civilization’’ that has occurred and laments, ‘‘if we had left them [Negroes] alone in their own country [the] dissimilarity and inferiority [of the Negro] would be, so to speak, none of our business.’’ 29 However, because ‘‘we’’ (Anglo-Saxon Americans) are at ‘‘fault’’ in producing the current state of affairs, ‘‘we’’ are obliged to solve the dilemma. By contrast to immigrants who could be directly prohibited entrance into United States, Gilman felt it necessary to claim responsibility for the black population. And yet, even as she waived her impulse to restrict residence for former slaves and their descendents, her overriding concern with reproductive control of immigrants and reproductive control of freedwomen and freedmen converged. 74 Wayward Reproductions

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Offering nothing less than a proposal for internal colonization, Gilman built on Thomas Jefferson’s schema as set forth in Notes on the State of Virginia. In ‘‘Query XIV: Laws,’’ Jefferson proffered a three-part plan for the treatment of blacks after emancipation, the first of which prefigures Gilman’s argument. Motivated by fear of revenge for the myriad injustices of slavery, Jefferson hoped to stave off civil war by colonizing ‘‘all formerly enslaved blacks as the circumstances of the time should render most proper, sending them out with arms, implements of household and of the handicraft arts, feeds, pairs of the useful domestic animals, &C’’ and then extending protection to them until such time as they might be removed from America and replaced ‘‘with an equal number of white inhabitants.’’ Jefferson’s proposal of internal colonization, exportation, and eventual population replacement was not driven solely by fear of black rage and belief in black inferiority but also by anxiety about black/white miscegenation—an anxiety no doubt catalyzed by reflection on his personal desires, sexual habits, and abuses. In the closing sentences of his query Jefferson’s terror of a ‘‘mixed’’ national body commands his reason. Comparing (white) Roman slaves and (black) American slaves he writes: ‘‘Among the Romans emancipation required but one effort. The slave, when made free, might mix with, without staining the blood of his master. But with us a second is necessary, unknown to history. When freed, [the American slave] is to be removed beyond the reach of mixture.’’ 30 Jefferson imagined an end to the ‘‘staining’’ of the ‘‘master’’ race’s ‘‘blood’’ through containment and reproductive control of the black population. The continuities and discontinuities between Jefferson’s and Gilman’s formulations are instructive. Gilman’s ideas resonate with Jefferson’s insofar as she too hoped to refine the genealogical inheritance of the nation by keeping apart blacks and whites. And yet Gilman’s argument, written more than a century later, contravenes Jefferson’s insofar as it manifests all the trappings of a specifically nineteenth-century reform-minded approach to the possibilities of ‘‘Americanization’’ and ‘‘racial uplift.’’ As Gilman observed in typical Progressive fashion, since ‘‘the Negro . . . does not suit us as he is . . . [we ask] what can we do to improve him.’’ For ‘‘if the Negro population can become entirely selfsupporting and well behaved it ceases to be a ‘problem’ and a menace . . . [thus] at last the suggestion: Let each sovereign state carefully organize in every county and township an enlisted body Writing Feminist Genealogy 75

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of all Negroes’’ so that they may be educated to become ‘‘true Americans.’’ 31 Gilman’s plan involved separation, but not deportation, and was apparently distinguished from slavery by its label: ‘‘enlistment.’’ However, even with a new moniker it is abundantly clear that the work that the enlisted ‘‘Negro’’ army of labor is expected to perform is that of former slaves. As Gilman specified, the ‘‘enlisted Negroes’’ are to be placed on farms producing sustenance for entire communities; they are to cultivate cotton (because ‘‘Negroes are particularly suited to this kind of agriculture’’); and they are to make themselves useful to the (white) nation by building roads, harbors, and river banks—that is, by ensuring the ‘‘general development’’ of ‘‘the whole South’’ (81). Once converted into the productive bodies that they were when enslaved and thus more effectively managed, the enlisted will be allowed to rejoin American society. Accordingly Americanization will not be achieved through escape from the bonds of slavery or the purchase of freedom but through indoctrination through the labor process, such that ‘‘every Negro . . . [may become] better fitted to take his place in the community’’ (82). Lest white nationals continue to deem a particular individual burdensome, Gilman reassures that ‘‘degenerates and criminals’’—the uneducable and un-Americanizable—will be kept under ‘‘wise [state] supervision,’’ and safely outside of the reproductive pool (83).32 Yet a third essay concerned with new arrivals from Southern and Eastern Europe combines the ideas Gilman has already set forth about freedmen and immigrants. In ‘‘Immigration, Importation, and Our Fathers’’ she proposes ‘‘national training schools of citizenship [that] all immigrants must pass through’’ in order to become self-supporting. The population control features of this unabashed plan for internal colonization and eventual Americanization are again glaring. Unworthy immigrants are to be physically separated from ‘‘native stock’’ Americans until such time as they are transformed into ‘‘true Americans’’ who can safely intermingle with the larger population; for as Gilman points out, uncontrolled ‘‘grafting upon’’ the nation of foreigners can only produce catastrophe: ‘‘When a nation changes by reason of the natural growth of its people, that is one thing; when it changes by the grafting upon it of an artificial growth of other people that is another. . . . No nation has ever laid itself open to as great and rapid admixture of alien blood as has this nation. . . . A ‘too easy’ na76

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tion may be exploited like a too easy individual. . . . The evil of our ‘watered stock,’ our artificially distended citizenship, lies mostly at our own door.’’ 33 The existence of ‘‘aliens’’ within the nation’s borders lures the ‘‘promiscuous’’ citizens of America into the sexual unions that soil the national fabric. No matter which undesirable group she pondered, Gilman’s nation-building project was consistently pursued through containment of the population and control of the reproductive misalliances that threatened to water down the ‘‘pure’’ national genealogy. Herland and Racial Nationalism With few exceptions, scholars who treat Gilman’s racism and nativism have focused on her nonfiction. They have turned to the essays and articles discussed in the previous section of this chapter and to similar writings and exposed their bigotry and racial animus.34 By contrast, those who have worked to reclaim Gilman for feminism have focused on her fiction, particularly her utopian novel Herland and her heavily canonized novella ‘‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’’ This second group has tended to view Gilman’s imaginative work as free of the difficulties that beset her polemical social commentaries, and thus a bifurcation in the scholarship has emerged: those who treat fictional texts regard Gilman’s racism and nationalism as separable from her fiction or as marginal to its principal preoccupations, while those who focus on her racial and nationalist politics (generally cultural historians and social scientists) are critical of the same documents that are regarded as unimportant, even aberrational, by the dominant group of literary scholars. Significantly, these divergent scholarly tendencies cannot simply be understood as generational—rather, ‘‘Gilman hagiography’’ is a historically continuous formation that links early secondwave recovery projects to those advanced by a new cohort of scholars who are interested in expanding the Gilman canon beyond those texts that have become, at this point, quite well known. In her introduction to The Charlotte Perkins Gilman Reader, a watershed collection of fiction that was first published in 1980, Ann J. Lane instructively justifies her editorial choices: ‘‘Gilman voiced opinions that are racist, chauvinistic, and anti-Semitic. The decision to exclude selections . . . that would illustrate these ideas flowed not from a decision to hide that side of her thought but from the belief that her valuable ideas [those exhibited in the anWriting Feminist Genealogy 77

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thologized fiction] better deserve remembering and repeating.’’ 35 Following in Lane’s footsteps, an editor of a 1997 edition of the science-fictional sequel to Herland asks rhetorically, ‘‘Shall we vilify With Her in Ourland because it contains a few (and it really is only a few) ethnocentric lapses? I think not. . . . Gilman’s social critiques . . . are original and powerful. They remain cogent and surprisingly contemporary.’’ 36 Mary Jo Deegan, like Lane almost twenty years earlier, sidelines aspects of Gilman’s thought that are distasteful and difficult to assimilate. Effectively both editors preserve Gilman’s privileged place within the feminism they practice, while in the process purifying the genealogy of feminism that their scholarly editions implicitly promote. Of course, the difficulty that emerges when Gilman’s ‘‘good’’ fictional texts are hived off from her ‘‘bad’’ polemics, and the racial nationalism that dynamizes her thinking is regarded as a ‘‘lapse,’’ is that critical assessment of the connections between Gilman’s fiction and nonfiction—nothing less than a well-rounded account of the conceptual continuities that cut across Gilman’s philosophical edifice—becomes impossible to generate. The three remaining sections of this chapter reconvene Gilman’s fiction and nonfiction through an analysis of Herland that reads this often celebrated novel through the lens of the nonfiction already discussed. Through this juxtaposition I demonstrate that Gilman’s utopia and her nonfiction are together driven by fears of racial mixture that neatly coincide with the discourse of ‘‘race suicide.’’ For Gilman the novelist was a nativist who grounded the maternalist feminism that she depicted in her fiction in a eugenic politics in which women are cast as the primary agents of racial ‘‘purity,’’ superiority, and nationalism. Unlike American mothers, Herlandian mothers produce perfect citizens modeled on themselves. In stark contrast to ‘‘the crowding multitudes’’ that pollute the United States as they populate it, Herlanders carefully render the national populace: all Herlandian citizens are females whose timely births are genetically refined. In Herland all reproduction is parthenogenic and thus free of the ‘‘misplay’’ that Gilman elsewhere lamented. As Herlanders explain, they have cultivated reproduction in all its myriad forms; not only do they ‘‘make the best kind of people’’ but they successfully expand motherhood into an ethic that saturates their religion, agriculture, government, education, and science—not to mention their collective consciousness of themselves as a people (59). 78

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The account of Herlandian mother culture is provided by the narrator Van Dyke Jennings, a sociologist and a member of a threeman team that has set out to discover a society thought to be peopled by female ‘‘savages.’’ Wending their way downriver by boat, flying over the stony precipice that separates Herland from the surrounding forest, the explorers eventually arrive at their destination. Almost as soon as they set down, however, hopes are dashed. Far from finding themselves prized as ‘‘valuable American Citizens,’’ virile men desired by (hetero)sex-starved women, they are captured and treated as intruders who must be carefully surveyed and disciplined. In the captivity narrative that unfolds, the men gradually, if somewhat begrudgingly, acquire the Herlandian language, accumulate knowledge of Herlandian customs, government, and industry, and discover, through detailed if often uncomfortable comparison, just how superior to their own land is the nation of mothers. Within Gilman’s fictional logic, Herland’s unique gender demographic emerges over two thousand years, through a process in which Herlanders transform their formerly polygamous, slaveholding, and heterosexual society into a modern nation of women severed from contact with the ‘‘bisexual races’’ of the globe. As Van Dyke (referred to within the narrative as Van) explains, the Herlandian nation is the outcome of a succession of ‘‘historic misfortunes.’’ First, the original population, decimated by war, was driven inland; a volcanic eruption filled in the pass connecting Herland to the rest of the world; all males were killed defending themselves from ‘‘savage’’ invaders; and, finally, the survivors of these onslaughts were seized in a slave revolt in which the remaining women and girls became prey to their racially inferior conquerors. Evincing the gusto of latter-day Herlanders, these ‘‘infuriated virgins’’ came together to resist their fate as sexual booty. Successfully killing off their ‘‘brutal conquerors,’’ they went on to build an exclusively female world that was saved from extinction by a divine intervention that rendered first one woman, and then all succeeding generations, spontaneously reproductive. Ultimately, Herland is distinguished from other nations by the singular fact that all Herlanders are descended from one mother, a situation that has resulted from Herlanders’ collective bravery, their refusal to be conquered by men of the slave caste—quite bluntly, their refusal to engage in interracial reproductive sex. As Gilman reiterates, these ‘‘willful virgins’’ are ‘‘New Women,’’ Writing Feminist Genealogy 79

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‘‘One family, all descended from one mother, who alone founded a new race . . . of ultra-women, inheriting only from women’’ (57). Should there by any doubt, Gilman confirms that these ‘‘ultrawomen’’ are ‘‘Aryan,’’ truly ‘‘white’’ even if they appear ‘‘somewhat darker than our Northern races because of their constant exposure to sun and air’’ (54). Crafted in the image of her proposed Americanization colonies, Herland too keeps reproductive ‘‘misplay’’ in check by making all reproduction parthenogenic, and thus effectively getting rid of heterosexuality. Throughout Herland the ethos of purified reproduction is described in nationalist terms and Herlandian maternalism translated directly into racial nationalism. As Van admiringly attests, in this utopia there is no ‘‘struggle for existence . . . [resulting in an] everlasting writhing mass of underbred people trying to get ahead of one another . . . [a] hopeless substratum of paupers and degenerates’’; instead, Herlanders convene in council and exercise ‘‘mother-will,’’ carefully selecting those citizens most fit to reproduce. Herlanders are ‘‘Conscious Makers of People’’ because with them ‘‘Mother-love . . . [is] not a brute passion, mere ‘instinct,’ a wholly personal feeling . . .[but is instead]—a religion . . . that include[s] a limitless feeling of sisterhood, that wide unity of service’’ that is, as Van concludes in a flurry of enthusiasm, ‘‘National, Racial, [and] Human’’ all at once (69). The ‘‘pure’’ national genealogy and the unpolluted pedigree of each Herlandian citizen renders filiation, kinship, and shared genealogy dominant ideologies in Herland. Herlanders are of ‘‘one family’’ descended from ‘‘one mother,’’ and thus the national genealogy that binds them is biologically verifiable. Whereas the imagined national community, as discussed in the previous chapter, binds members to one another through the invention of the fiction of a common heritage, in Herland citizens are actual comothers and sisters. Each has a first name but instructively Herlanders have no need for family names, as individual and national kin groups are coextensive. The shared maternal origin of Herlanders has the additional merit of making nationals into perfectly abstractable citizen-subjects. As one patriot attests, ‘‘Each one of us has our exact line of descent all the way back to our dear First mother’’ (75). Each Herlander’s genealogy is equally ‘‘pure,’’ traceable to the same point of origin, as well as to the universally shared history that emanates 80 Wayward Reproductions

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from it. In Herland the Enlightenment ideal of ‘‘universal brotherhood’’ has been replaced with a realized ‘‘universal sisterhood.’’ And although the male intruders find the idea ‘‘hard to credit,’’ they eventually convert to the Herlandian value system—which is, after all, a perfected version of their own. Comparing mothers in the United States and Herland, Van attests, They loved their country because it was their nursery, playground, and workshop—theirs and their children’s. . . . From those first breathlessly guarded, half-adored race mothers, all up the ascending line, they had this dominant thought of building up a great race through the children. All the surrendering devotion our women have put into their private families, these women put into their country and race. . . . The mother instinct, with us so painfully intense, so thwarted by conditions, so concentrated in personal devotion to a few . . . all this feeling with them flowed out in a strong wide current, unbroken through the generations, deepening and widening through the years, including every child in all the land. (94–95) Writing Feminist Genealogy

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With few exceptions in the decades since Herland’s republication in 1979 scholars have viewed the utopia depicted as subversive of entrenched patriarchal views and as a prototype for a society free of sexism. Through analyses of the novel’s portrait of women as intelligent, scientific, educable, physically capable, and politically savvy, readers have agreed that Herland explodes existing gender relations and models an alternative woman-centered community.37 As one critic explains, Gilman performs ‘‘a radical inversion of the traditional male stance. . . . [T]he masters become the mastered, the powerful become the helpless, and the unbending oaks become the clinging vines.’’ By satirically revealing male culture as less civilized than Herlandian culture, another adds, Gilman proffers a ‘‘blueprint’’ for a society that reverses gendered power structures and sustains a feminist riposte to patriarchy. Yet a third argues that Herland projects ‘‘mythic female representations that alert women readers to other possibilities—that stretch our imaginations and make us see the world we live in (and ourselves) differently.’’ 38 Indeed, the majority of scholars insist that Herland has stretched feminist thinking and inspired everything from early feminist film Writing Feminist Genealogy 81

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(particularly melodrama) to radical feminist theory (Mary Daly, Shulamith Firestone), to feminist poetry (Adrienne Rich), to alternative feminist prose and philosophy (Monique Wittig, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva), to ecofeminism—not to mention the entire range of feminist science fiction.39 In part, this dominant approach to Herland is a by-product of second-wave publishing efforts and successes. After ‘‘The Yellow Wallpaper’’ was reprinted in 1969, Women and Economics in 1968, and Herland nearly a decade later—that is, after Gilman had been fully rediscovered and her work amply recovered—her utopian fiction became a standard text in women’s studies and U.S. literature courses and was seemingly written about as often as it was taught. There is certainly nothing wrong with canonizing Herland, or for that matter any of Gilman’s writings (this is a project in which I participate through my focus on Gilman); rather, at issue are the enduring problems that have been generated as an adjunct to the rediscovery and recovery of Gilman’s novel. For, despite Gilman’s maternalist racial nationalism, most critics writing in the 1980s and 1990s have elected to nostalgically look back to Gilman’s utopia as a desirable antecedent of and prelude to their feminism. Although the problems that pervade the dominant approach to Herland may be found in any number of articles and essays, several treat Gilman’s novel in a paradigmatic manner that reveals the criticism’s pressing structural problem—the erasure of the race/reproduction bind that subtends Gilman’s thought. For when we read Herland as a ‘‘blueprint’’ for contemporary feminism and install Gilman as a worthy heroine awaiting recovery, we erase the historicity of Gilman’s novel. My aim in briefly analyzing the work of several prominent feminist treatments of Herland is thus neither to condemn nor to dismiss the work of particular scholars but rather to sketch the contours and indicate the cost of the compounded problem of the retention of the genealogical concerns that obsessed Gilman (maternalist racial nationalism), and the related inattention to Gilman’s sexual politics. Val Gough’s argument in ‘‘Lesbians and Virgins: The New Motherhood in Herland’’ is illustrative of the critical dilemma, if in no way uniquely so. According to Gough, Gilman created her utopia to negotiate two parallel impulses: ‘‘her private lesbian fantasies of female nurturance, and her public belief in the potential transformation of heterosexual social structures. . . . Herland is 82 Wayward Reproductions

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thus both a fictional fantasy of utopian lesbian motherhood, and a stunning critique of the hetero-patriarchal social structures used in the service of her other utopian ideal, the ‘fully human’ heterosexual subject.’’ Although, as I discuss shortly, assessment of Gilman’s ideas about sexuality is urgent, Gough’s conceptions of ‘‘utopian lesbian motherhood’’ and ‘‘fully human heterosexual’’ subjectivity are not germane to Gilman’s historical moment, nor do such conceptions allow for sustained attention on the historically determined figurations of sexuality in Herland. As Gough explains, the ‘‘ ‘fully human’ heterosexual subject’’ she has in mind is feminist philosopher Marilyn Frye’s ‘‘willful virgin’’—she who can ‘‘fuck without losing [her] virginity, because virginity is not organized in relation to penile penetration, but in relation to women’s larger sexual freedom.’’ In turn, the ‘‘private lesbian fantasies’’ she mentions are equated with Sonya Andermahr’s and Adrienne Rich’s dated notions of ‘‘Woman Culture’’: Herlanders, Gough notes, are ‘‘lesbians as conceived by the utopian separatist lesbianism of the late 1970s, which stressed the collectivity of lesbian identity and perceived women’s needs as nurturance and interrelatedness.’’ 40 In short, Gough grounds her interpretation of Gilman in a retrospective projection onto Herland of a gender-focused and sex-phobic feminism that had its heyday in the 1970s, not 1914. In so doing she eclipses Gilman’s genealogical concerns, and more importantly the sexual politics that undergird Herland’s racial nationalism. The difficulties that beset historically decontextualized analysis are exacerbated in readings of Herland in which the colonial metaphor at work throughout the novel is read as the lens through which to interpret Gilman’s commentary on patriarchy. Typically, scholars who advance this interpretation argue that in ‘‘depicting the aggressive penetration of the separatist space of Herland by three male ‘explorers,’ Gilman dramatizes the way in which female space is always under threat from masculinist colonization.’’ As one makes plain, in Herland ‘‘the colonizers are colonized, the explorers explored.’’ 41 Such scholarship, focused on gender reversals, enacts a transformation of colonization into a metaphor for patriarchy. It erases race from the colonial drama, and, insofar as this drama concerns itself with sexuality, it erases the links between race and sex that are also constitutive of Gilman’s thinking. In the numerous interpretations of Gilman’s description of first Writing Feminist Genealogy 83

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contact between Herlanders and the male intruders this problem is starkly revealed. I quote at length from, and then deconstruct, the passage to which other critics have turned in order to demonstrate the problem with its reception. When the American explorers spot three Herlanders in a large tree and pursue them, they are quickly outmaneuvered. Van narrates the scene as follows: ‘‘We saw short hair, hatless, loose, and shining; a suit of some light firm stuff, the closest of tunics and knee breeches, met by trim gaiters. As bright and smooth as parrots and as unaware of danger, they swung there before us, wholly at ease, staring as we stared, till first one, and then all of them burst into peals of delighted laughter. . . . [T]hen there was a torrent of soft talk tossed back and forth, no savage sing-song, but clear musical fluent speech’’ (15). Names are exchanged, and Van shifts his focus to his companion, the womanizer Terry, who urges his friends to not just ‘‘sit [t]here and learn the language,’’ but to employ ‘‘the bait’’ with which they have come prepared to catch their prey. After he produces from his pocket a box of purple velvet out of which he draws ‘‘a necklace of big varicolored stones that would have been worth a million if real,’’ the ensuing scene unfolds: [Terry] reached far out along the bough, but not quite to his full stretch. . . . [One of the Herlanders] was visibly moved . . . [and] softly and slowly, she drew nearer. . . . Her eyes were splendid, wide, fearless, as free from suspicion as a child’s. . . . Her interest was more that of an intent boy playing a fascinating game than of a girl lured by an ornament. . . . Terry’s smile was irreproachable. . . . [He] was like a creature about to spring. [It was clear what would happen]—the dropped necklace, the sudden clutching hand, the girl’s sharp cry as he seized her and drew her in. But it didn’t happen. She made a timid reach with her right hand for the gay swinging thing—he held it a little nearer—then, swift as light, she seized it from him with her left, and dropped on the instant to the bough below. (16–17)

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In the first part of the passage, the women sport short hair, tunics, knee breeches, and gaiters and are arrayed in bright colors that give them the appearance of tropical birds. In this defeminized, animalized, and exoticized state Herlanders are implicitly associated with period stereotypes of so-called savages. Gilman, however, distinguishes them from their inferiors by noting that their talk is ‘‘musi84 Wayward Reproductions

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cal and fluent,’’ no ‘‘savage sing-song.’’ To make her point resoundingly, she puts Herlanders to the litmus test of ‘‘savagery’’ a second time. When the men attempt to seduce the ‘‘natives’’ with cheap ornaments, this time with gaudy scarves proffered to Herlandian elders, their gifts are accepted graciously by the so-called colonels. Ironically, along with the glittering beads, these offerings are placed in the Herlandian museum. Though the men had planned on displaying in the United States the shred of Herlandian fabric that they had found and used to locate Herland, through a clever reversal the material objects of the men’s world are deemed ‘‘uncivilized.’’ Their trinkets are placed on display, as it is these artifacts of the ‘‘savage,’’ ‘‘bisexual’’ world that deserve study under the Herlandian microscope.42 In the dominant reading of this scene scholars argue that Gilman subverts the expectations of male explorers and unwitting readers by representing Herlanders as exceedingly ‘‘advanced’’ and highly ‘‘civilized.’’ As one critic explains, ‘‘the supposedly superior sex becomes the inferior or disadvantaged.’’ The three men have deeply ‘‘mistaken notions about the country they are entering and inappropriate strategies for dealing with the natives,’’ who are ultimately ‘‘too intelligent and disinterested to be bribed by baubles.’’ As another critic agrees, the first-contact scene ripples ‘‘with satire on the Eden myth. . . . [F]emale agility counterpoints and defeats the knowledge, temptations, and ‘advances’ of masculine exploit. . . . As they avoid possession, the women stay enigmatic, just out of reach. . . . [The] men ‘advance’ into Herland but make failed advances at the women; the men’s ‘enterprise’ . . . [is] hardly natural; their ‘venture’ for profits and spoils is, as the prelude to the ad-venture, frustrated.’’ 43 Such treatments suggest that Gilman challenged the colonial enterprise by challenging patriarchy. And yet, in posing the issue in this way, critics unintentionally elide the racial dynamics of the colonial drama that they have identified. Instructively, readers of Gilman’s first contact scene do not connect the conquest depicted to the history of U.S. imperialism, including the Spanish-American War, the wresting of borderlands from Mexico, the annexation of Texas, Oregon, and California, not to mention U.S. interventions in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Hawai‘i—all events Gilman surely knew about or witnessed. Consequently, the scene of first contact exists within the scholarship as if it were unscripted by the legacy of U.S. imperialism, as if both colonialism and imWriting Feminist Genealogy 85

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perialism were merely metaphors for patriarchy, metaphors whose specific histories are obscured by the failure to distinguish the project of feminine liberation from that of masculine colonial and imperial conquest. Although Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar have perhaps become in recent years easy targets for a new generation of feminists seeking to expose feminist racism, in order to extend my observations about the politics of Gilman’s inversion of colonial power dynamics, I turn to two companion pieces by the pair who have together exerted a disproportionate influence on the shape of feminist literary criticism not only in the 1970s but in subsequent decades.44 In ‘‘Rider Haggard’s Heart of Darkness’’ Gilbert argues that She, Haggard’s popular children’s adventure novel about a powerful African female demigod who attempts to thwart the colonial aspirations of a group of male explorers, is best understood as a negotiation (and neutralization) of the ‘‘power of the female sex’’ that obsessed male writers in the metropoles of England and France at the height of colonial expansion.45 Invoking Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Gilbert weaves a comparison between the protagonist’s movements in She and those of Marlowe and crew as they travel inward toward a destructive inner sanctum, toward a heart of darkness that is not only ‘‘savage’’ but also female. Gubar’s argument builds on Gilbert’s, placing it in a U.S. frame. Working from the suggestion that Gilman crafted Herland as a utopian rewriting of Haggard’s dystopian vision of ‘‘savage’’ femininity, Gubar explains, ‘‘She’s power and popularity transform the colonized continent into the heart of female darkness that Charlotte Perkins Gilman would rename and reclaim in a utopian feminist revision of Haggard’s romance.’’ Gubar continues, ‘‘by coming to terms with Haggard’s She . . . Gilman confronted the misogyny implicit in the imperialist romance.’’ 46 As in Gilbert’s piece, in Gubar’s misogyny appears to intersect with colonialism and imperialism. And yet, neither analysis examines this intersection. The upshot: colonialism and imperialism are conflated, transformed into additional names for patriarchy, and analysis of the imperialist, colonialist, and racialized logics of Gilman’s portrait of utopia sacrificed to analysis of gender inequity.47 In closing her essay, Gubar provides a concise instance of the structural problem I wish to delineate. Herland reveals ‘‘the dispossession that valorized colonization as a metaphor of female socialization,’’ she writes, ‘‘leading suffragists to proclaim punningly 86 Wayward Reproductions

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‘No votes for women—no Home Rule.’ ’’ 48 The suffragettes’ pronouncement allegedly reveals their empathy with the colonized: if women are not granted suffrage there will be no peace for the masters, for colonized women will revolt. However, an alternative interpretation of the same statement suggests the obverse: if women are granted suffrage, it is just fine for colonialism to continue unchecked. Tellingly, this second reading finds support in Gilman’s reference to suffrage in Herland. When the male intruders’ attempted escape is foiled by the Herlandian ‘‘colonels,’’ Gilman observes that they found themselves ‘‘much in the position of the suffragettes trying to get to the parliament buildings through a triple cordon of London police’’ (23). In Herland, positions have been reversed; men occupy the rebellious role of the suffragettes, and Herlanders that of the colonial authorities. In feminist utopia, the mission of keeping insurgents down is women’s. Read in this way, Gubar’s reasoning is not so much anti-imperialist as resonant with Gilman’s own. Herlandian ‘‘colonels’’ concerned solely with gender liberation contentedly sideline racial injustice and their own sexuality. For so long as women wield gender-based power, their engagement in colonial and imperialist repression is deemed irrelevant and the sexual dynamics that organize their sociality unworthy of concern.49 In sidestepping the dynamics of colonialism, critics of Herland become parthenogenic feminists, those with faith in the ‘‘purity’’ of feminism’s origins, and in feminism’s distinction from (as opposed to complicity with) colonialism, imperialism, and racial nationalism. And thus I agree with the majority of critics that Herland’s first-contact scene ‘‘foreshadows the by-play of the book as a whole,’’ but for reasons other than those provided.50 True, Gilman depicts Herlanders as civilized and superior through a process of satiric reversal, but this ‘‘by-play’’ depends on an unacknowledged third move, counteridentification of ‘‘savage’’ inferiority and desirous female sexuality with masculinity. In Herland, as in much of the scholarship on it, female superiority has a high cost—the subsumption of race within gender, the feminization of civilization in the name of white womanhood, and the neglect of female sexuality and desire. Foreclosing the possibility that gender, race, and sex might intersect and yet not align, Gilman scholars follow Gilman in engaging in a process of legitimation by reversal in which the repeated victory of feminine culture over male culture is secured through a prior coup, that of Writing Feminist Genealogy 87

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asexual white women over subordinated, sexually voracious masculine ‘‘savages.’’ The upshot is that the ‘‘discovery’’ of Gilman’s ‘‘lost feminist utopian novel’’—as Herland is subtitled on the cover of the most popular edition—mimics the imperialist mission of ‘‘discovery’’ engaged in by the men who penetrate Herland. Although racism, colonialism, and imperialism have frequently been used as metaphors for patriarchy within transatlantic feminism, and a strong critique of the problems with this sort of metaphorization now exists, the tendencies within Gilman scholarship that I have outlined show signs of persisting rather than abating.51 In the new millennium a Gilman publishing boom—unprecedented since Gilman’s rediscovery in the 1970s—continues the reproduction of the parthenogenetically ‘‘pure’’ genealogy of feminism sketched by previous critics. In the last decade Gilman’s central theoretical text, Women and Economics, was reissued for the first time in thirty years, numerous scholarly collections and casebooks have been produced, a rapid succession of critical anthologies have emerged, more than a dozen dissertations treating Gilman have been submitted, and several novels have been republished.52 Instructively, through their participation in the work of ‘‘recovery’’ too many of these contributions omit meaningful discussion of Gilman’s racial nationalism and the sexual dynamics that subtend it. On the first page of their introduction to the newest edition of Women and Economics, for example, the editors situate it as a timeless urtext, ‘‘revival’’ of which introduces ‘‘fresh and continuing insight to a generation of feminists . . . poised—as they were when the book was written—on the cusp of a new century.’’ 53 And although they note that Gilman occasionally exhibited ‘‘ambivalent racism,’’ a footnote to Gail Bederman’s groundbreaking work on Gilman’s participation in the discourse of civilized white womanhood dismisses it as ‘‘excessively politically correct,’’ revealing deep-seated investment in the project of recovery and ‘‘tradition’’ building and resistance to the conceptual transformations that might ideally result from a reassessment of Gilman’s participation in a (white) racist and nationalist mainstream.54 Typically such denial of Gilman’s vexed legacy takes two forms: reiteration of the idea that Gilman’s ‘‘positive contributions’’ far outweigh her negative ‘‘lapses,’’ and psychologization of structural and systemic issues. In a 1999 anthology, for instance, the editors wisely call for ‘‘more critical treatments which allow us to 88

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acknowledge elements of [Gilman’s] writings which are now regarded as unacceptable,’’ particularly her racism. And yet of the thirteen essays in the volume, the only one that treats Gilman’s ‘‘evolutionary perspective on race, ethnicity, and class’’ is overshadowed by those written by scholars who pay lip service to new concerns but whose overall assessment of Gilman remains largely celebratory.55 Ann J. Lane’s essay, for example, seems to offer something new when it concedes that Gilman was ‘‘racist and anti-Semitic in her private letters and journal entries.’’ However, Lane simultaneously insists that such ‘‘bad’’ writings can be easily segregated from Gilman’s exemplary ones by ‘‘white feminist scholars [who] have listened and learned.’’ 56 Similarly, Gilbert and Gubar’s contribution acknowledges Gilman’s obsession with improvement of ‘‘the race’’ but nonetheless rationalizes her racism by failing to identify ‘‘the race’’ that Gilman sought to improve as Anglo-Saxon, and by casting Gilman’s obsession with reproduction as psychological rather than structural. Gilman, they conclude, had a terror of motherhood and reworked maternal themes in coming to terms with that which she sought to make abject.57 Out of all the recent Gilman editions, With Her in Ourland, which contains the first reprint of the third novel within the trilogy of which Herland is a part, is for my purposes the most significant. Because Herland was initially the only one of Gilman’s science fiction novels to be ‘‘recovered’’ many readers assume that it stands alone. This is not the case. The version of Herland serialized in The Forerunner in 1915 was preceded by a related utopian fiction, Moving the Mountain (1911), and followed by a sequel, With Her in Ourland (1916). Herland is directly linked to both in terms of plot, shared genealogical concerns, and the maternalist racial nationalism it develops. Moving the Mountain expands on Edward Bellamy’s national socialist classic Looking Backward (1889) by recasting the United States in a feminist mold. As in Looking Backward, the narrator, a Rip Van Winkle figure, emerges after thirty years to find himself in an entirely transformed society, in which all undesirable individuals and cultural habits have been ‘‘bred out’’ through the implementation of an accelerated evolutionary process that is simultaneously biological and sociological. In this newfound America eugenics has rendered immigration restriction obsolete: as the novel’s heroine explains, Americans ‘‘have [finally] discovered as many ways of utilizing human waste as [they have found] . . . for the waste products of coal.’’ 58 Those Writing Feminist Genealogy 89

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that can be reformed have been reformed, as in the Americanization colonies that Gilman had earlier proposed. Alleged idiots, diseased degenerates, criminals, and perverts have been exterminated or subjected to compulsory sterilization, and syphilitic men have been prohibited from reproducing. As the novel’s refrain reminds readers, American women now ‘‘make a new kind of people,’’ just as Herlanders do. In the third utopian fiction, a Herlander, Ellador, returns to the United States with Herland’s narrator, Van, as a researcher, emissary, and adviser. During her stay she formulates her diagnosis of America’s ills and issues a prescription. Much of what she concludes has already been rehearsed in Herland; what distinguishes Ourland’s message is that it is not only individual reproductive processes that require coordinated control, but also a nation which is anthropomorphized as a bloated and mentally deranged female infant. As Van specifies, when Ellador contemplated America it was as if ‘‘a mother had learned that her baby was an idiot.’’ Unsurprisingly, in comparison to the multitude of degenerate nations, Herland emerges as the ‘‘healthy child’’ amongst the lot. Ellador gives her impressions of the world after touring it in the midst of the Great War: ‘‘Anything more like the behavior of a lot of poor, little, underbred children it would be hard to find. Quarrelsome, selfish, each bragging that he can ‘lick’ the others— oh you poor dears! How you do need your mother! and she’s coming at last.’’ 59 Casting Herland as a mother superior who can manage the sickly United States and its squabbling siblings, With Her in Ourland testifies to the imperialist aspirations of Gilman’s maternalist feminism. When juxtaposed with Herland, Ourland also makes strikingly apparent Herlanders’ conception of themselves as a superior mother race ready and willing to ‘‘civilize’’ a world populated by effete, degenerate ‘‘savages.’’ 60 Although With Her in Ourland’s concern with legitimating the Herlandian conquest, supervision, and control of the globe may seem obvious from the description I have offered, the substantial scholarly introduction to the new reprint of the novel makes no mention of the political agendas that dynamizes it. Rather, Gilman is positioned as a foremother of sociology, and discussion of the inspiration she found in E. A. Ross’s work on ‘‘race suicide’’ and her own nativist writings omitted. As the introduction explains, Gilman’s second science fiction novel applies ‘‘the positive lessons 90

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of Herland to the lived realities of Ourland,’’ marking the ‘‘culmination of [Gilman’s] life work.’’ Tellingly, Gilman’s ‘‘ethnocentric lapses’’ and ‘‘occasional bigotry’’ are noted as an aside, and this only after her contributions are sufficiently celebrated.61 While I sympathize with the warning that ‘‘ignoring Gilman’s utopia because of her blemishes invites failure to examine her at all,’’ lack of attention to the interconnections among race, nation, and reproduction within Gilman’s fiction leaves contemporary readers in a double bind, unable to successfully negotiate the relationship between the historical and ideological project of ‘‘recovery’’ and feminist antiracism, feminist ‘‘tradition’’ building and critique of canon formation, and parthenogenic feminism and analysis of Gilman’s preoccupation with racist and nationalist concerns.62 In contrast to scholarship that leaves intact the genealogical ideals—and thus the race/reproduction bind that subtends Gilman’s work—a critical genealogy of feminism must instead uncover the troubled foundations upon which Gilman built her most cherished formulations. At its best such a project avoids moralizing judgment of Gilman as a ‘‘good’’ or ‘‘bad’’ feminist and instead reads her writings symptomatically. In this spirit, I issue a call neither to purge Gilman from the annals of feminism nor to decanonize her texts; both would represent drives for genealogical ‘‘purity’’ similar to those critiqued above. Rather, I propose keeping Gilman in full view—analyzing and incorporating an understanding of the most difficult aspects of her feminism within our own. For when we begin to (re)construct first-wave feminism as something more than a mirror that casts our reflection back to us, it becomes possible to look back to Gilman to different effect. As Foucault instructs readers of Nietzsche’s formulations about genealogy, ‘‘Knowledge, even under the banner of history, does not depend on ‘rediscovery,’ and it emphatically excludes the ‘rediscovery of ourselves.’ ’’ 63 From a critical, antiracist vantage point, it is possible to learn from Gilman as she inaugurates a feminist politics in which we need not partake. For at the same time as Gilman’s maternalist racial nationalism depends upon conventional genealogical ideals, her corpus can be situated as a lever for prying open the problems of the type of gender-focused feminism that revels in white women’s superiority and remains inattentive to the race/reproduction bind that enables its vision of women’s liberation. Writing Feminist Genealogy 91

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Querying and Queering Gilman’s Racial Nationalism Up to this point I have focused on exposing the racial and national logics of Gilman’s writings, and on theorizing the centrality of reproductive politics to racial nationalism at the turn of the century. In the final section of this chapter, I use the foregoing meditation on the relationships among reproduction, race, and nation not only to locate the nationalist and racist grounding of certain forms of gender-focused feminism but also to make visible the tortured figuration of female sexuality that is part and parcel of Gilman’s maternalist feminism. By extending the discussion of Herland begun in previous sections, this final section demonstrates that the racial, national, and reproductive politics that organize Herland are intimately articulated in and through the complex figuration of sexuality. Not at all coincidentally within the scholarship on Gilman that I have already discussed, elision of racism and nationalism is yoked to elision of sex, sexual object choice, and female desire. In part this is understandable. Gilman’s sexual politics are fully imbricated with her racial politics; thus it is nearly impossible to treat the former if the latter are not also addressed.64 Elision of female sexuality and desire is also comprehensible because these are subtextual themes that rarely surface in Herland on the level of manifest content. As Van observes, in Herland ‘‘there was no sex-feeling . . . or practically none,’’ for Herlanders ‘‘hadn’t the faintest idea of love—sex-love, that is’’ (92, 88). Referring to the Herlandian story of the origination of parthenogenic reproduction Van attributes this lack to ‘‘two thousand years of disuse,’’ which has left Herlanders with ‘‘little of the instinct’’ (92). Those who do manifest an interest in sex (it is not specified whether Van refers to sex with men and/or women, or to autoerotism) are considered atavistic exceptions whose desire curtails their access to the most sacred right in Herland, motherhood. Although current work on the history of sexuality has gone well beyond the notion that for nineteenth-century women sexual ‘‘normalcy’’ was tantamount to ‘‘passionlessness,’’ as scholars such as Gayle Rubin, Siobhan Somerville, and Jennifer Terry have argued, many forms of female sexualization—especially those not directed toward men—were routinely regarded as perverse and, by extension, as forms of speciation or ethnocization.65 In the con92 Wayward Reproductions

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text of Herland, women who exhibit any sort of sexual impulse are ethnicized as less than fully human, as ‘‘savages,’’ and by extension as not quite white. And thus, even though Herlanders are acutely aware that the arrival of the three American explorers signals an opportunity to transform their nation into the ‘‘bisexual’’ nation that it once was prior to the advent of parthenogenesis, they evince no erotic enthusiasm for the heralded transformation —in fact, they seem to be highly uneasy about it. As Gilman observes, the ‘‘willful virgins’’ consider men undesirable, a situation that she assures readers is ‘‘normal’’ since Herlanders are ‘‘Aryan’’ women who by virtue of their race and elevated humanness possess neither sexual desire for the ‘‘uncivilized’’ nor for autoeroticism. Indeed, the only sexuality that Gilman’s ultrawomen sanction is that which is directed toward reproduction of their superior race. Foreclosure of issues of female sexuality and desire in Herland is intriguingly coupled with Gilman’s and her critics’ pronounced focus on male sexuality and desire. In particular, she and they attend closely to the ‘‘sex-feelings’’ of the intruders, especially to the aggressive, if thwarted, attempt at penetrative heterosexual contact orchestrated by Terry, the least educable amongst them. What can be made of this striking asymmetry in focus? How does Herland make it appear highly reasonable to treat and provide space for male and not female sexuality and desire? Although there are no simple answers to these questions, it is possible to begin responding to them by reading the sexual politics of the novel through its racial and national politics, and thus engaging the relationship between the heterosexuality that is heralded by the men’s arrival and the parthenogenic racial nationalism that precedes it. For in Gilman’s utopian world Herlandian women and American men belong to such distinct racial groups (one ‘‘civilized,’’ the other ‘‘savage’’) that heterosexual relations can only be described as miscegenous, as interracial acts in which it is not only unbecoming but unsafe for Herlanders to engage. Gilman’s understanding of heterosexuality as a form of racial mixing or miscegenation finds precedent in her celebrated theoretical treatise Women and Economics. Although this theoretical text on gender roles in the United States begins from the inverse assumption about race and gender that is explored in Herland— in Women and Economics it is women who are atavistic ‘‘savages’’ and men who have gained ‘‘full humanity,’’ rather than the other Writing Feminist Genealogy 93

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way around—the equation of heterosexuality and miscegenation is nonetheless explicit. Gilman writes: we may trace from the sexuo-economic relation of our species not only definite evils in psychic development, bred severally in men and women, and transmitted indifferently to their offspring, but the innate perversion of character resultant from the moral miscegenation of two so diverse souls,—the unfailing shadow and distortion which has darkened and twisted the spirit of man from its beginnings. We have been injured in body and in mind by the too dissimilar traits inherited from our widely separated parents. . . . [N]owhere is the injury more apparent than in its ill effects upon . . . the race.66 Apparently men and women are ‘‘so diverse,’’ descended from such ‘‘widely separated parents,’’ that heterosexual relations between them amount to ‘‘miscegenation.’’ And although Gilman prefaces the word ‘‘miscegenation’’ with the adjective ‘‘moral,’’ the racial and reproductive lineaments of her thoughts are stark. The reader of Women and Economics, her contemporary (an American as opposed to a Herlandian woman) is guilty of transmitting to her offspring the ‘‘innate perversion of character’’ that results from the blending of ‘‘two so diverse souls.’’ In turn, the progeny of heterosexual arrangements bear the mark of their miscegenous origins, and are depicted by Gilman in the familiar language of ‘‘racial mixing,’’ as ‘‘darkened’’ in ‘‘body and mind,’’ physically and metaphorically. They and those who produced them, Gilman argues, have ‘‘twisted’’ and ‘‘injured’’ nothing less than ‘‘the race.’’ If the equation of heterosexuality and miscegenation in Gilman’s work seems to emerge somewhat predictably from the argument this chapter has set forth thus far, the implications of this conundrum for the understanding of sexuality in Herland are, I think, far from obvious. Having constructed a world in which gender differences index racial differences and heterosexuality amounts to miscegenation, Gilman entangles herself within a conceptual double bind. Although Herland blueprints a utopian transformation of wayward reproduction in the interest of racial nationalism, the premise upon which the novel is based begs a question about the logical consistency of the political agenda it advances: how can the purified heterosexual reproductive practices that can save the nation from becoming ‘‘watered [down and] . . . artificially distended’’ be advocated in a context in which reproductive hetero94 Wayward Reproductions

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sexuality is a crime against the (white) race? 67 In order to solve the difficulties into which her critique of gender inequality and her advocacy of white female superiority throw her, Gilman invents a particular set of textual strategies. In fact, Gilman’s racism and nativism lead her to intuit a form of ‘‘queer’’ sexuality that those critics who have elided her racial and national politics and celebrated her gender politics have overlooked. To understand the role of ‘‘queerness’’ in Herland it is necessary to return to the same description of attempted heterosexual contact to which other critics have flocked, but to read it through the lens of Gilman’s racial nationalism. The scene in question comes toward the end of the novel; each of the American men has by this point in the narrative married a Herlander. In different ways (as I detail shortly) Van and Jeff have made peace with their situation. By contrast, Terry, the person whom it seems impossible to Herlandize, has not. It is thus he who expresses frustration with the supposed asexuality of Herlanders by attempting to force sex on his wife, Alima. According to Van, Terry views his actions as legitimate; he believes he has acted upon ‘‘natural’’ masculine impulses warranted by his sense of deprivation and entitlement. In the United States, Van notes, Terry’s actions would have been sanctioned, for within an American court a man in Terry’s position ‘‘would have been held quite within his rights’’ (132). Taking issue with such reasoning in order to expose its misogyny, Gilman, like the Herlanders who intervene to sabotage Terry, views his actions as attempted rape. And yet, even as we acknowledge the violence of Terry’s attack, it is evident that the deep sense of the impropriety of his actions stems from their implicit racial character (civilized whiteness inappropriately threatened by uncivilized ‘‘savagery’’). From the vantage point of Gilman and of Herlanders alike, a man such as Terry—one who is resolutely masculine and thus resolutely ‘‘savage’’—cannot engage in nonviolent heterosexuality, for this is a contradiction in terms. It is explicitly Terry’s unwillingness to evolve into a fully ‘‘civilized’’ human being that renders his dream of sex with Alima not only terrifying but also taboo. For any contact between a ‘‘savage’’ and an ‘‘Aryan’’ constitutes a serious transgression of the Herlandian racial formation, one that threatens to destroy rather than consolidate the racial nation. In this sense, Terry’s (hetero)sexual desire for a Herlander is necessarily punishable—it is a miscegenous desire to be prevented at all costs. Inverting the prevailing Writing Feminist Genealogy 95

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discourse that suggested that the ‘‘New Woman’s’’ indulgent political activities outside the home and use of birth control were corrupting the nation by depriving it of reproductive resources, here Gilman casts the ‘‘savage’’ man as the menace to national reproduction.68 Gilman subtly ensures that readers recognize the hypocrisy of prevailing stereotypes about the ‘‘New Woman,’’ as well as the racial dimensions of Terry’s transgression. First, as he rouses himself to commit his act of impassioned violence Gilman describes him as singing a song, the words of which Gilman plucks from Rudyard Kipling’s bawdy poem ‘‘The Ladies’’: ‘‘I’ve taken my fun where I found it,’’ Terry quips, ‘‘I’ve roughed and I’ve ranged in my time . . . [and] the things that I learned from the yellow and black. They ’ave helped me a ’eap with the white’’ (131). From the perspective of gender-focused scholars wishing to reclaim Gilman’s feminism for posterity, Terry’s sentiments can be interpreted as evidence of Gilman’s critique of the colonial nature of patriarchal oppression. Once again, however, the insidious and unwitting brilliance of Terry’s song is that it turns the gendered logic of the racial formation of the colonial encounter—in this case the sexual encounter—on its head. ‘‘Yes,’’ Gilman counters, ‘‘white women have often been degraded by white men whose sexuality has been tainted by their prior sexual transgressions with brown women whom they (like Kipling) view as ‘sisters under their skins’; however, in Herland sexual contamination emanates not from female ‘savages,’ but from the male invaders who are themselves racial inferiors.’’ Whereas Terry’s prior sexual forays degrade his dealings with white women, his dealings with Herlanders are degraded and degrading because it is his rather than their sexuality that is ‘‘degenerate.’’ Not surprisingly, Terry’s complete misapprehension of Herlanders leads to his expulsion from the nation. His skewed race and gender logic are dysfunctional in the Herlandian psychosexual economy, and thus he is unable to perceive that his previous colonial exploits cannot be repeated with a ‘‘civilized’’ woman such as Alima. Drawing a direct connection between Terry and Alima’s relationship and that of transatlantic literature’s most famous interracial couple, Othello and Desdemona, Gilman further secures her argument about the miscegenous nature of heterosexuality. Terry might be a brute comparable to his Moorish kin, she surmises, 96

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but Alima is no Desdemona: ‘‘Othello could not have extinguished Alima with a pillow, as if she were a mouse,’’ for Alima wields superior physical and moral powers that allow her to fight back and win (132). Ultimately the significance of the scene of attempted rape is twofold: It decisively situates Herlanders as a race apart, as a ‘‘pure,’’ incorruptible kin group, whose members together comprise a homogeneous national ‘‘Aryan’’ populace. And it explains why it is that heterosexuality cannot be the form of sexuality practiced in Herland. In order to mitigate against a reading of rape as the only possible form of sexuality, Gilman counterpoints her representation of Terry’s recalcitrant ‘‘savagery’’ with portraits of Van’s and Jeff’s more evolved masculinity and the options that this opens up for them. Both men, although sexually desirous, have evidently given up aggressive assertion of their heterosexuality and come to accept Herlandian ways. Jeff, already a ladies’ man who ‘‘in the best Southern style’’ is predisposed to place (white) women on a pedestal, now satisfies himself by elevating the entire national populace (9). Like other Southern gentlemen before him, he idolizes white womanhood, especially ‘‘pure,’’ allegedly sexless femininity (which in his mind implicitly stands in contrast to oversexed black womanhood). Although Herlanders view Jeff’s response as limited—recognizing it as a reversal of Terry’s insofar as it too depends on a stark gender polarity that fails to recognize Herlanders’ full humanness—Jeff’s idealization is regarded as far safer than Terry’s denigration of all women as ‘‘sisters under their skins.’’ Jeff worships his wife and eventually wins her over: as we are informed toward the end of the novel, the two are expecting ‘‘that Marvel of Celis’s’’—a baby, at whose origin (parthenogenic or heterosexual) readers are left guessing (142). By contrast with both Terry and Jeff, Van travels a third route through the racial and sexual landscape of Herland. Recognizing that he is of a different race than his love insofar as he is not yet fully ‘‘civilized’’ and thus ‘‘fully human,’’ Van contemplates his situation and gains insights that Terry and Jeff lack. He quickly realizes that he and the other men are ‘‘strangers of an alien race, [members of an] unknown opposite sex,’’ who must reconstitute their mode of relating—and thus their gender and sexuality—in order to survive (72). Embellishing the differences among Herlanders, the form of masculinity to which he and his colleagues Writing Feminist Genealogy 97

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are accustomed, and the Victorian femininity by which they were surrounded prior to entry into Herland, Van explains: ‘‘With us [Americans], women are kept as different as possible and as feminine as possible. We men have our own world, with only men in it. . . . [I]n keeping our women as feminine as possible, we see to it that when we turn to them we find the thing we want always in evidence’’ (129). In the United States, and by implication in the larger ‘‘bisexual’’ world with which Van is familiar, male and female exist as two extreme forms of being. As Van’s Herlandian tutor, Somel, explains, ‘‘In a bi-sexual race [such as yours] the distinctive feature of each sex must be intensified’’ (89); and, as Van himself astutely notes, ‘‘No combination of alien races, of color, cast or creed, was ever so basically difficult to establish as that between us, three modern American men, and these . . . women of Herland’’ (121). Herlanders are female, but distinct from American men and women. The potentially shared bond of gender has been superceded by an evolutionary gulf that amounts to a racial divide. Closer to American men, but still more advanced, Van recognizes that Herlanders have achieved a ‘‘full humanness’’ that sets them apart from all other human beings. In Herland, he notes, women are ‘‘anything but seductive.’’ Instead he describes them as ‘‘human women, always in human relation’’ (129, emphasis added). By contrast with American women, whose femininity need not be prefaced by ‘‘human’’ because, by implication, they are not fully evolved, Herlanders are cast as the realization of civilizational and thus evolutionary and racial perfection. When in spite of himself Van feels that his atavistic ‘‘hereditary instincts and race-traditions [make him] long for a feminine response in Ellador,’’ her Herlandian humanness keeps him at bay, jolting him into acute awareness of his difference, of her racial superiority, and thus of the fact that she is sexually off limits until such a time as she deems him sufficiently evolved (130). As Van explains, Ellador responded to his increasingly infrequent attempts ‘‘to make love to her’’ by providing him with ‘‘a little too much of her society—always defeminized’’ (130). Her assertion of her humanness rather than of the ‘‘primitive’’ femininity that Van initially hopes for is tantamount to an assertion of racial superiority. And inevitably this realization brings Van to his senses—to sharp and painful recognition of the impropriety of sex with an ‘‘Aryan’’ such as Ellador. 98

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If Herlanders refuse heterosexuality, a question remains as to what kind of sexuality is available to these overevolved women and the unevolved men with whom they cohabit. Attempting to answer this question Van utilizes his sociological skills; he meets Herlanders on their terms, inhabits their world, and becomes one of them insofar as this is possible. He commits himself (at least for the duration of the novel) to a life devoid of heterosexuality and begins to practice a form of sexual intimacy that he refers to as ‘‘loving ‘up’ ’’: ‘‘After I got over the jar to my pride (which Jeff, I truly think, never felt—he was a born worshipper, and which Terry never got over—he was quite clear in his ideas of the ‘position of women’) I found that loving ‘up’ was a very good sensation after all’’ (141). This posture toward Van’s beloved requires recognition of her superiority, her role, as Amie Parry has brilliantly explained, as the ‘‘top’’ in a relationship of differential power that looks at first glance like a sadomasochist one.69 At the same time, it is important to note that Van does not wish to remain perpetually on the ‘‘bottom’’; his submission to Ellador, his idealized representative of the master race, is matched by a desire to transform this power relationship. Unlike Jeff, who is content with the status quo, and Terry, who hopes to invert it, Van realizes that ‘‘loving ‘up’ ’’—as the quotation marks around ‘up’ imply—is a relative, constitutively unstable relationship that he can transform by asserting the wiles of the ‘‘bottom.’’ In order to substantially alter the dynamic of his relationship with Ellador from one in which he ‘‘loves ‘up’ ’’ into one that is more fluid—if as of yet unknown—Van understands that he must become ‘‘civilized,’’ ‘‘fully human’’ in the Herlandian sense. Although Van’s proposed transformation is a gigantic undertaking that involves a far-reaching re-racing that is simultaneously a regendering and resexing of Van’s person, Van alone has the potential to succeed, for he possesses the glimmer of ‘‘full humanness’’ that his companions lack. As Somel explains to him early on, ‘‘We like you the best . . . because you seem more like us . . . more like People’’—because you seem more Herlandian and thus racially familiar (89). Unlike Terry, whose capacity for evolutionary progress is foreclosed almost from the start by his sexually predatory masculinity, and Jeff, whose blind adolation of ‘‘pure’’ white sexless women reifies gender differences, Van exhibits potential for change, for assimilation into Herlandian sameness and thus Writing Feminist Genealogy 99

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into the racially homogeneous nation. It is not completely surprising, then, when over time, Van undertakes a radical metamorphosis under Herlandian tutelage. The shifting shape of Van’s desire, or ‘‘sex-feeling,’’ indicates his transformation. As he attests: ‘‘The thing that Terry had so complained of when we first came—that [Herlanders] weren’t feminine, [that] they lacked charm [became for me] . . . a great comfort.’’ In Van’s eyes Herlanders’ ‘‘vigorous beauty is an aesthetic pleasure, not an irritant [and] their dress and ornament’’ are desirable precisely because these accoutrements mark them as ‘‘fully human’’—in stark contrast to American women, whose overadorned hyper-feminine bodies radiate ‘‘the ‘come-and-findme’ element’’ that so degrades the wearer (128). In fact, as he evolves Van sheds his longing for the display of femininity to which he had grown accustomed and begins to see beyond the allure of the surface of Victorian womanhood. As his ‘‘savage’’ desires and predilections fall away, he begins to exhibit the aesthetic judgments of the ‘‘civilized’’—those that according to Gilman’s contemporaries, including the social theorists Adolf Loos and Thorstein Veblen, equate excessive female adornment with ‘‘savagery’’ or ‘‘barbarism.’’ 70 By the novel’s close it becomes evident that Van will be rewarded for his labors. His evolving humanness will eventually be on a par with Ellador’s, and he will no longer have to ‘‘love ‘up’ ’’ as he will have become a fully ‘‘civilized’’ human being involved in a relationship with another with whom he is a ‘‘racial’’ equal. And yet the racialized logic of equality on which the promise of sexual intimacy depends begs a question: for, insofar as Van’s longawaited sexual union with Ellador requires a race change that is tantamount to a sex change, strictly speaking sex between them can no longer be figured as heterosexual. Uncannily anticipating some of the late-twentieth-century meanings of the term, Van observes on more than one occasion that his transformation into full humanness is accompanied by nothing less than queerness. For instance, when he first begins to enumerate the differences between American women and Herlanders and to specify his feelings about the latter, he notes that he had in ‘‘some way . . . a queer little indescribable feeling,’’ one that apparently grows rapidly as does his acceptance of Herlandian ways (47, emphasis added). After attesting to the surprisingly ‘‘good sensation’’ of ‘‘loving ‘up,’ ’’ Van further modifies his description of this mode of relating, comment100

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ing that it is so uncommon, so beyond available language that it gives him a queer feeling, way down deep, as of the stirring of some ancient dim prehistoric consciousness, a feeling that they were right somehow—that this was the way to feel. It was like— coming home to mother. I don’t mean the underflannels-anddoughnuts mother, the fussy person that waits on you and spoils you and doesn’t really know you. I mean the feeling . . . of getting home . . . of love that was always there, warm like sunshine in May, not hot like a stove or a featherbed—a love that didn’t irritate and didn’t smother. (142, emphasis added) As Ding Naifei insightfully admonishes, we should certainly balk at ‘‘the sublimation of male (hetero)sexual desire into regressive/ incestuous desire for maternal love and warmth’’ that Van’s description advocates.71 At the same time, I want to suggest that Gilman’s recourse to the notion of ‘‘queer’’ in this passage can be read against the grain, as indicative of a deep instability in the conceptualization of sexuality in Herland. Though Gilman is unable to fully elaborate an alternative to heterosexual intimacy in a context in which gender is indexed by race, or to describe the sex acts that might transpire among Herlanders and between Herlanders and the male intruders—tellingly she veers clear of the former and concludes her narrative prior to the point at which the plot would demand full exploration of the latter—with Van, her stand-in within the novel’s mise-enscène, she searches for new ways of thinking about intimacy and ‘‘sex feeling’’ that leave her grasping at ‘‘queer’’ by way of an alternative. To borrow a formulation from Lauren Berlant and Elizabeth Freeman, Gilman exhibits ‘‘erotophobia’’ in that she emphasizes ‘‘lifestyles’’ rather than sex;72 and yet, she imbues her understanding of ‘‘lifestyles’’ with an erotic charge that unpredictably sparks just beneath the surface of her text. In this sense, Gilman’s lifestyle emphasis clears space for new nonnormative forms of sexuality even as Gilman fails to elaborate the contours of these. The ‘‘queer feeling’’ of which Van speaks is pleasurable if unsettling and definitively pushes the boundaries of his previous affective and sexual repertoire. It is explicitly structured by the erotics of physical denial and attenuated desire for a love object, but there is nothing to suggest that this queerness could not also be more Writing Feminist Genealogy 101

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robustly body-oriented. As he evolves into a Herlander, he comes into a new form of relation with himself and with Ellador in which he is stripped of his inferior race/gender—his masculinity and his ‘‘savagery.’’ And thus, although my point is not to suggest that in 1915, with her nauseatingly saccharine ideas of love as ‘‘warm sunshine in May,’’ Gilman somehow anticipated the meaning of ‘‘queer’’ in the next century, I want to suggest that the ‘‘queer’’ connection is more than semantic: it reveals continuities in the conceptualization of ‘‘queer’’ over time and provides evidence of the historical sedimentation of the term. And just as importantly in view of the racial nationalism that Gilman deployed the notion of ‘‘queer’’ to shore up, it testifies to the historically determined limitations of claiming ‘‘queer’’ as a subversive identity or strategic position in a war over sexual meaning making. Within the logic of Gilman’s work, as in our current moment, ‘‘queer’’ serves as a placeholder for that which does not fit within the dominant organization of the social, that which defies classification as either political or personal, private or public, sexual or nonsexual. With ‘‘queer’’ Gilman gestures toward an unbounded and binary-free world in which individuals occupy identity positions and constitute intimate affective relations that mitigate ‘‘against mandatory gender divisions’’ and, as Michael Warner has put it, articulate themselves through ‘‘a more thorough resistance to regimes of the normal.’’ 73 The Herlanders who populate the pages of Gilman’s novel cannot be classified as either ‘‘homosexual’’ or ‘‘heterosexual,’’ ‘‘lesbian’’ or ‘‘straight’’—the various terms used by the few critics who have attempted Herlandian classification; rather, Herlanders occupy a liminal position in relationship to all these categories. In Gilman’s work, as in contemporary queer theory, ‘‘intersectionality’’ usefully describes the coming together or articulation of racial, gender, and sexual formations.74 Herland constitutes the sexual organization of the social through a deployment of a regime of racialized gender hierarchy. In other words, Gilman articulates racialization and gendering as intersecting historical and ideological processes that may be subject to change but are nonetheless always already mutually involved in the transformation of the sexual organization of the social order. After all, Herland moves from being a heterosexual, racially heterogeneous nation to being a parthenogenic racially homogenous nation looking forward to a ‘‘bisexual,’’ ‘‘Aryan’’ future in which citizens of all 102

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genders can join together in an infinite variety of combinations to reproduce a new nation of fully human, racially superior citizen subjects. Although both the distance and proximity between the ideas about queerness circulating in Herland and those that have been developed by scholars seeking new ways of exploring sexual cultures, politics, and publics and the normalization of dominant regimes of heterosexualization are important, I first consider how Herland’s racial nationalism might be deemed ‘‘queer’’ and Herland a ‘‘queer nation.’’ At the risk of stating the obvious, in contrast to the nation (the United States) from which the male intruders and readers of Gilman’s text hail, Herland successfully reproduces itself without the physical or ideological support of heterosexual reproductive sexuality. If in the heteronormative United States, as Berlant and Warner have argued, ‘‘practical heterosexuality . . . guarantees the monocultural nation,’’ in Herland the reproductive telos of the nation does not express itself through any particular form of sexuality but rather without recourse to forms of sexuality that have been previously known or delineated.75 In ridding Herland of reproductive heterosexuality, Gilman also rids it of the affective and economic relationships that subtend the heterosexual reproduction of the nation. Herland lacks parent-centered households, private property, and genealogically focused inheritance laws; children are no longer raised within nuclear families but by the larger collectivity; and, consequently, the distinctions between the public realm of civil society and the private realm of the domestic are nonexistent. Community is imagined neither through intimate coupling nor the institutional and legal apparatus of what the nineteenth-century anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan (whom I discuss in the next chapter) dubbed ‘‘pairing marriage.’’ In sum, Herland’s dominant (and only) culture is such a far cry from that which is familiar to the intruders and readers alike that it achieves intelligibility without recourse to ideologies of heterosexual intimacy or couple-centered familialism. At least on first inspection it would thus appear that Herland attempts to bring into being a world so exorbitant to heterosexuality and the many restrictive gender codes and forms of sociality that it entails, that it succeeds in contesting heteronormativity in several of the ways that queer theorists argue queer culture does. And yet there are also serious limitations to this comparison. Berlant and Warner’s work is helpful in identifying these. They write: Writing Feminist Genealogy 103

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A complex cluster of sexual practices gets confused, in heterosexual culture, with the love plot of intimacy and familialism that signifies belonging to society in a deep and normal way. Community is imagined through scenes of intimacy, coupling and kinship, a historical relation to futurity is restricted to generational narrative and reproduction. A whole field of social relations becomes intelligible as heterosexuality, and this privatized sexual culture bestows on its sexual practices a tacit sense of rightness and normalcy. This sense of rightness—embedded in things and not just in sex—is what we call heteronormativity.76 In Herland there is nothing tacitly normal or right about heterosexuality; and insofar as a ‘‘norm’’ emerges it is anything but ‘‘hetero.’’ Belonging within the national community is never secured through ‘‘the love plot of intimacy and familialism’’ but rather through the romance of female collectivity and wider civic-minded sociality—and this is so even after the men arrive. There are no privatized sexual cultures in this nation, for domestic space is national space; to the extent that there is sex in Herland it is public sex. The nation, ‘‘a land in a state of perfect cultivation,’’ is literally ‘‘an enormous garden’’ gone communal (11). Herland is home as nation, and nation as home and thus the domain of all social transactions and the modality in which a blended public/private culture articulates itself. And yet, even as Herland manages to constitute itself without recourse to heterosexuality it is suffused with—even built upon— ideas about kinship, reproduction, and genealogical ‘‘purity.’’ For this reason although the ‘‘field of social relations’’ that dominate within Herland are not principally intelligible through the lens of heterosexuality but rather through its negation, Herland’s nationalism remains deeply inflected by the reproductive culture that it attempts to transform. As Janet Jakobson has admonished, resistance to ‘‘the regime of the normal can be (misleadingly) appropriated as if resistance to normalization undid the question of normativity rather than moving us into another normativity.’’ 77 In Herland, escape from heteronormativity moves Herlanders into other forms of normativity; Herlanders may not imagine community through ‘‘scenes of intimacy’’ and heterosexual ‘‘coupling,’’ but kinship and the ability to reproduce kin relations as the basis of national familialism remain at the center of Herlanders’ self104 Wayward Reproductions

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conception, constituting the normativizing mechanism through which the nation’s ‘‘Aryan,’’ female citizenry imagines its relationship to ‘‘futurity.’’ Indeed, Herland’s greatest limitation is that it fails to map the coordinates of a new form of sociality, or more particularly that it leaves unchallenged nation-centered and racialist thinking about belonging. In so doing, Herland inaugurates a nationality without heterosexuality that remains just as emphatically genealogical in its foundations and as racialized in its selfconception as the nation—the United States—that it seeks to improve upon.78 Even as Herland can be read as a nation that stirs ‘‘queer feelings,’’ allows for queer identifications, and plays with queer subject positions, the potentially subversive queerness that Gilman intuits emerges as the idiom of national reproduction, as the modality in which she pursues the racial ‘‘purity’’ of the nation. In queering affective and sexual relationships Gilman extricates herself from a form of heterosexuality that amounts to miscegenation within the racialized gender and sexual logics of her argument; however, she simultaneously consolidates the racial nation —in this case the ‘‘Aryan’’ nation of Herland. Even as she struggles to extricate herself from the race/reproduction bind, by electing to transcend it in the name of full humanness she becomes reensnared. In the end, Gilman’s efforts at queering heteronormative culture reveal that the successful contestation of the normal depends upon how the norm that is being contested is conceptualized and on how the subversion of it is imagined. As we have seen, mere resistance to the norm familiar to the American men and to most of Gilman’s readers has unwelcome, even reactionary consequences. In Herland ‘‘queer’’ is a placeholder for nonnormative sexuality but also for white racial superiority—in fact, Gilman’s ‘‘queer nation’’ paradoxically fails to be subversive precisely because the norm it questions (that which is well known to the American men who attempt to invade Herland) is conceived of as racially heterogeneous. The upshot is the resistive culture that Gilman attempts to model by ‘‘queering’’ Herland reinscribes the ideal of (white) racial ‘‘purity.’’ And in the end, this realization should give feminists pause. It reminds us that a truly liberatory feminism must always be linked to an antiracism capable of imagining female sexuality and sociality outside of the rubric of racialized kinship and the confines of racial nationalism. Writing Feminist Genealogy 105

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Chapter Three Engels’s Originary Ruse: Race and Reproduction in the Story of Capital

The idea of the racial community makes its appearance when the frontiers of kinship dissolve at the level of the clan, the neighborhood community and, theoretically at least, the social class to be imaginarily transferred to the threshold of nationality. —Etienne Balibar

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As suggested in the last chapter, feminists have typically been more inclined to search for, rediscover, and celebrate their foremothers than their forefathers. And yet, transatlantic feminism is not without its male progenitors. Few nineteenth-century theorists have been deemed as important to feminists interested in the gender politics of class struggle, socialism, and Marxism as Friedrich Engels. His treatise Origin of the Family Private Property and the State (1884), written as the ‘‘execution of a bequest,’’ from extensive notes Marx had compiled on several major works of Victorian ethnology shortly before his death in 1883, narrates the emergence of patriarchal class society out of so-called primitive society.1 In the process it focuses attention on the causes of women’s subordination within the family and on the coincidence of the emergence of a gendered division of labor and the advent of private property. Feminist reactions to Origin, though not always uncritical, have been numerous; Engels’s book inspired strong responses when it

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was written and nearly a century later, during the heyday of feminism’s second wave in the 1970s and early 1980s. This chapter revisits the feminist response to Engels, the impasse within Marxist feminism generated by the feminist rereading of Origin, the Victorian ethnographical work on Native Americans on which Origin is based, and finally Origin itself. Just as I argued in the previous chapter on Charlotte Perkins Gilman that a return to and reassessment of the race/reproduction bind in Gilman’s writings can put contemporary feminism on an antiracist trajectory, in this chapter I suggest that examination of the race/ reproduction bind that undergirds Origin has the potential to move feminism beyond the impass encountered by those who turned to Engels’s text early on, but found it wanting in its neglect of race as a category of analysis and racism as a form of gendered and classed oppression. To be clear from the outset, I am not arguing that Engels offered an explicit treatment of race or an understanding of racism comparable to his account of the emergence of capitalism; rather, I am suggesting that Engels’s analysis of state formation, like the theories of Benedict Anderson and Ernest Gellner discussed in chapter 1, rests on a racialized reproductive politics and a related cluster of ideas about genealogy and kinship. In locating the race/reproduction bind that implicitly subtends Origin I hope to reinvigorate a feminist engagement with Marxism. For it is my belief that in the process of rereading Marx and Engels textually rather than programmatically, it becomes possible to clear space for new forms of race-attentive historical materialism that might emerge from within the pores of feminism.2 Revisiting the Marxist Feminist Impasse

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Origin’s influence on second-wave feminists was partially due to its importance to first-wave feminists and political radicals, including Marxist scholars, revolutionary thinkers, and political leaders of societies attempting to implement Marxist principles. Alexandra Kollentai, Clara Zetkin, Rosa Luxemburg, Eleanor Marx, Emma Goldman, August Bebel, and Stella Browne, among other Marxists, socialists, and anarchists who were outspoken on ‘‘the woman question,’’ looked to Origin in formulating and/or revising their historical materialism and thinking about women’s oppression. Owenites, utopian socialists, and socialist sex radicals likewise Engels’s Originary Ruse 107

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took stock of Origin, as did Lenin, Stalin, and Mao.3 Some of these intellectuals, political groups, and national leaders regarded it as an enabling point of departure; others interpreted Engels’s formulations as unequivocal historical truths that constituted an infallible blueprint for the emancipation of women under socialism. As Lenin hyperbolically averred, Origin ‘‘is one of the fundamental works of modern socialism, every sentence of which can be accepted with confidence, in the assurance that it has not been said at random but is based on immense historical and political material.’’ 4 In contrast to these laudatory responses, the second-wave feminist reaction to Origin in the United States and United Kingdom can be characterized as engaged but invariably critical.5 Unlike Lenin, who willingly forgot what he undoubtedly knew—that Origin was a highly speculative work based on Marx’s handwritten and difficult-to-decipher notes on compendious volumes that Engels himself had not read at the time of writing—secondwave feminists returned to Engels’s urtext in order to contest its authority and its adequacy as an account of the history of modern social organization. Though they recognized that Origin ‘‘laid the foundations for an analysis of the position of women in class society,’’ they were wary about its operationalization by existing communist and socialist states and thus skeptical about whether it was of use in forging the type of feminism to which they aspired.6 As Rayna Rapp observed in 1977, speaking for her professional and political cohort, ‘‘Consciously or not, our questions are often framed within the general territory mapped in Origin,’’ even if, as Rapp continues, considerable debate about the merits of uncritically inhabiting this terrain have already been generated.7 Feminists have privileged Origin over other texts principally because it offers a more sustained treatment of ‘‘the women question.’’ Although many of Origin’s ideas about women’s subordination within class society are prefigured in The German Ideology and The Communist Manifesto, Origin has garnered attention because of the centrality of this piece of the analysis to the book’s overall argument and political agenda.8 In an often cited passage Engels expands upon an earlier formulation in The German Ideology, arguing that the historical emergence of monogamy, private property, and the sexual division of labor are together rooted in the original subordination and exploitation of women within the family: 108

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When the monogamous family first makes its appearance in history, it is not as the reconciliation of man and woman, still less as the highest form of such a reconciliation. Quite the contrary monogamous marriage comes on the scene as the subjugation of the one sex by the other; it announces a struggle between the sexes unknown throughout the whole previous prehistoric period. The first class opposition that appears in history coincides with the development of the antagonism between man and woman in monogamous marriage, and the first class oppression . . . with that of the female sex by the male. In an old unpublished manuscript written by Marx and myself in 1846, I find the words: ‘‘the first division of labour is that between man and woman for the propagation of children.’’ And today I can add: The first class opposition that appears in history coincides with the development of the antagonism between man and woman in the monogamous marriage, and the first class oppression coincides with that of the female sex by the male. Monogamous marriage was a great historical step forward; nevertheless, together with slavery and private wealth, it opens the period that has lasted until today in which every step forward is also relatively a step backward, in which prosperity and development for some is won through the misery and frustration of others. (96)

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Several pages later Engels brings his ruminations on nineteenthcentury monogamous marriage up to date. In the ‘‘modern individual family,’’ he observes, the domestic slavery of the wife can be translated directly into class terms, such that the husband ‘‘is the bourgeois, and the wife represents the proletariat’’ (105). From an instrumentalist perspective, Engels’s well-known political agenda appears to leap from the page. Since the patriarchal family and private property are imbricated formations and women’s oppression increases with the expansion of the capitalist relation, women’s freedom from oppression will be conterminous with the overthrow of private property and the monogamous family that ensures its transfer—that is, with class revolution. For when all production is fully collectivized there will be no need for marriage as a legal contract sanctioned by the state. As Engels confidently explains, ‘‘It will be plain that the first condition for the liberation of the wife is to bring the whole female sex back into public industry, and this in turn demands that the characteristic of Engels’s Originary Ruse 109

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the monogamous family as the economic unit of society be abolished’’ (105). In addition to expressing discomfort with Engels’s romanticization of the position of women in proletariat marriages (in which, he reasoned, women are necessarily emancipated by their work outside the home), second-wave feminists identified the less selfevident but no less troubling failures of imagination upon which Engels’s argument rests. In their view, as in mine, the forms of economic reductionism that plague Origin are manifold: Engels’s failure to recognize women’s domestic labor in the home as productive labor in its own right and his associated inability to comprehend women’s biological and social reproduction of laborers as productive; his failure to see that women are oppressed not only by male control of private property and male subordination of women within the capitalist relation, but also by the ideology of domesticity and state-sanctioned circumscription of the employments available to women; and finally, Engels’s inability to perceive that even when women (such as the proletarian women whom he elevates) engage in social production outside the home, emancipation from gender oppression is in no way guaranteed either in the workplace or in the domestic realm. As the more anthropologically minded have added, Engels’s data was inaccurate. He was blissfully unaware of the unreliability of the ethnological sources upon which he and Marx relied—not least because of the allegiance of these sources to ideas about an equitable matriarchal society (or matriarchate) existing prior to the emergence of private property, the family, and the state.9 In the late 1970s and early 1980s these deficiencies prompted Marxist and socialist feminists to depart from Origin and search elsewhere for more adequate theories. In so doing they hoped to deepen their analysis of women’s reproductive labor in the home and in the reproduction of workers. In order to avoid subsumption of reproductive labor within the category of productive labor and to comprehend the specificity of women’s economic activity, they devised a corrective ‘‘dual systems’’ approach that analyzed gender and class oppression side by side.10 Though the ensuing ‘‘domestic labor debate’’ produced an intensification of Marxist and socialist feminist publishing, as well as activist projects, including a wages-for-housework movement of international scope, many scholars found the new approach’s bifurcation insufficiently historical and thus incapable of account110 Wayward Reproductions

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ing for the overlap of systems of oppression. Still others specified its shortcoming as its utter inattentiveness to the racial division of labor and to racism. As Gloria Josephs argued in ‘‘The Incompatible Ménage à Trois: Marxism, Feminism, and Racism,’’ a piece included in Lydia Sargent’s prominent anthology Women and Revolution, to envision the union of Marxism and feminism as compatible is to ‘‘deny the reality of being Black in America.’’ 11 Specifically Josephs called out Heidi Hartmann (whose famous essay ‘‘The Unhappy Marriage between Marxism and Feminism’’ was also included in Sargent’s anthology) for neglecting the ‘‘incestuous child’’ of ‘‘patriarchy and capitalism,’’ namely, racism. According to Josephs, not only are the categories of Marxism ‘‘sex-blind’’ (as Hartmann claimed) but the categories of Marxist feminism are ‘‘race-blind’’ (93), unable to apprehend that ‘‘in a discussion of Marxism and the woman question, to speak of women, all women categorically, is to perpetuate white supremacy—white female supremacy’’ (95). Underlying Josephs’s argument was the insight that black women’s allegiance to black men differs structurally from white women’s allegiance to white men, because ‘‘capitalism and patriarchy simply do not offer to share with Black Males the seat of power in their regal solidarity’’ (101). She concluded: ‘‘The possibility of an alliance between Black and white women can only be realized if white women understand the nature of their oppression within the context of the oppression of Blacks. At that point we will be able to speak of ‘the Happy Divorce of Patriarchy, Capitalism, and Racism,’ and the impending marriage of Black revolutionary socialism and socialist feminism’’ (106). In the place (the United States) and period in which it appeared (the late 1970s), Josephs’s article had company. Capitalist Patriarchy and the Case for Socialist Feminism, another influential anthology, included (instructively at the end of the book) ‘‘The Combahee River Collective Black Feminist Statement.’’ Like Josephs, the members of the collective engage Marxist feminism, but only insofar as it attends to issues of race and racism. They write, ‘‘Although we are in essential agreement with Marx’s theory as it applied to the very specific economic relationships he analyzed, we know that his analysis must be extended further in order for us to understand our specific economic situation as black women’’ (366). In the context of Eisenstein’s anthology, the Combahee River Statement had the onus of covering the issues of black feminism, lesbianism, and racism—none of which was Engels’s Originary Ruse 111

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the principal subject of any of the other articles in the volume. To date, the statement, which has been reanthologized frequently, is regarded as a watershed moment in black feminism.12 What I want to argue here—despite the fact that the Combahee River Statement has not often been considered in this context—is that its presence in Capitalist Patriarchy, like the presence of Josephs’s essay in Women and Revolution, signaled a decisive moment within Marxist feminism as well. From one vantage point, the Marxist feminist project that began with a reading of Origin came to crisis under the pressure of an emergent antiracist critique of dual systems theory precisely in those scholarly volumes and venues that sought to fully criticize and elaborate it. Though some theorists would proceed to write exclusively about the intersection of patriarchy and capitalism well into the 1980s, many Marxist and socialist feminists shared a growing awareness—as did feminists of all political stripes—that race and racism had to be addressed and that Marxist and socialist feminism, at least in the way in which it initially framed its questions, was incapable of doing so. Indeed, the internal transformation of Marxist and socialist feminism, including a decisive turn away from Origin, can be viewed as a response to interventions made by women of color, to a growing awareness that the starting point of the domestic labor debate erased race, and to emergent consensus that Origin and the debate about it were inadequate to the task of grounding an analysis of capitalism, patriarchy, and racism. The transformative impact of black feminist critique on the trajectory of feminist theory in the 1980s was pervasive. The combination of Reaganism, Thatcherism, and the neoracism central to each catalyzed antiracist activism inside and outside the academy on both sides of the Atlantic. The impact of such movements on the shape of Marxist and socialist feminism that I am attempting to sketch can be readily located in several registers. The theorization of antiracist materialist feminism by women of color, including Angela Davis, Chandra Mohanty, Gloria Anzaldúa, Cherríe Moraga, and Barbara Smith, that began in the early 1980s constitutes one; the feminist retooling of world systems theory by scholars such as Maria Mies and Swasti Mitter another. Race enters such analyses through discussion of the uneven racialized and gendered global division of labor. In the same period Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak launched a thoroughgoing feminist revision of sub112

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altern studies with wide-ranging implications for the developing field of postcolonial studies and for Marxist theory more generally.13 While this groundbreaking scholarship has deeply shaped my thinking, it is the transformation in texts by those who expressly described themselves as recharting the trajectory of Marxist and/ or socialist feminism that concern me here. In her 1985 foreword to the sixth edition of her monumental work Women’s Oppression Today, Michèle Barrett reassessed her Marxist feminist vision, noting that in the preceding five years (her book first appeared in Britain in 1980) feminism had become dominated by new agendas, especially ‘‘black feminism.’’ Consequently, Barrett attested to an awareness of her work as ‘‘strikingly deficient in light of newer concerns about race and racism’’ and stated that she had come to regard her early ‘‘theoretical formulations . . . as ethnocentric’’ (vi). If in 1985 Barrett found her previous omissions objectionable, by 1988 she began to question the validity of her initial project altogether. In the introduction to the eighth edition of Women’s Oppression Today she wrote that in ‘‘some ways, the intellectual project of reconciling a feminist and a Marxist understanding of the social world could be said to have been shelved—it was abandoned rather than resolved.’’ 14 In part Barrett viewed her shelving or abandonment of Marxist feminism as a necessary response to poststructuralism (she lists the host of usual suspects, including Foucault, Derrida, Lacan, Deleuze, Guattari, and Lyotard, and mentions the array of French feminists involved in psychoanalysis), and the subsequent realization that the subjects of feminism, ‘‘woman’’ and ‘‘women,’’ were up for grabs. As she explained, this ‘‘more philosophical criticism of the integrity of the categor[ies]’’ on which feminism has in the past relied is connected with political recognition of ‘‘differences of power and resources’’ among women, particularly those related to racial difference (vi).15 As she further observed, her subsequent work with Mary McIntosh on black women’s labor in contemporary Britain revealed ‘‘the many ways in which the old . . . [preoccupations and divisions between radical and socialist feminists] have become eroded by the (for us) ‘newer’ question of race and racism’’ (xv).16 Barrett’s insight about poststructuralism’s ability to open Marxist feminism to questions of race and racism was shared by others. As Barrett made the ‘‘linguistic turn’’—instructively her Engels’s Originary Ruse 113

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1991 book, The Politics of Truth, is subtitled From Marx to Foucault —so too did other Marxist and socialist feminists moving toward the newly contested ground of ‘‘materialist feminism.’’ 17 Materialist feminism, which supplanted Marxist and socialist feminism by the mid-1990s, retains the historical and ideological considerations central to feminism, even as traditional Marxist and feminist categories of analysis (i.e., ‘‘woman’’ and ‘‘class’’) open themselves to deconstruction.18 As Rosemary Hennessy, a leading materialist feminist theorist, explains, ‘‘Conceptualizing discourse as ideology allows us [materialist feminists] to consider the discursive construction of the subject, ‘woman,’ across multiple modalities of difference, but without forfeiting feminism’s recognition that the continued success of patriarchy depends upon its systematic operation—the hierarchical social relations it maintains and the other material forces it marshals and is shaped by’’ (xv). Hennessy elaborates the distinction between materialist feminism and socialist feminism in terms of a new focus on language and postmodernism: Materialist feminism is distinguished from socialist feminism in part because it embraces postmodern conceptions of language and subjectivity. Materialist feminists have seen in postmodernism a powerful critical force for exposing the relationship between language, the subject, and the unequal distribution of social resources. . . . While postmodern critiques of signification in themselves do not guarantee an oppositional politics, they do open up the subject to language and difference. In this way they make available ways of thinking that feminists grappling with the problem of feminism’s own monolithic subject have found useful. (5)

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Like Barrett before her, Hennessy views poststructuralism, particularly ‘‘discourse analysis,’’ as central to bringing considerations of racial ‘‘difference’’ into feminism. As important, she implicitly suggests that the texts written by Marx and Engels to which feminists once turned are no longer directly relevant to feminism. In fact, in the writings of Hennessy, Teresa Ebert, Donna Haraway, and Gerald MacLean and Donna Landry, among other self-proclaimed materialist feminists, Marx and Engels are replaced in prominence by Foucault and Derrida, such that the famous passage from Origin that was once a mandatory departure point for Marxist and socialist feminists is not read, and frequently uncited. 114 Wayward Reproductions

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Ultimately the turn toward materialist feminism is a turn toward poststructuralism that entails a turn away from Engels’s urtext, if not from anticapitalism as a political orientation.19 My objective in sketching the preceding genealogy of Marxist and socialist feminism is not to condemn the current embrace of poststructuralism or materialist feminism, both of which are contributions that continue to inform my thinking. Rather, I aim to draw attention to the ways in which recent trends in feminist scholarship beg a question of feminism’s relationship to Marx and Engels’s actual writings. For without becoming a Marxist fundamentalist who argues that the only ‘‘politics of truth’’ (to borrow a wry formulation from Barrett) is that which is already embedded in Marx’s text, it is certainly possible to speculate about how to foreground questions of race and racism within Marxism without abandoning the work of reading and digesting Marx’s and Engels’s writings. My task in the remainder of this chapter is to elaborate one such alternative. In rereading Origin outside of the framework set up for its reception and subsequent rejection by Marxist and socialist feminists and finally materialist feminists, I hope to discern the racial themes embedded within it. This experiment in close reading involves reengaging Engels’s treatise not so much to locate within its pages universal truths or comprehensive theoretical paradigms but rather to understand its historical situatedness, its internal textual logic, and the traces it bears of having been created by men who were necessarily written by their times. In reapproaching Origin in this way, I hope to restore it as a central text for antiracist feminists committed to Marxism, albeit as one that may be unfamiliar in the reincarnation that I offer. Rereading Engels: The Matriarchal Gens and Iroquois Universalism

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From the outset, Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State presents itself as a study of the successive social and economic formations that constitute human history. The narrative Engels relates (as detailed shortly) begins with an account of matriarchal primitive communism, moves through an analysis of the beginnings of the system of private property and so-called pairing marriage, and culminates with an exploration of the emergence of the state and monogamous, patriarchal, class-based society. To a great extent the book is a retelling (or perhaps more aptly a represenEngels’s Originary Ruse 115

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tation) of another work, Ancient Society: Researches in the Lines of Human Progress from Savagery through Barbarism to Civilization (1877), the last volume by Lewis Henry Morgan, an American lawyer, ethnologist, and sometime politician, who spent the better part of his life studying, and for a short period living among, the Iroquois Indians in his native state of New York. With the help of his Seneca collaborator Ely Parker, and with the financial support of the federal government, Morgan amassed an enormous amount of information on Native American kinship systems, and through correspondence with missionaries, traders, and government agents extensive material on family formations the world over. Today Morgan is recognized as among the first anthropologists and as the inventor of modern kinship studies. As is generally acknowledged, Morgan’s theory that ‘‘systems of consanguinity’’ are available for study through analysis of a given society’s language of kinship prefigures the structuralist approach within anthropology. In dedicating Elementary Structures of Kinship to Morgan, Claude Levi-Strauss appreciates this debt.20 Although Engels did not read Morgan’s opus until after Origin was first published, he apparently had such great confidence in Marx’s notes on and assessment of Morgan that in his preface to the first edition of Origin he boldly states that Morgan ‘‘discovered afresh in America the materialistic conception of history discovered by Marx forty years ago’’ and adds that in Morgan’s comparison of ‘‘barbarism and civilization’’ he was ‘‘lead . . . in the main point, to the same conclusions as Marx’’ (35). Given such assertions it is unsurprising that Engels viewed Ancient Society as ‘‘one of the few epoch-making works of our time’’ (36)—a sentiment that he felt comfortable repeating even more hyperbolically after he had finally read Morgan. The discovery of the ‘‘primitive matriarchal gens as the earlier state of the patriarchal gens of civilized peoples,’’ he writes in the preface to the fourth edition of Origin (1891), ‘‘has the same importance for anthropology as Darwin’s theory of evolution has for biology and Marx’s theory of surplus value has for political economy’’ (48). It is now commonplace for Marxist scholars and anthropologists to criticize Marx and Engels’s use of ideas about matriarchal society and the primitive gens and to question the accuracy of Origin’s claims in light of recent evidence from the field. And yet, while these critics hope to render Marxism more materialist, they do not frame Marx and Engels’s reading of Morgan within the his116

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torical context in which it was adopted. In calling for an integration of a consideration of kinship into the Marxist narrative, for instance, Linda Nicholson hopes to generate a resolutely materialist concept of reproduction; however, she engages neither Origin nor Morgan’s writings. Instead, Nicholson accounts for the limitations of the category of production within Marxism. The Marxist narrative neglects kinship systems and modes of production belonging to so-called primitive peoples, she argues, and thus it fails to offer a truly materialist conceptualization of reproductive labor or an adequately historical understanding of productive activity. Whereas Nicholson works to make Marxism fully materialist by integrating updated anthropological material on kinship, I hope to make feminism more historically minded by understanding the figure of the ‘‘primitive’’ within the foundational texts of Marxism.21 For, as we shall see, although Marx and Engels’s data may be outmoded (as Nicholson deftly points out), they derived ideas about the kinship systems of so-called primitives from Morgan, and thus one way to historicize Origin is to account for how its conceptual coherence, formal design, and logical consistency depend on ideas that Morgan elaborated through observation of the kinship systems of American Indians and other ‘‘barbarian’’ and ‘‘savage’’ peoples.22 The historical approach that I suggest may also be described as intertextual. It reveals how the story of the emergence of the family, private property, and the state can be read against the grain as a story that, in the process of narrating transformations in kinship systems, embeds nineteenth-century ideas about race and reproduction and thus ideas about the forms of racial nationalism discussed in previous chapters. As has already been argued, in the period in which Morgan, Marx, and Engels wrote, discourses on reproduction, race, and genealogy—that is, on racialized and reproducible kinship structures—were invariably caught up in those about nations. Indeed, a familiar cluster of closely related concepts structure the penultimate chapter of Origin, in which Engels narrates the emergence of the German nation out of the racialized and reproductively generated kinship systems that preceded it. Although explicit discussion of racial nationalism was never Engels’s stated objective—anathema as it was to his Marxist and thus internationalist task—from a historical and intertextual perspective it becomes clear that ideas of reproduction, race, and nation nonetheless circulate throughout Origin.23 Engels’s Originary Ruse 117

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In search of a theoretical tool that can convey how these ideas function within Origin, I turn to the figure of the supplement. As Jacques Derrida has characterized it, ‘‘The supplement . . . harbors within itself two significations whose cohabitation is as strange as it is necessary. The supplement adds itself; it is a surplus, a plenitude enriching another plenitude, the fullest measure of presence. It culminates and accumulates presence. . . . But the supplement [also] supplements. It adds only to replace. It intervenes or insinuates itself in-the-place-of; if it fills, it is as if one fills a void.’’ 24 The supplement is an addition that marks out a presence by filling in for an absence; in turn, it simultaneously reveals an absence by underscoring the contours of a plentitude. In locating kinship as the supplement in Origin, I name the recurrent textual figure that expresses the relationship between what is expressly dealt with by Engels—the origin of the family, private property, and the state— and what is inchoate, namely ideas about race, reproduction, and nation. In naming kinship as the supplement I call attention to how, in the process of telling the story of transformations in kinship systems, Engels brings reproductive and racial themes into play, leaving readers with a sense of the presence of a narrative about the emergence of the German nation. This narrative is similar to that already discussed in chapters 1 and 2. In this instance, however, racial nationalism paradoxically requires a notion of kinship to think itself and simultaneously suppresses the centrality of racial and reproductive scripts through discussion of kinship. But I jump ahead. Before treating Engels’s argument about German nationalism, it is necessary to understand Marx and Engels’s particular attraction to Morgan. By the latter half of the nineteenth century numerous accounts of society’s evolution were available to them; in fact, a number of scholars drew upon Darwinian theory and constructed histories of civilization’s evolution based upon information derived from archeological remains, classical accounts of Greek and Roman social, political, and legal institutions, and reports of travelers, colonists, and missionaries who had reportedly made contact with ‘‘savages’’ and ‘‘barbarians’’ in the less ‘‘civilized’’ parts of the world. If most of the literature on ‘‘primitive’’ peoples and their ‘‘progress’’ toward ‘‘civilization’’ postulated a series of transformations in the organization of social relations, only Morgan insistently represented ‘‘primitive’’ society as subject to forces of material change. In a prior moment, he 118

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argued, production was collective and society communistic, unstructured by the gender and class inequalities that characterized Victorian society—thus proving that the Victorian family and the market economy were neither permanent nor inevitable but rather evidence of society’s regression. Such arguments proved irresistible to Marx and Engels. Morgan offered not only a description of social transformation but a historical explanation for why one social formation gave way to another. Working with the Darwinian notion that evolutionary processes lead to the destruction of stages of human development that they have themselves produced (a sort of Darwinian dialectic), Morgan recognized that particular means of subsistence were linked to corresponding social forms and that when the means of subsistence changed, so too did the social formation—specifically the kinship system. As one Marxist anthropologist attests, Morgan did nothing less than sketch ‘‘the early history of the processes which led to the creation of capitalism.’’ He allowed Marx and Engels ‘‘to show that the same processes had governed history from the earliest time and that a science of history was therefore possible.’’ 25 Though there is no reason to reject the prevailing account of why Marx and Engels harnessed Morgan’s research to the task of rewriting history, it is necessary to explore alongside it how Morgan’s ideas about matrilineal society and mother right corroborated a materialist approach and enabled Origin’s rhetorical structure. For, in preferring Morgan over other thinkers of his day, Marx and Engels rejected patriarchal theories about the origin of civilization prevalent in the eighteenth century, replacing them with ideas about kinship, specifically ‘‘primitive’’ matriarchy, and making these central to Origin’s internal textual logic or rhetoricity. To a great extent, debates that began in the 1860s about an originary matriarchal society constituted a riposte to the so-called patriarchal theory of civilization that had reached its apogee in Henry Maine’s Ancient Law (1861). In his influential work, Maine deduced that the patriarchal family was once the universal unit of human society and argued that its study would reveal the patriarchal antecedents of contemporary civilization. In Maine’s view, social groups might be united by ‘‘blood,’’ but consanguinity was an inadequate precondition for ‘‘civilization,’’ since to cohere ‘‘civilized’’ societies required patriarchal power (patria potestas), not simply biology. As Maine explained, ‘‘civilized’’ societies characEngels’s Originary Ruse 119

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terized by inheritance by agnation (distribution of wealth among male offspring) require exclusion of women from the property relation. While Maine’s theory was not without precedent, his comparative method of study of legal codes and social organizations was new.26 And somewhat ironically, it was this innovation that cleared the way for the overthrow of the patriarchal theory Maine propounded. According to Rosalind Coward, Maine’s comparative approach revealed that ‘‘relations between the sexes characteristic of the patriarchal family had, in fact, undergone very drastic changes during the course of human history’’ (18), and thus his approach contained the seeds of its own destruction. The patriarchal family was ‘‘not a biological unit, but a unit which created a fiction of biological unity’’ (23) that opened it to social contestation and transformation. Maine’s theory was further challenged by knowledge produced as an adjunct to European colonial expansion. In southern India in particular, ethnologists began to compile evidence of matriarchal rather than patriarchal family organization. By employing a comparative method modeled on Maine’s, they challenged his central argument. Works such as J. F. McLennan’s Primitive Marriage (1865), J. Lubbock’s Prehistoric Times (1874), and E. B. Tylor’s Primitive Culture (1871), as well as Morgan’s Ancient Society (1877), were produced in rapid succession. The combined impact of these works—the turn to mother right—diffused Darwinism, integrated history into the discussion of social organization, and in the process inaugurated a new origin story, one that for the first time underscored women’s reproductive processes in the shaping of the social order. As Marx and Engels realized, matriarchal theory inverted the gendered power relations posited at the beginning of history by Maine and his predecessors, in effect debunking ‘‘one of the most absurd notions taken over from the eighteenth-century enlightenment . . . that in the beginning of society woman was the slave of man’’ (Origin, 79). While it is evident why a story with matriarchy at the origin was desirable, it is less clear why Morgan’s particular version of it so compelled Marx and Engels. The preface to the fourth edition of Origin provides some answers. In reviewing existing scholarship, Engels differentiates Morgan’s theory from that held by other prominent ethnologists by disparaging the competition, and thus (instructively) rationalizing his and Marx’s preference for Morgan. Engels begins by acknowledging Johann Jakob Bachofen’s 120

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Das Mutterrecht (Mother right), published in the same year as Maine’s Ancient Law, as the urtext in the debate about matriarchy.27 Like Morgan, Bachofen viewed ‘‘primitive’’ people as living in a state of sexual promiscuity that could be characterized as matriarchal (Bachofen used the term ‘‘hetaerism’’), insofar as ‘‘primitive’’ women occupied positions of relative power over their progeny. In such societies paternity was unknown, descent ‘‘reckoned only in the female line,’’ and mothers held in such ‘‘high respect’’ that Bachofen proposed ‘‘a regular rule of women’’ prior to the transition to monogamy and paternal power (40). Despite Bachofen’s celebration of matriarchy, however, Engels dismissed him as insufficiently materialist. His disturbing propensity to rely upon ‘‘innumerable passages of ancient classical literature,’’ Engels observed, ‘‘especially Greek and Roman myth,’’ led him to argue that advances in religious conception led to changes in kinship and thus to mistakenly cast ancient ‘‘religion as the lever of world history’’ (40, 41).28 ‘‘According to Bachofen,’’ Engels lamented, ‘‘it is not the development of men’s actual conditions of life, but the religious reflection of these conditions inside their heads, which has brought about the historical changes in the social position of the sexes’’ (40). If Bachofen was insufficiently materialist, his successor, J. F. McLennan, whom Engels described as a ‘‘dry-as-dust jurist,’’ was still more so. Significantly, it is against the backdrop of a critique of McLennan that Engels elevated Morgan. Evidently realizing that diplomacy required him to credit McLennan with originating the idea of ‘‘primitive inheritance’’ through the mother line, Engels did so. He argued, however, that McLennan’s concepts of exogamy and endogamy and the distinction drawn between them was stubbornly rigid: the ‘‘opposition exists,’’ Engels incredulously attested, ‘‘only in [McLennan’s] . . . own imagination . . . [and yet he] makes it the basis of his whole theory’’ (43). Although Morgan had demonstrated the existence of exogamous societies in 1847 in his Letters on the Iroquois and again in 1851 in his League of the Iroquois, Engels pointed out that McLennan never provided equally convincing evidence: ‘‘He speaks of kinship through females only,’’ Engels remarked, but provides little proof of such societies and thus fails to see that the significance of matriarchy at the origin lies not in exogamy but in the gens, the extended group of kin related through the mother. Ultimately the critical detour through the work of Morgan’s Engels’s Originary Ruse 121

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competitors led Engels to cast Morgan as the rightful inheritor of Bachofen’s insight about mother right at civilization’s origin and as the correct riposte to McLennan’s false semantic binaries and empirically impoverished science. And yet, while scholars commonly note that in championing Morgan Engels entered into an intellectual defense of his theory, what is not remarked upon is that in so doing he also entered into a subtly coded nationalist fray. Whereas other nineteenth-century thinkers, including Bachofen and McLennan, took the Greeks and Romans as paradigm cases— and thus situated Greece and Rome as civilizations that presented the ‘‘riddles’’ whose answers would shed light upon the present— Morgan created ‘‘a new foundation . . . for the whole of primitive history’’ (48) in North America. Indeed, as Engels attested, Morgan revealed that ‘‘the American is the original [civilized social] form and the Greek and Roman . . . later and derivative’’ (116). As Engels knew from experience, Morgan’s book was hard to procure in England, where Engels felt there was a chauvinistic attempt to ‘‘systematically suppress’’ it, and thus ‘‘kill by silence the revolution which Morgan’s discoveries have effected in our conception of primitive society’’ (49, 35). Engels bemoaned that, in place of Morgan’s out-of-print edition, McLennan’s circulated widely—a state of affairs that Engels attributed to Morgan’s nationality. As he observed, it is well known that ‘‘every Englishman turns patriotic when he comes up against an American’’ (49). In displacing McLennan, ‘‘the officially appointed founder and leader of the English school of anthropology’’ (49), however, Engels did much more than attack English intellectual arrogance. He shifted the terms and altered the stakes of the debate. For it was not just that Morgan was American but that his groundbreaking ideas about kinship derived from a study of Native Americans. As Engels reiterated, Morgan’s analysis of Iroquois social organization was generalizable the world over: ‘‘It is Morgan’s great merit that he has discovered and reconstructed in its main lines this prehistoric basis of our written history, and that in the kinship groups of the North American Indians he has found the key to the most important and hitherto insoluble riddles of earliest Greek, Roman and German history’’ (36). In displacing old pieties, Engels specified that Morgan’s discovery of the Iroquois matriarchal gens made it possible ‘‘to outline for the first time, a history of the family’’ that has opened up ‘‘a new epoch in the treatment of primitive history.’’ For it ‘‘must be clear to everyone . . . [that] the 122

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matriarchal gens has become the pivot on which the whole science turns’’ (48). Engels’s complete allegiance to Morgan is nowhere more pronounced than in Origin’s central chapter, ‘‘The Family.’’ Taking his cues from Marx, here Engels embraces and to a great degree ventriloquizes Ancient Society, distilling the essence of Morgan’s compendious account of the successive family forms found in ‘‘precapitalist’’ societies. In the process he divides human history into three epochs—savagery, barbarism, and civilization (each of which he subdivides, as in Morgan’s book and Marx’s notebooks, into subperiods: lower, middle, and upper)—that engender a series of corresponding familial forms.29 Of these Engels is centrally concerned with ‘‘matriarchal group marriage’’ (the gens), ‘‘pairing marriage’’—middle and upper barbarian forms respectively—and with monogamous marriage, the first ‘‘civilized’’ form.30 In differentiating each type of so-called marriage from that which preceded it, Engels follows Morgan, asserting the (heterosexual) presumption that ‘‘primitive’’ society is marked by a pervasive situation of ‘‘sexual freedom,’’ in which every man belongs equally to every woman. This state of affairs in turn gives way to a series of increasing restrictions on (hetero)sexual pairing or what Engels euphemistically calls ‘‘marriage.’’ 31 While the first family to emerge from the ‘‘primitive state of promiscuous intercourse’’ separated members of the group by generation, succeeding family forms exercised increasingly extensive prohibitions against incest.32 The gens was the first family shaped by such prohibitions to emerge. Engels traces Morgan’s text closely; in the gens, he notes, ‘‘descent can only be proved on the mother’s side,’’ and therefore ‘‘only the female line is recognized’’ (71). All members of the gens are united by a shared claim to a common female ancestor. They are related as one big maternal family, as it were, in which all productive activity is communal and the household communistic. Finally, and most importantly, in the gens existence of matriarchal communism precludes individualized possession. The gens ‘‘constituted itself as a firm circle of blood relations in the female line,’’ Engels concludes, and thus ‘‘we may reasonably infer that at one time [prior to the emergence of private property] this form of family . . . existed among all peoples’’ (72). In Engels’s narrative, ‘‘pairing marriage’’ eventually supercedes the matriarchal gens: on the one hand, natural selection kicks Engels’s Originary Ruse 123

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in and combines with the female’s reportedly natural inclination toward monogamy and the prevention of inbreeding. Echoing the Darwinism that characterizes Morgan’s work, Engels observes that ‘‘the urge toward the prevention of inbreeding asserts itself again and again, feeling its way . . . quite instinctively, without clear consciousness of its aim’’ (75). On the other hand, transformations in the mode of production, including the domestication of animals, herding, and improvements in agriculture lead to privatization of specialized tools and the production of a surplus that no longer belongs to the gens as a whole, but is concentrated in a few hands. As a male owner class emerged, Engels explains, the final ‘‘death blow’’ to the gens, and ‘‘to matriarchal descent,’’ was delivered. By contrast to the former situation in which property was communal, in the new mode of production men acquire the means to ensure their paternity and the transmission of their property to their offspring. From here it is but a small step to the institutionalization of ‘‘pairing marriage,’’ regulated monogamy (at least for women), and men’s reproductive monopoly over individual women and the children that these women bear—the rightful heirs to men’s tools, slaves, and herds. Though it is difficult not to balk as Engels naturalizes male desire for proof of biological relatedness—as many feminist scholars have—if we momentarily shelve our skepticism and follow Engels’s reasoning, his conclusion that the origin of private property and of monogamy are together rooted in the original subordination and exploitation of women in ‘‘pairing marriage’’ appears inevitable. The true meaning of family (familia) is not, Engels reminds readers, ‘‘that compound of sentimentality and domestic strife which forms the idea of the present-day philistine’’; rather, the word derives from famulus (Latin for domestic slave). Familia designates the human property, including women, belonging to one man (88). Significantly, at this point Engels inserts the famous passage into Origin—the one previously cited as central to early Marxist and socialist feminists. I reproduce key sentences a second time in order to reassess them, now from the vantage point of Morgan’s text.

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When the monogamous family first makes its appearance in history, it . . . comes on the scene as the subjugation of the one sex by the other; it announces a struggle between the sexes unknown throughout the whole previous prehistoric period. . . . 124

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The first class opposition that appears in history coincides with the development of the antagonism between man and woman . . . the first class oppression coincides with that of the female sex by the male. (96) Ancient Society firmly corroborates the idea that the advent of private property presages the end of matriarchal society and the gens. At the same time, it underscores the racial character of the kinship systems that preexist and emerge with the advert of private property. As Morgan insisted, the latter are pervasive among members of the ‘‘Aryan’’ race, and the former among so-called barbarians and savages. Indeed in Ancient Society—and thus in Origin—racialization is always already at work in the sexual division of labor that results from the emergence of private property. For the division of labor that signals the demise of the gens emerges in the ‘‘civilized’’ and ‘‘semicivilized’’ periods, whose parameters are produced not as temporal but as racial or ethnic. In this sense, the subjugation of the gens of which Engels writes emerges through the prism of Morgan’s text as a racially marked phenomenon. Within the logic of Ancient Society—one to which Engels meticulously adhered—the overturning of matriarchal kinship systems that results in women’s subordination is tantamount to the subordination of Western civilization’s other, principally the Iroquois. Morgan’s Ethnical Periods: Gendering Kinship, Racializing Time

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‘‘Rich as the American continent is known to be in material wealth,’’ Morgan observes in his preface to Ancient Society, ‘‘it is also the richest of all the continents in ethnological . . . materials illustrative of the great period of barbarism’’ (xxxi). As will be quickly surmised, Morgan was referring to ‘‘the history and experience of the American Indian tribes’’ (xxxi). From the outset Morgan’s reasons for studying Native Americans are presentist: American Indians, he informs fellow nationals, represent ‘‘the history and experience of our own remote ancestors when in corresponding conditions’’ (xxxi). As Morgan knew, the disappearance of the ‘‘Indian race’’ in the era of Indian extermination was likely; and thus his concern for the disappearance of living peoples was matched by his concern for the disappearance of scientific evidence. Lamenting the intellectual consequences of genocide, MorEngels’s Originary Ruse 125

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gan continues, ‘‘while fossil remains buried in the earth will keep for the future student, the remains of Indian arts, language and institutions will not. They are perishing daily. . . . [U]nder the influence of American civilization [Indian] arts and languages are disappearing, and their institutions dissolving. After a few more years facts that may now be gathered with ease will become impossible of discovery. These circumstances appeal strongly to Americans to enter their great field and gather its abundant harvest’’ (xxxii). In admonishing scholars to mine the ‘‘great field’’ of living culture, ‘‘harvest’’ knowledge, and employ it in writing the history of Anglo-Saxon civilization, Morgan valorized Indian culture, but not unto itself. Native American genocide, although tragic, constituted for Morgan the loss of information fundamental to the ‘‘civilized’’ project of self-understanding. In Ancient Society’s first chapter Morgan develops a concept metaphor, ‘‘ethnical period,’’ that captures and neatly condenses interwoven ideas about race and time previously expressed in his preface. According to the Oxford English Dictionary ‘‘ethnical,’’ an adjective that came into use in the late 1840s in the wake of European imperialism, pertains to an ethnic nature or character, a race or races, and their origin and characteristics. Morgan states that his study will treat the three ethnical periods—‘‘savagery,’’ ‘‘barbarism,’’ and ‘‘civilization’’—through which the ‘‘human race’’ has traveled over the centuries. In utilizing the term ‘‘human race’’ he indicates his belief in monogenesis; at the same time, his suggestion that he will treat the social organizations that characterize ‘‘ethnical periods’’ by studying ‘‘existing barbarous and savage tribes’’ evinces the complex array of racial hierarchies that structure his thinking. As he notes, ‘‘The remote ancestors of the Aryan nations presumptively passed through an experience similar to that’’ (8) of these human ‘‘monuments of the past’’ (41). For each ethnical period ‘‘represents a distinct condition of society’’ (8) and a distinct ethnic group or race. Ethnical periods emerge as temporal forms through which Morgan is able to define the content of relations between civilized Aryans and their ‘‘savage’’ and ‘‘barbarian’’ others, while in the process racializing temporality itself. As Johannes Fabian has eloquently explained in Time and the Other, in the anthropological imagination ‘‘there is no knowledge of the Other which is not also a temporal . . . act.’’ 33 In the course of his discussion of ethnical periods, Morgan specifies which human groups are indexed 126

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by which temporal designations: Australians and Polynesians, for example, exist in ‘‘the middle stage of savagery.’’ Africans, a diverse people at different stages in the ‘‘natural as well as necessary sequence of progress’’ live in an ‘‘ethnical chaos of savagery and barbarism’’ depending on the particular group in question (16). By contrast, Native Americans are ‘‘barbarians’’ pure and simple. Summarizing his findings Morgan explains: Commencing . . . with the Australians and Polynesians, following with the American Indian tribes, and concluding with the Roman and Grecian, who afford the highest exemplifications respectively of the . . . great stages of human progress, the sum of their united experiences may be supposed fairly to represent that of the human family from the middle status of savagery to the end of ancient civilization. Consequently, the Aryan nations will find the type of the condition of their remote ancestors, when in savagery, in that of the Australians and Polynesians; when in the lower status of barbarism in that of the . . . Village Indians of America; when in the Middle status in that of the Village Indians, with which their own experience in the Upper status directly connects. (17)

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This portrait of ethnical periods and the peoples representing each reveals the collapse of time into race upon which Morgan’s schema depends, and thus the manner in which racial identities or ethnicities are used by Morgan (as they were by many ethnologists and early anthropologists) to designate temporal locations. Such a conceptual system favors synchronic over diachronic analysis, or perhaps more accurately appears to be diachronic although it is in fact the product of the collection of synchronic moments and their representation as historical. This is made plain in methodological comments such as the following: ‘‘It does not affect the main result’’ of the study in question, Morgan explains, ‘‘that different tribes and nations on the same continent, and even of the same linguistic family, are in different conditions [and thus ethnical periods] at the same time. . . . [F]or our purpose the conditions of each is the material fact, the time being immaterial’’ (13). ‘‘Conditions’’ evidently refers to degree of technological progress and thus racial classification; apparently, actual historical location is rendered irrelevant or immaterial. The development of synchronic rather than diachronic analysis would appear to have presented a dilemma for Marx and Engels. Engels’s Originary Ruse 127

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How could they legitimately cast Morgan as a theorist of history? How could they praise his method as materialist when it was patently synchronic or ahistorical? The answer to these questions is disconcertingly straightforward: Marx and Engels viewed Morgan’s work as materialist because the racialization of time—the concept of ‘‘ethnical periods’’ that is its organizing feature—was seamlessly integrated into their thinking. They not only accepted Morgan’s collapse of time into race, but assimilated the idea of racialization as a motor of temporalization. Indeed, it may be argued—as Engels did—that Morgan the ethnologist and Marx the political economist were lead ‘‘in the main point’’ to the same conclusions, precisely because Morgan’s racialized understanding of time and temporal understanding of race were incorporated uncritically into the rhetoric of the larger argument of Origin. In this process kinship systems emerge as a supplement within the Marxian account of the origins of the family, private property, and the state, as a rhetorical figure whose presence reveals the contours of a racial narrative without ever explicitly marking it as such. Through its work as supplement, kinship ‘‘intervenes or insinuates itself in-the-place-of’’ the Marxian text’s absences and omissions, revealing the presence of an inchoate racialized and reproductive discourse around which it coheres. In racializing time, Morgan’s ‘‘ethnical periods’’ also gendered it. For integration of the logic of ‘‘ethnical periods’’ into Origin required tacit acceptance not only of Morgan’s thinking about racialized temporality but also about the reproductive and gendered dimensions of the racialized kinship systems of which Morgan wrote. Each period for which Morgan provided a particular racial or ethnic designation was simultaneously indexed by a particular gendered organization of the social. In the case of the Iroquois this gendered social system was the gens, the same kinship system that Engels argued in Origin’s preface held the key to understanding the origins of Western civilization. In fact, Morgan’s definition of the gens is already familiar to us from our initial reading of Engels. ‘‘A gens,’’ Morgan observed, ‘‘is a body of consanguinei descended from the same common ancestor, distinguished by a gentile name, and bound together by affinities of blood. . . . Where descent is in the female line, as it was universally in the archaic period, the gens is composed of a supposed female ancestor and her children, together with the children of her descendants, through females, in perpetuity’’ (63). For Mor128

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gan as for Engels, the gens was a racialized and reproductively organized social system: one belonged to the gens on account of shared female ancestry with other members. Indeed, this was a gendered system organized around maternal rather than paternal affiliation, and a reproductive system insofar as women’s reproduction of the members of the gens constituted the motor of inclusion within it. Notably, maternal affiliation is the criterion for inclusion within the nation that was operative in the female world depicted by Gilman in Herland, and theorized in the discussion of racial nationalism in chapters 1 and 2. Just as the maternally related citizens of Herland reproduce a racially unified nation, in Morgan’s formulation, the members of the Iroquois gens belong to a carefully reproduced social order. In Ancient Society’s central chapter, ‘‘The Iroquois Gens,’’ Morgan culls numerous ethnographic accounts to demonstrate that the racial and reproductive organization of the gens is the generalizable foundation of civilization the world over. As he observes, contra Maine, the gens ‘‘of the Iroquois can be taken as the standard exemplification of this institution. [For] to understand fully the gentes [a grouping of gens] of the latter nations a knowledge of the functions, and of the rights, privileges, and obligations of the members of the American Indian gens is imperatively necessary’’ (69). In a section entitled ‘‘Growth of the Idea of Government,’’ Morgan devotes four chapters to discussion of Iroquois social organization (gens, phratry, tribe, and confederacy) and situates these chapters so that they precede, and through their positioning supply the model for, those on ‘‘Gentes in Other Tribes of the Ganowánian Family,’’ and on the Grecian and Roman gens. In other words, the ordering of chapters renders the argument about the exemplary status of the Iroquois gens irrefutable: the Iroquois provide the model, and the gens ultimately emerges as the ‘‘nearly universal plan of government of ancient society, Asianic, European, African, American and Australian’’ (63). As Ancient Society progresses such claims become so sweeping that Morgan confidently concludes: ‘‘In no part of the earth, in modern times, could a more perfect exemplification of the Lower status of barbarism be found than was afforded by the Iroquois. . . . With their arts indigenous and unmixed, and with their institutions pure and homogeneous the culture of this period, in its range, elements and possibilities, is illustrated by them in the fullest manner’’ (464). At the outset of his discussion of the Iroquois Morgan speciEngels’s Originary Ruse 129

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fies that ‘‘mankind’’ developed two ‘‘plans of government’’ that constituted ‘‘definite and systematic organizations of society’’ (62). The more ancient was social and was founded upon the gentes, phratries, and tribes; by contrast, the ‘‘latest in time’’ was political and was founded upon territory and property (62). Under the first system, government dealt with people through the gens; under the second, government dealt with subject citizens indirectly, through territory, township, country, and state. Despite Morgan’s analytical separation of the two systems, his argument travels from social to political organization in a manner that situates what are initially regarded as kinship systems as the basis of political institutions. In fact, throughout Ancient Society, rather than fully differentiating kinship and political systems, Morgan suggests that the matriarchal gens contained within it the rudiments of the first form of civilized political organization. In a particularly bold assertion that is central to my argument, Morgan insists that the gens is embedded in the political organizations that characterize modern-day institutions, for it is ‘‘gentile institutions’’ that have ‘‘carried a portion of mankind from savagery to civilization’’ (65). While initially self-evident, Morgan’s assertion begs a question about the means of transmission. How exactly did so-called gentile institutions carry ‘‘a portion of mankind from savagery to civilization’’? And, if they did so, does this not contradict the argument advanced by both Morgan and Engels about the coincidence of the advent of private property and the disappearance of the gens and matriarchal social organization? Answers to these questions are found in the language, particularly in the reproductive concept metaphors that Morgan employs in joining together the form and the content of his argument so that the metaphor not only functions as the vehicle for his idea, but an exemplification of it.34 As Morgan explains: ‘‘Modern institutions plant their roots in the period of barbarism, into which their germs were transmitted from the previous period of savagery. They have had a lineal descent through the ages, with the streams of the blood, as well as a logical development’’ (4, emphasis added). The pivotal term in this passage, ‘‘germs,’’ has a complex set of meanings that connect it to surrounding words. According to the first definition in the Oxford English Dictionary, a germ is a portion of an organic being capable of development into the likeness of that from which it sprang. When the passage is read with this definition in mind, modern institutions are plants with roots in the soil of the 130

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past, and ‘‘germs’’ fertilized seeds (or ova) that transmit the qualities of one organism to future generations. This usage of ‘‘germ,’’ which emerged in the early 1800s, allows the organic and, more importantly, the reproductive dimensions of the concept metaphor to surface. From this vantage point, Morgan builds upon Linnaean nomenclature in which ‘‘germ’’ expressly refers to either the ovary or seed of a plant. What is striking about this passage, however, is that the botanical connotations of ‘‘germ’’ coexist with fleshly, warm-blooded ones. In fact, in writing of ‘‘germs’’ that have a ‘‘lineal descent through the ages’’ that can be figured in terms of ‘‘streams of blood’’ Morgan shuttles readers between the plant and the animal kingdom. In this movement a nineteenth-century genealogical discourse about reproduction and race becomes visible, and germs take on not only a reproductive but also a racial aspect.35 The gens is no longer solely the root, ovary, or seed of a plant transmitting the essential qualities of the organism across time but rather a blood element, a protogenetic figuration of genealogical, racial inheritance (Morgan was of course writing prior to Gregor Mendel’s discovery of the rules of genetic inheritance).36 If, at the passage’s outset, ‘‘savage institutions’’ travel through time organically, by its end their movement has acquired further definition: ‘‘gentile institutions’’ are carried in the ‘‘streams of blood’’ that bind a people together. Within Morgan’s text Iroquois social organization emerges as a racialized element reproduced by women across generations and through time in the ‘‘blood’’ of the people. The above use of the germ concept metaphor is not unique, but actually pervades Ancient Society. In another representative passage Morgan writes: ‘‘The germs of the principal institutions and arts of life were developed while man was still a savage. To a very great extent the experience of the subsequent period of barbarism and of civilization have been expended in the further development of these original conceptions. Wherever a connection can be traced on different continents between a present institution and a common germ, the derivation of the people themselves from a common stock is implied’’ (8, emphasis added). In this instance, ‘‘a common germ’’ plays a role in constituting a social institution and reproducing ‘‘the people.’’ The ‘‘germ’’ of the so-called savage has, the passage implies, spawned populations ‘‘on different continents’’ that can be regarded as descended from ‘‘common stock.’’ As discourses of racialization and reproduction converge, the transmisEngels’s Originary Ruse 131

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sion of gentile society and of ‘‘germs’’ are linked together with the perpetuation of ‘‘streams of blood,’’ which in turn indexes race. Indeed, gentile institutions carry ‘‘a portion of mankind from savagery to civilization’’ through gendered reproductive processes that are decidedly represented as racialized. While Morgan’s concept metaphor fulfills one set of rhetorical requirements, once set loose in his text the idea of the ‘‘germ’’ simultaneously challenges—even threatens to disrupt—several of the other arguments that are adumbrated. For this metaphor of transmission invokes the specter of racial mixture even as it works to create distinct racial groupings. When the reproductive and racial dimensions of the germ concept metaphor are deconstructed further still, it becomes evident that those living in the most highly developed ‘‘ethnical period,’’ namely ‘‘Aryans,’’ have something of the ‘‘savage’’ and/or ‘‘barbarian’’ that preceded them within their ‘‘streams of blood,’’ at least insofar as their civilized institutions contain the ‘‘germs’’ of originary gentile ones. Read in this way, ‘‘germ’’ takes on yet another meaning—that of contagion. When racialized, the germ of ‘‘primitivism’’ can only point toward the specter of racial contamination of a ‘‘pure’’ stock and thus toward the reproduction of a mixed people. Even though Morgan argues that the advent of private property rings out the death toll for gentile institutions, and specifically for the gens as the prevailing kinship system, he insists that the ‘‘germs’’ of such matriarchal systems persist within patriarchal institutions that are, within the logic of his text, the offspring of matriarchal ones. This complicated and at times contradictory logic of reproductive and racial transmission persists in Origin. Though Engels never discusses ‘‘ethnical periods’’ nor uses the same concept metaphors that Morgan employs in articulating the mechanism of transmission and endurance of gentile institutions over time, the racial and reproductive residue of Morgan’s formulations are discernable, especially in those chapters of Origin in which Engels turns to the question of the birth of the German state. Among the Germanic ‘‘barbarians,’’ Engels informs readers, the gens persists as a constitutive part of the social organization despite the advent of private property and the supposed decimation of the matriarchal gens—the two events that are together thought to coincide with the transition from ‘‘savagery’’ to ‘‘civilization.’’ For, as we shall see, when the spillover of Morgan’s text is identified within Engels it becomes evident that Origin narrates how the germ of 132

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the gens flows in the blood of the German people. Indeed, formulations about gentile kinship that originate in Morgan’s Ancient Society enable Engels to tell a story not only about the origin of the family, private property, and the state but also about the origin of the German nation as a racial and reproductively organized social entity. Engels’s Originary Ruse: Race into Nation Engels’s discussion of the rise of the state follows that of the family, and on the surface this textual organization makes quite a bit of sense. The gens, a social group with a distinct social organization, elects representatives to wider confederacies (the phratries and tribes) and makes decisions collectively. And yet, as superior as is the gens, it cannot regulate the conflicts that arise with the ascendance of ‘‘pairing marriage’’ and individualized property. The state thus arrives on the scene with the dissolution of this matriarchal social organization, because the emergence of private wealth and individual families require a variety of new guarantees of ownership and forms of property transfer. Put differently, insofar as class hierarchy and private property grow out of the dissolution of the gens, it is these institutions that call forth the state and to which the state addresses itself.37 The state is generated in the process of class struggle, Engels confirms; it arises on the ruins of the gentile constitution, becoming a generalizable abstraction through which the interests of private property can be expressed. The state not only secures ‘‘the newly acquired riches of individuals against the communistic traditions of the gentile order,’’ but also perpetuates ‘‘cleavage of society into classes’’ and orchestrates ‘‘the right of the possessing class to exploit the non-possessing’’ and thus ‘‘rule . . . over the latter’’ (141). Comparative analysis of the various cases he provides leads Engels to acknowledge that each state’s history is unique. At the same time, he insists that a general narrative (Morgan’s about the Iroquois) holds true in its main points in all instances, even as specifics vary. The details of Engels’s explanation of those cases that at first appear anomalous, but which on closer inspection snugly fit within the Iroquois plan, are thus instructive. Although there are numerous instances in which the matriarchal gens’s disappearance is the precondition for the emergence of the state (see, for example, Engels’s chapters on Athenian, Roman, and Celtic peoples), in Engels’s Originary Ruse 133

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Origin’s penultimate chapter, that on the birth of the German state, Engels argues that the gens persists in germ form among the Germans and that it is these gentile characteristics above others that constitute a condition of possibility not only for the emergence of the state but also for the eventual emergence of the German nation. As Engels explains, the German state rose like the proverbial phoenix from the ruins of a dissolute and quickly crumbling Roman Empire. At the end of the fifth century ‘‘an exhausted and bleeding imperial power lay helpless before the invading Germans’’ (183). Roman subjects throughout the empire lived in conditions of utter abjection. What the German invaders offered the far-flung and diverse subjects was thus relief from their distant Roman rulers; in return for this favor former Roman subjects were willing to abide the imposition of new rule. Under ‘‘Roman administration and Roman law,’’ Engels avers, ‘‘the old kinship groups and with them the last vestiges of local and national independence’’ were destroyed and the Roman subjects left without the unity or strength to resist. Under Roman rule, Engels specifies, all ‘‘natural languages had been forced to yield to a debased Latin,’’ individual provinces had been ‘‘ruthlessly exploited,’’ and systematic robbery and extortion of the citizens of the empire had become the norm. The Roman Empire ‘‘gave as the justification of its existence that it maintained order within the empire and protected it against the barbarians without. But its order was worse than the worst disorder, and the citizens whom it claimed to protect against barbarians longed for the barbarians to deliver them’’ (184). As if other causes for the conquered people’s embrace of the Germanic invaders were necessary, Engels adds that the Roman system of slave labor had finally outlived its moment, leaving in its wake a crisis in the mode of production and the associated ‘‘poisoned sting— the stigma attaching to the productive labour of freedmen’’ (186). On first reading Engels’s chapter on the Germanic invasions, one might conclude that his main point is that Germanic invaders succeeded in conquering the Romans and their subjects because they offered abject people an injection of freedom, a means to unburden themselves of their oppressors and their outdated mode of production. On closer examination, however, the decisive factor in the Germanic victory is not solely the offering of freedom and new forms of agriculture and industry but also the Germanic contribution of a specifically gentile sensibility and social infra134

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structure, one that lay the groundwork for state and nation formation among the conquered. It is thus not only by referring to the diverse Germanic peoples who took over the mantle of power from the Romans with the ahistorical moniker ‘‘the Germans’’ (der Deutschen and der Germanen) that Engels retroactively produces the Germanic invaders as German nationals, but also through the retrospective projection of a nationalist rationale for the success of the Germanic invasions. For ultimately what the so-called Germans provided to the former Roman subjects was a social organization—the gens—that we know from our reading of Morgan is a racial and reproductively organized kinship formation. Engels writes: There were no more national differences, no more Gauls, Iberians, Ligurians, Noricans; all had become Romans. Roman administration and Roman law had everywhere broken up the old kinship groups and with them the last vestige of local and national independence. The half-baked culture of Rome provided no substitute; it expressed no nationality, only the lack of nationality. . . . [T]he strength was not there to fuse these [diverse] elements into new nations; there was no longer a sign anywhere of capacity for development or power of resistance to say nothing of creative energy. The enormous mass of humanity . . . was held together by one bond only—the Roman state; and the Roman state had become in the course of time their worst enemy and oppressor. (184, emphasis added)

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Engels accuses the Romans of destroying ‘‘old kinship structures’’ and of failing to offer those whom they have conquered a ‘‘nationality’’ to replace the social organization, the gens, that had been decimated by the advent of private property. And thus, while it at first apperars that the ‘‘nationality’’ and the ‘‘kinship structures’’ of which Engels wrote are antithetical, it becomes evident that as in Morgan’s text in Engels’s they are supplementary. The salvation the invading Germans offer their captors is expressed in national terms because what has been lost under Roman rule is a kinship system, a form of social cohesion that contains the elements of the racial and reproductive organization of the social that undergirds the nation form proper. In Origin Engels refers to ‘‘Germanic barbarians’’ as ‘‘Germans’’ with conviction because the kinship systems that they proffer to those whom they have conquered are racially and reproductively organized, and thus national. Engels’s Originary Ruse 135

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Though Engels notes that ‘‘the sections [of Origin] . . . on the Germans are in the main [his own] . . . work’’ (37) rather than Morgan’s, return to the discussion of the Germanic invasions in Ancient Society reveals that Morgan, not at all surprisingly, prefigures Engels’s treatment of the Germans. In Morgan’s chapter on ‘‘Gentes in Other Tribes of the Human Family,’’ he employs the model he had developed in his previous discussion of the Iroquois gens to explain the role of the gens within ‘‘the Scottish Clan,’’ ‘‘the Irish Sept,’’ ‘‘the Hebrew tribes,’’ ‘‘the hundred families of Chinese,’’ ‘‘the African tribes,’’ and finally, ‘‘the Germanic tribes.’’ In short, he suggests (as Engels did after him) that the gens persists among ‘‘the Germans’’ (359): ‘‘The condition and mode of life of the German tribes tend to the conclusion that their several societies were held together through personal relations, and with but slight reference to territory; and that their government was through these relations’’ (359). Citing Caesar and Tacitus as his authorities Morgan specifies that the Germanic tribes ‘‘were formed according to families and kinships’’ and that ‘‘the remains . . . of a prior gentile organization’’ thus continued to inflect the organization of ‘‘the Mark or local district’’ (360). Tellingly, Morgan employs the now familiar germ concept metaphor in arguing for the organic connection between the gens, the Mark, and the still larger Gau, all of which constitute ‘‘the germs of the future township and county’’ (361). As in Engels’s account, in Morgan’s urtext, German political society is an organic outgrowth spawned by the ‘‘germs’’ of the Iroquois gens. In turn, the Iroquois gens is a racialized kinship system—nothing less than the ‘‘germ’’ of the modern nation. There is of course a long history of the use of the figure and/or idea of the Native American within nationalist discourse. Helen Carr has examined how the invention of the idea of the ‘‘American Primitive’’ by white settlers moving westward across the great plains helped to constitute these immigrants as American nationals by throwing into relief their difference from Indians.38 If during the colonial period the Indian simultaneously stood as a symbol of the New World and as the prototypical American, by the 1850s Indians had come to define everything Americans were not. As Reginald Horsman has argued, the mid-nineteenth century was an epoch marked by white settlers’ recourse to racialism as the principal means of thinking the nation. This involved an assertion of Anglo-Saxon racial supremacy of the sort discussed in previ136

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ous chapters and the development of the various forms of scientific racism that buttressed this belief system. Ethnographic work on Native Americans was central to the consolidation of the new racialist discourse about Anglo-Saxonism, even when it romanticized or otherwise celebrated rather than denigrated ‘‘savage’’ others.39 As Carr elaborates, in the 1850s America had already begun to conceive of itself as a country of the future, ‘‘the Indian along with the wilderness would give way to a modern culture. . . . In order to create the future, the nation had to argue that the present (the living Indian) was already the past. . . . Morgan too— and this despite his recognition of the existence of Indian government, culture, and philosophy—accepted the idea of Anglo-Saxon superiority and the inevitability of Indian demise in the face of the Indian’s ‘fatal deficiency,’ ‘the non-existence of the progressive spirit.’ ’’ 40 Although Engels took his lead from Morgan in choosing to regard Native Americans as outcasts from evolution, as ‘‘primitives’’ who, in their arrested state of development could provide him with information about European civilization’s prehistory, his use of the Iroquois to build a case for the origins of the German nation neither involved the production of the self/other dialectic that scholars such as Carr and Horsman document nor did it relegate Indians to a long lost past.41 Rather, Engels rendered Native Americans foundational to his story about German nationalism in a more complex way. For Engels integrated the persistence of the Iroquois’s matriarchal kinship system rather than its demise into his thinking about the origins of the German nation. Instead of positioning racial otherness and national belonging as antithetical (as by implication both Carr and Horsman do), by introducing the concept of the gens into Origin, Engels renders race and nation commensurate, even interchangeable, and situates the gens as a continuously existing kinship system that contains the seeds of the modern racial nation. Whereas in prerevolutionary America the predominant impulse was to regard Native Americans as racial others and thus as nonnational, in Engels’s work the Iroquois emerge as the (m)others of the Germans. Even as he lambasts a romantic historiographic tradition that retrospectively projects the greatness of the so-called German race onto the Germanic barbarians, Engels simultaneously insists on the persistence of the ‘‘germ’’ of the Iroquois gens among the Germans, effectively offering a restorative nationalism grounded in the persistence of the reEngels’s Originary Ruse 137

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productively organized matriarchal kinship system that Morgan found among the Iroquois. ‘‘The German peoples, now masters of the Roman provinces, had to organize what they had conquered’’ and thus had to transform ‘‘the organs of the gentile constitution . . . into state organs’’ (188); and yet, Engels assures readers, they managed to do so in a manner that preserved the former within the latter. ‘‘Progress,’’ Engels explains, employing reproductively laden language, ‘‘was made during these 400 years,’’ for the social classes of the ninth century that emerged from the period of barbarism were ‘‘formed, not in the rottenness of a decaying civilization, but in the birth pangs of a new civilization. Compared with their Roman predecessors, the new breed, whether masters or servants, was a breed of men’’ (192). With a flurry of rhetorical queries, Engels concludes: But what was the mysterious magic by which the Germans breathed new life into a dying Europe? Was it some miraculous power innate in the Germanic race, such as our chauvinist historians romance about? Not a bit of it. The Germans, especially at that time, were a highly gifted Aryan tribe and in the full vigour of development. It was not, however, their specific national qualities which rejuvenated Europe, but simply—their barbarism, their gentile constitution . . . in a word all the qualities which had been lost to the Romans and were alone capable of forming new states and making new nationalities grow out of the slime of the Roman world—what else were they than the characteristics of the barbarian of the upper stage, fruits of his gentile constitution? (192–93, emphasis added)

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This seemingly contradictory passage twists and turns only to double back upon itself. If emphasis is placed on the first half, Engels appears to adamantly refuse a nationalistic, ‘‘chauvinist’’ interpretation of the Germanic invaders as well as a notion of racebased nationalism. The ‘‘Germanic race’’ has not saved civilization, he insists, but rather a group of ‘‘Aryan’’ barbarians. And yet, when emphasis is shifted to the second half of the passage, an entirely different interpretation becomes possible. What are the invading ‘‘barbarians’’ offering their captors but ‘‘the qualities’’ that they exclusively possess: namely, the capacity ‘‘of forming new states and making new nationalities grow’’ in the place of old, extinguished ones. In invoking ‘‘the slime of the Roman world,’’ Engels inflects his language with evolutionary significance, sugges138

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tively implying that this process of formation is organic, part of a larger inevitable process of natural development that has been followed by humans and amphibians alike. Even as Engels focuses on state building, the birth of the German nation is the unstated telos of his argument. As in Benedict Anderson’s famous formulation about the temporality of nationalism, in Origin the gentile features of German nationalism seem to extend into the ‘‘limitless future’’ and stretch back into the ‘‘immemorial past’’ that Engels discusses, even though this is not his express concern.42 In fact, like Anderson writing nearly a century after him, Engels embeds racialized reproductive ideas about kinship within his theory of nation-state formation, but he never foregrounds or self-reflexively examines the presence of the race/reproduction bind that subtends his argument. If the seemingly oxymoronic assertion of the national status of the prenational Germanic barbarians appears insurmountable, Engels is nonplussed. He concludes his argument with the following resolution of the historical dilemma that his text opens up: If [the Germans] recast the ancient form of monogamy, moderated the supremacy of the man in the family, and gave the woman a higher position than the classical world had ever known, what made them capable of doing so if not their barbarism, their gentile customs, their living heritage from the time of mother right? . . . [T]o what was [their ability to save the Roman subjects] due, if not to their barbarism, their purely barbarian method of settlement in kinship groups?’’ (194, emphasis added)

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Having begun by attesting that any notion of the barbarian invaders as members of the ‘‘German race’’ is a philistine’s retrospective projection, Engels concludes by using the figure of ‘‘gentile customs’’ and matriarchal ‘‘kinship groups’’ to smooth over the historical difference between German nationals and Germanic barbarians, effectively rendering them equivalent. It is the barbarism of the Germans, he postulates, ‘‘their living heritage from the time of mother right,’’ their organization according to maternal lines of descent, that rendered them capable of providing the former members of the Roman empire with the racializing reproductive power to bind their peoples together afresh and birth their nations anew; for in Origin it is ‘‘the purely barbarian method of settlement in kinship groups’’ that is the precondition for the reproduction of nations. ‘‘Germany,’’ Engels concludes, ‘‘carried Engels’s Originary Ruse 139

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over into the feudal state a genuine piece of gentile constitution’’ (193), and it was this infusion of barbarism, this ‘‘vigorous and creative’’ element that in the last instance ‘‘explain[s] everything’’ (194).43 If Engels is either unaware of or sanguine about the national subtext that he generates within the confines of the larger and more explicit arguments he sets forth in Origin, readers interested in the future of the relationship among Marxism, feminism, and antiracism should not be. With the reintroduction of the matriarchal gens into the story about the origins of the family, private property, and the state, a racially and reproductively laden concept of kinship emerges as a supplement that secures the story of the origin of state society in a narrative that depends upon racial and reproductive ideas for its coherence. For in Origin, it is the ‘‘germ’’ of the matriarchal gens that Morgan first found among the Iroquois that finesses the misfit between Engels’s overt narrative and the inchoate narrative about the origins of the German nation that simultaneously unfolds between the covers of his text. Although the overarching story that is related in Origin—the one that is intentionally proffered by Engels—suggests that the state emerges after the demise of the gens, and that what is lost with the rise of the state form is a society organized by consanguineous descent through the mother line, the details of Engels’s argument in the penultimate chapter of Origin constitute an instructive textual exception. For Engels’s story about the Germans is guided by an alternative racial and reproductive logic that ultimately contravenes the overarching narrative. Among the Germans the ‘‘germ’’ of the gens, and thus the persistence of matriarchal kinship structures, secure first the rise of the state and then that of the German nation. Once the story about the birth of the nation is revealed as Origin’s covert or, perhaps more accurately, its unintentional if logical telos, it becomes possible to discern an array of textual details that pave the way for the text’s arrival at this destination. In the chapter on ‘‘the family,’’ for example, Engels argues that wherever the monogamous family ‘‘remains true to its historical origin . . . [it] clearly reveals the antagonism between the man and the woman expressed in the man’s exclusive supremacy.’’ However, not all monogamous ‘‘marriages turn out thus’’ (98–99), and instructively if not surprisingly German marriages are instanced as the exception to the rule. As Engels chattily attests, ‘‘Nobody knows better 140 Wayward Reproductions

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than the German philistine who can no more assert his rule in the home than he can in the state . . . [that it is his wife who] with every right, wears the trousers of which he is unworthy’’ (99). He adds more seriously, Germans are late bloomers, a people among whom a clear distinction between monogamy and ‘‘pairing marriage’’ arrived late on the scene and even then incompletely. Such thinking leads Engels to repeatedly assert that the Germans retained much longer than other peoples their ‘‘respect . . . for the female sex,’’ such that for a long period in German history the ‘‘woman seems to have held undisputed sway’’ (174). No matter the angle from which we approach Engels’s narrative, when read through the lens of Morgan’s work it becomes evident that it is animated by the ‘‘germ’’ of the gens, for there is undeniably something matriarchal or trouser-wearing about German women. At this chapter’s outset I suggested that scholars are in agreement that Marx and Engels selected Morgan’s work on the history of the family over that of other ethnologists because it offered a materialist understanding of history. Unlike Bachofen and McLennan, Morgan recognized that there was neither anything permanent nor inevitable about the patriarchal Victorian family. I also suggested that a return to Morgan’s writings would reveal something in addition to the coincidence of Morgan’s method with a Marxist materialist one—namely, the work of kinship as a supplement, and the matriarchal gens as a racializing reproductive formation or nation-making institution. As we have seen, Origin’s centering of the matriarchal gens as a kinship system with racializing and nationalizing force transforms Origin into a text quite different from the one it professes itself to be, and quite different from the text that Marxist and socialist feminists have in the past treated. For when kinship’s work as supplement is made transparent, it becomes possible to discern how racialized reproductive narratives supplement the Marxist origin story and, in turn, how ideas about the origin of the family, private property, and the state are built upon the same race/reproduction bind that subtends the idea of the modern racial nation. Though he does not directly refer to Origin, in the passage that serves as this chapter’s epigraph Etienne Balibar expresses similar ideas: ‘‘The idea of the racial community makes its appearance when the frontiers of kinship dissolve at the level of the clan, the neighborhood community and, theoretically at least, the social class to be imaginarily transferred to the threshold of nationEngels’s Originary Ruse 141

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ality.’’ 44 Reworking Balibar’s formulation in view of the argument this chapter delineates, it becomes possible to recognize kinship as a supplement that installs missing reproductive bonds and in the process makes visible the presence of racial and national connections. And it is in this sense that this chapter underscores the racial and reproductive components of the discourse of belonging upon which social organizations, including states, nations, and nationstates, depend. In Origin the presence of the gens among the Germans renders Engels’s story about the emergence of private property and the early moments of capitalist society coterminous with his story about the origins of the German nation. Though Balibar helps us to see the supplemental work done by kinship in Engels’s text, his understanding of the role of the imagination in inaugurating the nation is completely missing from Origin. As discussed in chapter 1, Balibar regards ‘‘race’’ as an invention, a fiction that enables the thinking of community. ‘‘Race’’ is not in Balibar’s view a real substance or biological ‘‘germ’’ transmitted over time in the ‘‘blood’’ of a people but a symbolic kernel that makes the thinking of ‘‘racial community,’’ and thus the imagination of ‘‘blood,’’ ‘‘descent,’’ ‘‘genealogy,’’ and national belonging, possible. By contrast, insofar as Engels regards the language of kinship as an accurate representation of actually existing kinship bonds, he casts kinship systems, genealogical ties, and bloodlines as real, organic, and biological. As he explains, the various kinship systems he discusses became available to Morgan through study of the language of kinship, which, although outmoded at the time it was encountered by the anthropologist, nonetheless reflected real social and biological ties: ‘‘while the family undergoes living changes, the system of consanguinity ossifies,’’ Engels avered (60). For Engels, as for Morgan before him, the language of kinship indexed a real world of organic connections. Engels explains this by making analogical recourse to a figure, the fossilized bone, that was central to the natural sciences of his day: ‘‘Just as Cuvier could deduce from the marsupial bone of an animal skeleton found near Paris that it belonged to a marsupial animal and that extinct marsupial animals once lived there, so with the same certainty we can deduce from the historical survival of a system of consanguinity that an extinct form of family once existed which corresponded to it’’ (60). This passage reveals two interrelated biases: First, that Engels regarded kinship terminologies as ‘‘fossil records’’ of previous family forms and thus as proof of the family’s evolution of 142

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these forms over time.45 And second, it indicates the philosophy of language and representation to which Engels subscribed. Language was for Engels a direct reflection or perfect representation of social practices and biological bonds. While ‘‘racial community’’ may be transferred to the threshold of nationality at the moment that bonds of kinship dissolve within the story that Engels relates, it is not ‘‘imaginarily transferred’’ (as Balibar would have it) but directly transferred (as in Morgan’s text) in the germ of the gens. According to Engels, the nation is a political organization that perpetuates a biologically grounded social system based in reproducible kinship structures. Clearly, what Engels could not see is that nations invent racialized kinship to support ideologies of inclusion rather than the other way around.46 If Origin, the book that has been canonized as the foundational Marxist account of the coemergence of patriarchal and capitalist society, can be read—as I have read it in the preceding pages—as an account of race-based kinship systems in which nation-states are thought to be grounded, this raises a number of issues for feminist readers. It challenges us to examine the relationships among race, reproduction, and class and to clear space for new understandings of how class formation and gender hierarchy, as they are explored in Marx’s and Engels’s writings, are bound up with inchoate ideas about race and nation. It helps us become more aware and critical of the racial grounding of the developmentalist model in which Marxism is awash. And finally, it compels us to decide if and when essentialist, often expressly biological, understandings of social and political formations such as families and nations are useful to us in crafting feminist and antiracist versions of Marxism. For from the historical and at once intertextual vantage point that I have offered in this chapter, Origin can be read as a text in which race implicitly structures the thinking of the sexual division of labor, and the property relations that require this division. And thus, although Origin may be grossly inadequate as a game plan for liberating women from multiple sources of oppression (as previous feminist scholars have surmised), its content nonetheless provides us with an understanding of the articulation of the gendered, raced, and classed modalities of thinking that have been woven together in the Marxist story of the origins of capitalist patriarchy. If feminists wish to make Origin relevant to discussions of race and racism, we must stop evaluating it on the basis of its descriptive accuracy and resist the urge to discard it because it has been Engels’s Originary Ruse 143

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too readily instrumentalized. Instead we must take the time to read it against the grain. For when apprehended textually and situated historically it becomes possible to bring the racial, reproductive, and national themes that structure Origin into full view. Of course such a reading practice does not instantly transcend the impass in Marxist and socialist feminism that was identified in the first section of this chapter, but it does help reconceptualize the perceived limitations of the Marxist project. Such a reading indicates that our goal as feminist readers need not simply be ‘‘the marriage’’ or integration of Marxism and feminism but rather the critical assessment of the rhetoricity of Marxian texts. For once we better understand how the Marxist project articulates race, nation, and reproduction, we can envision new, more self-conscious ways of formulating our analyses of human domination. Such a perspective would attend to kinship as a racial and reproductive supplement within analyses of the origins of the family, private property, and the state. It would also enable us to think racism as constitutive to gendered and classed oppression and, in turn, to think antiracism as constitutive to women’s liberation from capitalism. In a different context, Michel Foucault cryptically observed that ‘‘racism is literally revolutionary discourse put in reverse.’’ This observation gestures toward the relationship of historical reciprocity that exists between racial formation and class formation, on the one hand, and antiracism and class struggle, on the other. In closing this chapter, I interpret Foucault as begging a question of Origin that remains to be answered by feminists interested in antiracist revolutionary politics: what is Engels’s originary ruse, his insistence on matriarchal kinship at the origin, other than a scripting of the story about the origins of private property and state society such that racial nationalism figures as the unofficial telos of his argument, inserting itself into the position that has been officially reserved for class revolution? Ideas of race as well as racist thinking have clearly had an unlimited range of applications within Engels’s foundational treatise. Unless feminists make the project of excavating such thinking our own, we run the risk of missing kinship’s function as racial and reproductive supplement and thus of participating in the reversal of revolutionary discourse.

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Chapter Four Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis: Darwin, Freud, and the Universalization of Wayward Reproduction

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Preceding chapters have explored how the race/reproduction bind structures theories of nationalism and genealogy; nationalist strands of first-wave feminism and maternalist strands of secondwave feminism; Marxist theories of the family, private property, and the state; and the early anthropological work upon which Marxism draws. In this chapter I build on those explorations by demonstrating how the race/reproduction bind also subtends evolutionary theory and psychoanalysis, the latter of which was developed in implicit dialogue with Darwinism. To date few critics have examined Freud’s debt to Darwin, and yet we know that Freud was an avid reader of evolutionary theory and that his engagement with questions of sexuality reflected and refracted his reading of Darwin’s writings as well as the wider discourse on Darwinism that circulated within the contemporary scientific community.1 In Darwinian theory, race and reproduction forcefully collide in the theory of ‘‘sexual selection,’’ Darwin’s controversial companion to the theory of natural selection that accounts for differences among members of species that appear to confer no evolutionary advantage. In particular Darwin explained the origin of racial differences among members of the human species using sexual selection. In so doing he located wayward female desire as pivotal in reproducing such differences. Attention has focused on race in recent psychoanalytic criticism by scholars interested in situating the development of psycho-

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analysis within the context of nineteenth-century raciology and in view of more long-standing anti-Semitic discourses. In AustroGerman medicine and science, as in the immediate sociopolitical milieu of Freud’s Vienna, race invariably called up the constellation Aryan/Jew. The 1890s, when Freud began to publish, witnessed the final death blows to midcentury liberalism and formalized Jewish integration into the state. Social cleavages ran deep and were marked by Czech movements for Bohemian autonomy, Catholic loyalty to Rome, the rise of Pan-Slavism, and the ascent of full-blown German nationalism. In 1894, the year the Dreyfus affair erupted in France, anti-Semites swept into the majority in Vienna’s municipal council. In 1897, Emperor Franz Josef confirmed as mayor of Vienna the rabid anti-Semite Karl Lueger, who had been refused entry into government twice before. Throughout the decade Vienna was wracked by anti-Semitic demonstrations and violence; boycotts of Jewish merchants were routine, Jewish students were attacked and driven from schools, Jews were ‘‘restricted’’ from public facilities, barred from teaching in primary grades, and only selectively allowed to attend and teach at higher schools and universities. Freud himself had difficulty securing an academic position. Historians characterize the last decades of the nineteenth century as the period in which discourses of anti-Semitism shifted from a culture-based articulation of racism targeted at eastern Jews to a decisively biological or essentialist articulation of racism targeted at all Jews—new immigrants and German Jews alike—who had come to be regarded not only as religious and cultural outsiders, but as a distinct and inferior race.2 This chapter explores Jewishness not as a reified racial identity but as a facet of the larger racial formation that Freud worked within and against. It suggests that the most compelling route into a discussion of race and psychoanalysis is through examination of the race/reproduction bind out of which psychoanalysis was built. Its aim is twofold: to explore the complex intertwining of race and reproduction in Darwinian theory and to demonstrate how a generalized version of this discursive nexus became foundational, the condition of possibility for elaboration of the modern science of the mind. Before I proceed with an analysis of Freud’s work, I take a short tour through Darwin’s. Although the juxtaposition of these two thinkers is seldom pursued as an analytical strategy, when Freud’s and Darwin’s formulations are placed into dialogue, it be146

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comes evident that Darwinian ideas about wayward reproduction and race spill into Freud’s work, especially in Freud’s early figuration of the hysteric. In Darwin’s theory of sexual selection, reproductive sexuality is racialized and racial difference sexualized. Freud, a scientist attempting to universalize his study of the psyche and legitimate its claims, managed to harness this potent conjunction for his own scientific purposes. For, as we shall see, several of Freud’s key texts implicitly rework Darwinian ideas about racialized reproduction in the interest of constructing an antiracism founded upon the appropriation, transformation, and subsequent universalization of an array of pervasive anti-Semitic stereotypes about wayward Jewish reproductivity. Reproductive Insurrection and the Origin of ‘‘Race’’ among Species

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In the introduction to The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection; or, The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life (1859), Darwin intimates that his book, ostensibly focused on animal and plant evolution, will also shed ‘‘light on man and his origins.’’ 3 The outrage provoked by Darwin’s opus grew in response to the challenge it posed to Judeo-Christian beliefs in divine creation and the place of human beings in nature.4 It was, however, Darwin’s second major contribution, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871), that provided the promised evidence that ‘‘there can hardly be a doubt that we [humans beings] are descended from barbarians,’’ by way of ‘‘some lowly-organized form.’’ 5 In Descent Darwin explicitly elaborates his theory of human evolution and hypothesizes the sexual mechanism of racial differentiation among human beings.6 As the title of his second tome announces, in addition to evolution proper it is concerned with selection in relation to sex. Throughout Descent, Darwin draws on vast reserves of evidence from the animal kingdom, concentrating on the plumage, mating rituals, and coloration of various species of birds. In the two penultimate chapters, he moves from a discussion of species differences among animals to that of differences among the socalled races of man. Here, theories of evolution elaborated in the first part of the book and the theory of sexual selection focused on in the second combine to account for physical variations among Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 147

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human beings that are racial in character. By the end of Descent Darwin has arrived at two conclusions. The first is recognizable as standard evolutionary argument: ‘‘all races agree in so many unimportant details of structure and in so many mental peculiarities,’’ he writes, ‘‘that these can be accounted for only through inheritance from a common progenitor; and a progenitor thus characterized would probably have deserved to rank as man’’ (2:388). The second conclusion is less well known: the evidence, Darwin attests, shows us ‘‘that the races of man differ from each other and from their nearest allies amongst the lower animals, in certain characters which are of no service to them in their ordinary habits of life, and which it is extremely probable would have been modified [not through natural selection but rather] through sexual selection’’ (2:384). As Darwin sought to account for the differences among human beings that seemed most stark to him, he held fast to his belief in descent from a common progenitor. As he notes, it was only after human beings ‘‘attained the rank of manhood [that they] . . . diverged into distinct races, or as they may be more appropriately called sub-species’’ (2:388). And yet, although such statements imply that it is the second-order process of sexual selection, not the primary one of natural selection, that is responsible for (re)producing racial distinctions among humans beings, the theory of natural selection and that of sexual selection are actually collapsed within Descent’s pages. Descent is pervaded by a blending or intertwining of theories that often transposes Darwin’s monogenecist conclusion into a more dubious one about racial differentiation, a transposition aided by Darwin’s loose use, and consequent elision of, the category of ‘‘sub-species’’ and its replacement by the term ‘‘race’’ as it was understood in common rather than scientific usage. Because Darwin scholars ignore the significance of the race/ reproduction bind within Darwin’s work they are silent on the role of the female’s choice of mate in originating differences among ‘‘the races of man.’’ In the eyes of Darwin’s fellow scientists and historians of science alike, Descent is stigmatized by its association with sex, and it is thus tacitly agreed that all ‘‘serious’’ focus should be on Origin. Those feminists who have treated the sexual dimensions of the argument in Descent rarely acknowledge that Darwin was as preoccupied with race as with sex and in fact posited the 148

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inextricable connection between the two.7 In departing from treatments that keep sex and race analytically separate, this chapter reads Descent through the race/reproduction bind and engages not only the controversial argument about gender (as previous feminist scholars have) but also Darwin’s detailed narrative about the female’s role in the reproduction of racial differences. Darwin breaks the sexual selection mechanism that results in the production of differences such as coloration of skin, fur, and feathers, amount and distribution of plumage and body hair, shape, and size into two parts: ‘‘The sexual struggle is of two kinds; in the one it is between individuals of the same sex, generally the male sex, in order to drive away or kill the rivals, the females remaining passive; whilst in the other, the struggle is likewise between individuals of the same sex, in order to excite or charm those of the opposite sex, generally the females, which no longer remain passive but select the more agreeable partners’’ (398). Darwin dutifully notes anomalous cases but ultimately suggests that sexual selection involves male rivalry for females and female choice of males.8 Though the former idea was easily accepted by popular and scientific audiences—the vision of male animals battling each other for mates fitting nicely with Victorian notions of male strength, bravery, and virility (all the qualities that are displayed in such contests)—Darwin’s ideas about females as active selectors and thus as sexual agents stirred up multiple objections. For his fellow scientists, the idea of female choice was preposterous. As Darwin seemed to anticipate, ‘‘It is astonishing . . . that the females . . . should be endowed with sufficient taste for what has apparently been effected through sexual selection’’ (2:400). Alfred Russell Wallace, the naturalist with whom Darwin collaborated in developing the theory of evolution, broke with him over sexual selection. Going to great lengths to prove that the plumage of male birds had a function related to species’ survival, Wallace dismissed sexual selection as unnecessary since natural selection alone could explain the modifications in question.9 An additional objection to the theory of sexual selection was purveyed by Darwin’s wider intellectual cohort. Like the scientists, this audience found the theory irrational and anthropomorphic. As Marx wittily explained, Darwin appears to ‘‘recognize among beasts and plants, his English society.’’ 10 Echoing this jibe, Havelock Ellis obSexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 149

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served that Darwin ‘‘certainly injured his theory . . . by insisting on ‘choice,’ ‘preference,’ ‘aesthetic sense,’ ’’ among females. For in Ellis’s view there was ‘‘no need whatever to burden any statement of the actual facts by such terms borrowed from human psychology.’’ 11 It was not merely the transfer of ‘‘Victorian romanticism from boudoir to bush’’ 12 that touched a nerve among Darwin’s readers, but that Descent inadvertently underscored the commonality between the aggressive sexual behavior of women and female animals, birds, and bugs.13 The idea that the female of the human species, like that of other species, ‘‘no longer remains passive,’’ to quote Darwin, but becomes a reproductive agent endowed with sexual desire, deeply disturbed Victorian notions of proper bourgeois femininity and ideologies of separate spheres. Though Darwin never argued that sexual selection operated among the ‘‘civilized’’—namely, his Victorian readers—his argument elicited anxiety on all sides.14 If, on the one hand, the mechanism of sexual selection were not functioning among Victorians, then perhaps the ‘‘civilized’’ had ceased to ‘‘evolve.’’ If, on the other hand, human females had selected in some primeval past, what was to prevent them from returning to their unseemly, unfeminine ways? What was to stop Victorian women from snatching the agency of selection back from men, making improper sexual choices, and effectively bringing ‘‘civilization’’ down with them? 15 To fully comprehend Descent’s challenge, one need only examine the evidence Darwin offers about sexual selection among lower animals as he builds up to his arguments about selection among human beings. In the four long central chapters of Descent, Darwin explains the differences between males and females of a number of species, demonstrating that males are generally more colorful and highly ornamented than females because this is how they compete for mates. By contrast, females possess what is variously described as ‘‘a sense of beauty’’ or ‘‘an appreciation for novelty’’ that leads them to select the most excessively and/or pleasingly adorned males. Brushing off anticipated protest, Darwin insists that it is impossible that ‘‘male birds of paradise or Peacocks . . . should take such pains in erecting, spreading, and vibrating their beautiful plumes before the females for no purpose’’ (400). The male peacock’s tail feathers—perhaps Darwin’s favorite and most famous example—are not useless extravagances but indispensable adornments used for attracting fertile females, who pass these fine 150

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plumes on to their male offspring and perpetuate their mate’s signature trait. Throughout Descent, as in much of the criticism on it, the peacock serves as a model for Darwin’s arguments about males of all sexually dimorphic species, insects and mammals alike. In discussing these cases, Darwin produces evidence from correspondence with breeders, farmers, and naturalists and presents a number of memorable accounts: female salmon selecting to spawn with males whose intermaxillary bones are the most highly developed (2:4); female orangutans selecting mates with the longest beards; female monkeys choosing mates with the most resplendent tufts, crests, or mantles of hair (1:312–13); and female antelopes selecting males with the most dramatically curved and lyrated horns (1:254). Although Darwin intersperses his narrative with evidence about animals observed in the wild, the pairings of mammals and birds observed by professional breeders compel him the most, as it is within these firsthand accounts that the sexual dynamic so pivotal to his argument about human racial differentiation repeatedly emerges. Darwin’s informants not only tend to corroborate his ideas about female choice; they also suggest that some females extend their purview, selecting not just the most pleasing members of their own species but so-called novel mates belonging to other subspecies as well. In a chapter on pairing preferences among mammals, for instance, Darwin quotes Mr. Mayhew, a breeder of smaller dogs: The females are able to bestow their affections; and tender recollections are as potent over them as they are known to be in other cases, where higher animals are concerned. Bitches are not always prudent in their loves, but are apt to fling themselves away on curs of low degree. If reared with a companion of vulgar appearance, there often springs up between the pair a devotion which no time can afterwards subdue. The passion, for such it really is, becomes of a more than romantic endurance. (2:270)

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To support Mayhew’s testimony about ‘‘bitches’’ swept away by inappropriate passions, Darwin offers evidence from ‘‘the well known veterinary Blaine,’’ who affirms that his ‘‘own female pug became so attached to a spaniel, and a female setter to a cur, that in neither case would they pair with dogs of their own breed’’ (2:271). Further buttressing these stories, Darwin adds that he Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 151

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knows of ‘‘two similar and trustworthy accounts’’ of female retrievers and spaniels that likewise ‘‘became enamored with terrier dogs’’ (2:271). In these and other instances Darwin aims to establish female choice as the motor of selection. Yet these examples also suggest that the females in question are not solely interested in adorned males of their own kind but also in differently decorated members of other subspecies, breeds, and varieties. In the first example, the ‘‘pure-bred’’ female prefers the ‘‘lower’’ mutt of ‘‘vulgar appearance’’; in the second, she strays further afield and prefers a ‘‘cur’’; while, in all the other instances, she audaciously makes not only a ‘‘bad’’ but a markedly inappropriate choice of mate who is cast as an outsider. In short, Darwin’s evidence for sexual selection among dogs suggests that the female of the species is ‘‘downwardly mobile,’’ her reproductive desire decidedly wayward. Darwin reiterates this argument with dramatic force in his chapter on birds. In a section entitled ‘‘Preferences for particular males by females,’’ he again cites the numerous observations of fellow breeders to provide an account of domesticated birds belonging to distinct species, who, despite living among members of their own kind, select mates of another: Waterton states that out of a flock of twenty-three Canada geese, a female paired with a solitary Bernicle gander, although so different in appearance. . . . Lloyd describes the remarkable attachment between a shield drake and a common duck. . . . Many additional instances could be given. . . . [T]he Rev. W. D. Fox informs me that he possessed at the same time a pair of Chinese geese . . . and a common gander with three geese. The two lots kept quite separate, until the Chinese gander seduced one of the common geese to live with him. Moreover, of the young birds hatched from the eggs of the common geese, only four were pure, the other eighteen proving hybrids; so that the Chinese gander seems to have had proponent charms over the common gander. (2:114)

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In these examples and others, the power of the foreign male’s ornament is so great that ‘‘common’’ females select for the unusual male’s ‘‘proponent charms.’’ Although Darwin excuses, when necessary, his own anthropomorphic tendencies, it is difficult to miss the racial overtones and subtle reversals of power that pervade such descriptions. The last, especially orientalist, example is in152

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structive. In this account of the coupling of a so-called Chinese gander and common goose, Darwin presents an alien male as the seducer of a ‘‘native’’ female. Here sexual selection is based on female choice, but in a manner that foregrounds the orientalized gander’s seemingly illicit seduction of the goose, thus attributing agency not only to the female but also to the male. Several pages later, Darwin offers a second similar case. Again, it is an orientalized male, a ‘‘Shanghai cock,’’ who is said to have subdued a ‘‘quarrelsome hen’’ (2:118). In both instances, a reversal of power characterizes the selection, indicating that agency has been somehow inappropriately or uncomfortably attributed. Apparently there is an aporia in Darwin’s text. The female, in the theory of sexual selection, is made a subject and the male an object. And yet so inadmissible is such a reorganization of gendered reproductive agency that it produces a conceptual crisis indicated by an absence or silence in the narrative. The oriental male becomes the seducer, the elicitor of native female choice, because what apparently had to be kept from view was female desire for another, in a context in which the expression of such a transgressive whim was inadmissible. The conclusion Darwin draws from his various bird stories gives away his narrative’s racial subtext. He explains that according to the Rev. E. S. Dixon: ‘‘Those who have kept many different species . . . together, well know the unaccountable attachments they are frequently forming, and that they are quite as likely to pair . . . with individuals of a race (species) apparently the most alien to themselves as with their own stock’’ (2:114, emphasis added). Once again slipping from an account of sexual relations among members of different ‘‘subspecies’’ to relations among separate ‘‘species,’’ here the popular language of ‘‘race’’ becomes interchangeable with that of ‘‘species.’’ Consequently, the ideological weight of the formulation becomes transparent: members of different ‘‘races’’ will mingle and mix; and when they do, it is best not to attribute the initiation of such illicit interracial crossings to females. And yet, one is left asking, what precisely is so destabilizing about female sexual selection across the purported ‘‘race (species)’’ divide that female sexual agency must be portrayed as coerced? Darwin answers this question in the chapters of Descent in which he draws upon his animal examples to analyze the origin of ‘‘secondary sexual characteristics in man’’—a discussion Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 153

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that rapidly becomes one about the origin of differences among ‘‘the races of man.’’ 16 Having climbed several rungs farther up the evolutionary ladder (in a problematic manner that has been roundly criticized by others), Darwin shuttles effortlessly from bugs, birds, monkeys, and apes to ‘‘savages,’’ those living representatives of European prehistory whom he apodictically invokes to segue between his discussion of ‘‘civilized’’ human beings and their thumbless forebears.17 Unlike his previous examples, culled from personal observation and correspondence with farmers, breeders, and naturalists, the evidence for sexual selection among ‘‘semicivilized and savage nations’’ (2:338) is drawn from travel writings and available ethnographic texts. Darwin sifts through these to document that ‘‘savage’’ males, like male birds, are elaborately adorned, ‘‘everywhere deck[ing] themselves with plumes, necklaces, amulets, earrings, [tattoos] & c’’ (2:339); and that female ‘‘savages,’’ like female birds, are especially drawn to these highly ornamented males. As among the lower animals, among ‘‘savages,’’ females persist as agents of sexual selection. Darwin’s account of the origin of differences among ‘‘the races of man’’ depends on a shift from his discussion of canine and bird preference for ornament to ‘‘savage’’ preference for the particular bodily ornament of ‘‘dark skin.’’ To finesse this move Darwin relies on two additional assumptions: that propounded since the eighteenth century by naturalists such as Blumenbach, that human beings were originally light in color and that darker skin was at some primeval moment a novelty; and, that darker skin, like the exotic plumage of the drake, lured native (read ‘‘white’’ or ‘‘light-skinned’’) females away from more appropriate object choices.18 Elaborating, Darwin observes that among ‘‘mankind the differences between the sexes are greater than in most species of Quadramana’’ (2:316), and it is ‘‘savages’’ who are most acutely aware of these differences, as evidenced by the great ‘‘attention [they pay] to their personal appearance’’ and the enjoyment they take in ornament (2:325).19 In a chapter section entitled ‘‘On the influence of beauty in determining the marriages of mankind,’’ Darwin casts his discussion in euphemistic terms (‘‘marriage’’ is substituted for sexual selection, for example) and argues that his ‘‘study of the habits of semi-civilized and savage nations’’ lead him to conclude that in some earlier (though unspecified) era ‘‘savage’’ women exercised choice much as do nonhuman animals such as geese and dogs. Darwin specifies, ‘‘Clothes were . . . first made 154

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for ornament and not for warmth,’’ 20 as evidenced by ‘‘primitive’’ habits of dress and bodily adornment such as painting and dying of skin, hair, nails, and teeth as well as tattooing and scarification;21 and it is females that select for these attributes. Invoking the now familiar gender division that constitutes the sexual selection process, Darwin explains: Men paint their bodies to make themselves appear terrible in battle; certain mutilations are connected with religious rites; or they mark the age of puberty, or the rank of the man, or they serve to distinguish the tribes. . . . [T]he same fashions prevail for long periods, mutilations, from whatever cause first made soon come to be valued as distinctive marks. But selfadornment, vanity, and the admiration of others seem to be the commonest motives. . . . [Indeed,] in most . . . parts of the world, the men are more highly ornamented than the women . . . [who are] hardly ornamented at all. (2:342–43)

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As in his previous discussion of animals, in his discussion of human beings Darwin conscientiously enumerates anomalous cases. And yet he concludes that, as among other animals, among human beings, adornment is principally a male propensity, and aesthetic appreciation of decoration and difference is a female trait that has shaped the physical character of entire populations.22 Racial diversity in all probability resulted from sexual selection, he affirms: ‘‘Characters proper to the males of lower animals, such as bright colours and various ornaments, have been acquired by the more attractive males having been preferred by females’’ (2:371). This is especially true among ‘‘utterly barbarous tribes’’ where as a rule women have ‘‘power in choosing, rejecting, and tempting their lovers, or afterwards changing their husbands’’ (2:372).23 Darwin’s discussion of sexual selection among ‘‘the races of man’’ concludes with a section entitled ‘‘Colour of skin,’’ in which the stakes of the argument become transparent. Although ‘‘the best kind of evidence that the colour of the skin has been modified through sexual selection is wanting in the case of mankind,’’ Darwin concedes, we ‘‘know from many facts already given that the colour of skin is regarded by the men of all races as a highly important element of their beauty; so that it is a character which would be likely to be modified through selection, as has occurred in innumerable instances with the lower animals.’’ Anticipating an outraged response he boldly concludes: Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 155

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It [may] seem at first sight a monstrous supposition that the jet blackness of the Negro has been gained through sexual selection . . . [but] this view is supported by various analogies, and we know that Negroes admire their own blackness. With mammals, when the sexes differ in colour, the male is often black or much darker than the female; and it depends merely on the form of inheritance whether this or an other tint shall be transmitted to both sexes or to one alone. The resemblance of Pithecia satanas [a small tree monkey] with his jet black skin, white rolling eyeballs, and hair parted on the top of the head to a Negro in miniature, is almost ludicrous. (2:381–82) Ultimately Darwin distills a highly racist theory of racial formation in which female reproductive agency produces aesthetic differences visible to the observer as racial in character. In fact, he elaborates the familiar racist foundations of theories of female reproductive agency, including those put forth by thinkers such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman. As he affirms, ‘‘For my own part, I conclude that of all the causes which have led to the differences in external appearance between the races of man . . . [female] sexual selection has been by far the most efficient’’ (2:384). By the end of Descent Darwin collapses the distinctions among ‘‘species,’’ ‘‘subspecies,’’ and ‘‘races,’’ and effortlessly shifts from a theory of sexual dimorphism within species to a discussion of profound ‘‘racial’’ differences among them.24 As he explains, ‘‘Preferences on the part of the women, steadily acting in any one direction, would ultimately affect the character of the tribe’’ (2:374), and if we are to ‘‘suppose [that] the members of a tribe . . . spread over an unoccupied continent,’’ then we can imagine that tribes would ‘‘soon split up into distinct hordes, which would be separated from each other by various barriers’’ that would in turn still ‘‘more effectually’’ produce distinctions among them (2:370). As among birds, bugs, and monkeys, among human beings female desire for wayward reproduction constitutes the motor of processes of differentiation. The theory of sexual selection renders human females responsible for human racial diversity. Intuiting the ramifications of his argument, Darwin ends Descent by assuaging anxiety with eugenic prescription: ‘‘[Though] man scans with scrupulous care the character and pedigree of his horses, cattle, and dogs before he matches them; . . . when he comes to his own marriage he rarely, or never, takes any such 156

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care.’’ To amend the potentially damaging consequences of reproductive misalliance, he continues, ‘‘both sexes ought to refrain from marriage if in any marked degree inferior in body or mind’’ (403). As this prescription (which both cites and anticipates the development of the eugenic discourse popularized by Darwin’s nephew, Sir Francis Galton, and the preeminent social Darwinist Herbert Spencer) indicates, without proper supervision, human beings will revert to their old ways, devolving into a ‘‘savage’’ state in which Victorian women would emerge as reproductive agents whose inappropriate desires would culminate not only in their own degeneration but in ‘‘civilization’s’’ decline.25 These controversial ideas were not easily dismissed. Rather, they circulated so widely in Europe and the United States in the last decades of the nineteenth century that it is difficult to imagine that the theory of sexual selection was soon to be deemed invalid. In Germany, for example, the social theorist and architectural pioneer Adolf Loos explored the linkages among ‘‘savagery’’ and ornamentation. In ‘‘Ornament and Crime,’’ he followed Darwin closely, equating excessive ornamentation with ‘‘savagery,’’ and in turn feminizing preference for bodily adornment. Loos argued that a culture’s level of ‘‘civilization’’ and ‘‘degeneracy’’ could be gleaned from a study of the populace’s proclivity for ornamentation. Criminality, a state of complete degeneration, is a function of excessive ornament. The criminal, like the ‘‘savage,’’ is tattooed, and it is these ‘‘stragglers [stuck in a state of arrested development who] slow down the cultural progress of nations. . . . [F]or ornament is not only produced by criminals; it itself commits a crime, by damaging men’s health, the national economy and cultural development.’’ 26 In contrast to his condemnation of the ‘‘savage’’ who ornaments his body to attract females, Loos commends ‘‘modern man . . . [whose] individuality is so strong that he does not need to express it any longer by clothing’’ (231). In the United States Thorstein Veblen and Charlotte Perkins Gilman also explored the connection between ornament and barbarism, but to a different end. Instead of celebrating American culture as ‘‘modern,’’ ‘‘civilized,’’ and thus free from excessive ornament, they lamented women’s ornate attire as the principal index of national ‘‘barbarism.’’ In ‘‘The Economic Theory of Women’s Dress,’’ as well as in sections of The Theory of the Leisure Class, Veblen claimed that women’s sartorial display was a sign of ‘‘civiliSexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 157

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zation’’ in decline. Although, as he notes, bodily adornment suits the purposes of the leisure class by advertising its wealth and status, women’s dress visibly manifests the degeneration that characterizes American capitalism and the culture of consumption more generally.27 Similarly, in ‘‘The Dress of Women’’ Gilman argued that ‘‘cloth is a social tissue,’’ a ‘‘social skin,’’ a medium that expresses American women’s arrested development. Whereas modern men’s functional clothing indicates their evolutionary advance, women’s overly ornate, functionless garb reveals their recourse to ‘‘savagery.’’ In contrast to the mannish garments worn by Herlanders, American women’s clothes, Gilman protested, are grossly feminine; for, in America (as opposed to Herland) women are the selected rather than the selectors.28 From this perspective Gilman’s portrait of Herlanders can be read as a direct redress of a sexual selection process that in her view had been inverted. In Herland women reclaim their role as reproductive agents and either reproduce without men or select only those able to improve the national stock. Curiously, despite the careful documentation of contestation, transformation, and reappropriation of the theory of sexual selection in the work of Veblen, Loos, Gilman, and other nineteenthcentury writers and social critics, ranging from William Dean Howells to George Eliot, the impact of the theory of sexual selection on Freud, whose life overlapped with Darwin’s for nearly twenty-six years, has been unexplored.29 In fact, although scholars routinely acknowledge that Freud owned a copy of Descent and counted it as one of the ‘‘ten most significant books ever written,’’ Descent has not been regarded as important to Freud’s views on race and reproduction.30 This situation has resulted in part from a too-literal understanding of intellectual influence and in part because the Darwinian legacy has been construed too broadly. All too often only those few works by Darwin that Freud cites directly are examined, while commonalities between Freud and Darwin are too sweepingly cast to compass the two thinkers’ shared ideas about the specific issues of race and reproduction. In one of the two book-length studies on Darwin and Freud, Lucille Ritvo meticulously documents Freud’s twenty-eight textual references to Darwin.31 Although she establishes the extent to which Freud drew upon Darwin’s ideas about the ‘‘primal horde’’ and ontogeny’s recapitulation of phylogeny, she does not treat sexual selection. By contrast, Frank Sulloway creates a general picture of Freud 158

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as a ‘‘crypto-biologist’’ invested in biological, empirical truths about the psyche. Bolstering Ernest Jones’s assessment that Freud was ‘‘the Darwin of the mind,’’ Sulloway demonstrates Freud’s incorporation of Darwin’s stress on instinctual sexual action and on the nonrational in human sexual behavior.32 In contrast to these approaches, the remainder of this chapter suggests that ideas about race and reproduction that Darwin grappled with in elaborating the theory of sexual selection were of central concern to Freud. And although it is impossible to document explicit references to sexual selection in Freud’s writings, it is possible to examine psychoanalysis’s engagement with Darwinian ideas about race and sexual agency by focusing on Freud’s repeated attempts to theorize wayward reproductive desire as a racializing force. By locating what is overt in Darwin as a chain of displacements that is also evident in the rhetoricity of Freud’s texts—that is, by moving away from arguments about conscious authorial intent—it becomes possible to render discursive convergence. For both Darwin and Freud reproductive agency and sexual desire were invariably racializing while, in the anti-Semitic context in which Freud wrote, wayward female passions and reproductions were specifically stereotyped as Jewish in character. Hysteria’s Genealogy

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Most discussions of psychoanalysis begin with the assertion that Freud’s contribution to modernity was the discovery of the unconscious and the attendant realization that the cure for psychic disorders lay in remembering and working through repressed psychic content.33 One aspect of this well-worn formula bears highlighting: it was through study of and dialogue with female hysterics that Freud first conceptualized his ideas. Because of hysteria’s centrality to what is instructively referred to as ‘‘the birth’’ of the psychoanalytic theory of the unconscious, of the cathartic method of uncovering its contents and alleviating its distress, and of the sexual nature of psychic trauma, the pages that follow focus on several of Freud’s key writings on hysterics. Conveniently, but not coincidentally, in one of the earliest of these, ‘‘The Aetiology of Hysteria’’ (1896), Freud charts this pathology’s causation as genealogical—literally and metaphorically—and thus, as explained in chapter 1, as necessarily reproductive and racial.34 Taking as his starting point Josef Breuer’s ‘‘momentous disSexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 159

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covery . . . that the symptoms of hysteria are determined by certain experiences of the patient’s which have operated in a traumatic fashion’’ and are then reproduced in psychical life in the form of symbols, Freud points out that interpretation of symptom (read symbol) formation is nonetheless exceedingly arduous (192). It would be greatly advantageous to the analyst to possess a method of arriving at the etiology of hysteria comparable to those available in other medical fields. Unlike the dermatologist, who can ‘‘recognize a sore as luetic from the character of its margins, of the crust on it and of its shape, without being misled by the protestations of his patient’’ (191–92), the psychoanalyst cannot uncover the cause of a hysteric’s symptoms based on the form of their manifestation.35 Emphasizing the sexual charge of his example, Freud adds that where the dermatologist can confront a patient infected with syphilis with his own and/or his sexual partner’s illicit sexual actions, psychoanalysts rarely identify direct causal links between symptoms and sources, let alone incontrovertibly sexual ones. In general Freud finds that the explanations that hysterics give for their symptoms fail to satisfy two crucial conditions: either they are unsuitable in terms of experiential content, or they lack sufficient traumatic force. When a hysteric claims that vomiting arose from a fright, such as a railway accident, Freud explains that this derivation of the feeling of disgust is plainly inadequate.36 Likewise, if the vomiting is thought by the hysteric to be caused by eating rotten fruit, the analyst is again thwarted; such an experience lacks suitable traumatic force. In contrast to the ease and certainty with which the sexual activities of the syphilitic patient can be presented as the source of disease, the sexual trauma that lies at the origin of hysteria is deeply buried. As Freud observes, more often than not an analyst treating a hysteric is left ‘‘in the lurch,’’ confronted with a barrage of innocuous or unrelated information that needs not only ordering but also sexualization (194). Here Freud reveals that he is obliged to abandon the examples with which he has been working. The explanation for the type of symptom formation toward which he is gesturing is elusive—the vomiting patients are, after all, fictions whom he has constructed. To convey the etiology of hysteria’s complexity without giving an account of an entire course of treatment—recounting a case study in detail, a project too time-consuming for his present theoretical purposes—Freud introduces a metaphor: the figure of genealogy. As he notes, it becomes possible to locate the sexual origins 160

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of hysterical symptoms when the path that leads to a trauma is pursued further back, to a scene prior to the one offered by the hysteric, and then to another prior to that, and so on. For each scene conceals a memory of another, behind which there is yet another scene.37 Giving this idea richer form, Freud continues, ‘‘The chain of associations always has more than two links; and the traumatic scenes do not form a simple row, like a string of pearls, but ramify and are interconnected like genealogical trees, so that in any new experience two or more earlier ones come into operation as memories’’ (196–97, emphasis added).38 As if to ensure the prominence of the genealogical metaphor, its descriptive capabilities and content, Freud adds, ‘‘If—as I believe—this proposition holds good without exception, . . . [then it] shows us the basis on which [the entire] . . . psychological theory of hysteria must be built’’ (197). At the very moment that the genealogical metaphor appears in Freud’s text it becomes both the theoretical description of and the solution to the question of hysteria’s etiology. Freud does not discard the genealogical metaphor after first use but twice returns to extend and complicate it. In the second instance Freud invokes genealogy to explain that the vast majority of hysterical cases present several symptoms, not just one, and that if each is traced back to its origin, experiences ‘‘which are linked together,’’ rather than a single traumatic event, emerge as the cause of somatization. Writing as if he has just discovered the metaphor’s utility anew, Freud declares: ‘‘Indeed, a comparison with the genealogical tree of a family whose members have also intermarried, is not at all a bad one’’ (198, my emphasis). Mobilizing the genealogical metaphor a third and last time, Freud avers, ‘‘If analysis is carried further, new complications arise. The associate chains belonging to the different symptoms begin to enter into relation with one another; [and] the genealogical trees become intertwined’’ (198, emphasis added). Having begun with a figure that suggested the complexity of the branch system of a single tree, Freud shifts to an image of a tree whose limbs are intricately interconnected, and then finally to that of two or more trees whose individual trunks have become indistinguishably ‘‘intertwined’’ from the vantage point of Freud, the observer, who presumably stands on the ground and casts his gaze upward into the canopy of leaves. In view of the racial and reproductive significance of the idea of genealogy in nineteenth-century thought, several questions are begged by Freud’s choice and persistent development of the geneSexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 161

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alogical metaphor. How can we account for Freud’s election of it? How does it transform his text? How does it become indispensable to the elaboration of his ideas? How does this metaphor, rather than another, effectively introduce and imbricate the racial and reproductive elements, the Darwinian elements, that saturate psychoanalytic theory? Initially Freud elects the genealogical metaphor because the array of associated recollections with which the hysteric explains the exhibited symptom are as difficult to trace as a family’s pedigree, as the complex lines of descent metaphorized as infinitely branching structures. Behind every possible traumatic scene lies another in need of investigation. Like the hysteric’s symptoms, which lack a readily discernible etiology, the pedigree of the individual hailing from a family with a complex genealogy is nearly impossible to discover. When the genealogical metaphor is examined more closely, however, the arboreal image gives way to that of a written record, a figure with yet another set of resonances. For it is the interpersonal ‘‘traumatic experiences’’ of a sexual nature after which Freud chases, as it is these that he hopes to locate as the universal etiology of hysteria and to situate (quite literally) as rendering genealogy complex, disorganized, difficult to apprehend. By the third time Freud invokes the genealogical metaphor, it is denuded of its arboreal aspect. The tree metaphor breaks down under the pressure of the unconvincing image of multiple trunks and emerges instead as an archive comprised of barely legible, crumbling documents. These are the familiar parchments upon which a family’s lineage is transcribed for posterity. They are also the documents that present readers, as Foucault reminds us, not with a simple and clear script, but with a jumble of hard-to-read scribblings that have been scratched over and recopied many times.39 As with the corrupted genealogies that Kate Chopin allegorized, and the infinitely expanding concentric circles that comprised individual descent in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s writings, Freud’s genealogical metaphor renders a ‘‘pure’’ origin virtually untraceable. And yet there is an important distinction among these cases. For Freud mobilizes a different type of genealogical disturbance than that prioritized by Chopin and Gilman; in Freud’s text genealogical confusion is catalyzed by sexual alliances among members of already interconnected families, or, as he expressly maintains, among the members of genealogical trees representing families who have already ‘‘intermarried’’ and ‘‘intertwined.’’ In 162

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short, Freud is writing not about ‘‘interracial’’ sex, or what in the U.S. context was often referred to as ‘‘miscegenation,’’ but about incest. In German the incestuous coding of genealogical chaos is evident in Freud’s word choices.40 The term rendered as ‘‘genealogical tree’’ by Freud’s principal English translator James Strachey is given by Freud as Stammbaum einer Familie. Although Stamm can simply mean trunk, it also means tribe (as in der Stamm Davids), and more specifically, as in the language of Darwinism, phylogenetic tree. A Volkstamm is literally a ‘‘folk tree trunk,’’ and more commonly a nation, people, folk, tribe, or race; while an expression such as aus einem alten Geschlecht stammen means to be descended from an ancient lineage (the verb, stammen, to descend). In high German a Liutstam is literally a ‘‘people tree’’ or lineage. A Stammtafel is a genealogical table, and a Familienstammbuch, a genealogical album, or family album that records births, deaths, and marriages.41 Significantly, the word Stamm is also linguistically self-reflexive: it is commonly used to designate the linguistic stem or root of a word. When Freud writes of individual ‘‘links’’ in a chain, as he does in the first and second invocations of the genealogical metaphor, the German word that has been translated as ‘‘link’’ is inscribed, like Stamm, within an overdetermined racial and sexual discursive field. Glied can mean link, section, or part but also translates as member (of a family or group), and euphemistically, as in English, as penis. The third time Freud invokes the genealogical metaphor, these multiple sexual and racial meanings are pronounced. He writes ‘‘die Stammbäume verflechten sich.’’ In using the reflexive form of the verb Freud suggests that the members of the Stamm—people, tribe, or race—have come into a type of relation with one another that is explicitly endogamous or incestuous. Even if Freud’s first use of the genealogical metaphor implies that the analyst (as archivist) is thrown off the trail by exogamous reproductive transgressions that occur among members of distinct families, tribes, or racial groups, the second time Freud invokes his genealogical metaphor he is clearly concerned with those wayward sexual encounters that have transpired among members of the same family, tribe, or race. Freud is writing about the genealogy of an endogamous community, a group characterized by ‘‘intertwined’’ genealogical trees (note the plural), and it is the sexual life of this intermingled, tangled, endogamous community Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 163

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alone that he imagines as the best metaphor for the etiology of hysteria. For readers familiar with Studies in Hysteria, a text to which I turn shortly, it will be evident that the genealogical metaphor used in ‘‘The Aetiology of Hysteria’’ is uncanny in the precise, psychoanalytic sense of the word. It is simultaneously familiar (heimlich) and unfamiliar (unheimlich), unsettling in its ambivalence.42 Insofar as genealogy functions as a concept metaphor, it establishes a necessary connection between the vehicle of the metaphor and the idea it conveys.43 This connection is obvious—already familiar, known, to the hysteric in an intimate sense—and at the same time unfamiliar, unknown to the hysteric and analyst alike, as it is the hidden secret that will be unearthed in the course of analysis. Put differently, the concept of corrupted genealogy is self-reflexive, simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar to itself in a primal fashion. The hysteric’s symptoms are not only interconnected, intertwined, and thus difficult to trace, but the analyst tracing these symptoms ‘‘infallibly come[s],’’ in the process of his researches ‘‘to the field of sexual experience’’ (199), especially to that of incest. In ‘‘Aetiology,’’ as in much of Freud’s work, the content and form of the analysis merge, the content actually coming to constitute the form, the demarche or forward movement of the text.44 For this reason, genealogical chaos is the best metaphor for the etiology of hysteria, because incest is the overdetermined cause of the symptoms treated in the psychoanalysis. When, at the end of ‘‘Aetiology,’’ Freud arrives at the conclusion that in all of the cases of hysteria on which his paper is based a traumatic sexual experience involving a sibling, parent, or relative is the catalyst of the patient’s neurosis, he presents information for which the genealogical metaphor has already prepared his readers. Incestuous genealogy emerges not only as the most apt metaphor for the etiology of hysteria but as the most readily identified cause of hysteria. Had Freud used his paper to present an entire case study—the option he rejects in favor of use of the genealogical metaphor—he would have arrived at the same conclusion to which he has come by other means: genealogical disturbance constitutes the etiology of the hysteria; the genealogical metaphor embodies the content of the analysis. Although Freud’s genealogical metaphors make his conclusions about the sexual nature of hysteria appear inevitable, it is imperative to note that assertion of the ‘‘universal validity’’ of his find164

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ings for all the psychoneuroses and all neurotic people would have been viewed as outrageous by the Austro-German medical and scientific establishment. Not only were Freud’s findings audaciously sexual, but incest, far from being regarded as a ‘‘universal’’ experience, was within the scientific and medical literature of the period invariably cast as a Jewish racial trait characteristic of a people who were thought to be mired in tribal exclusiveness. In particular, the ancient custom of levirate marriage (which obligates a man to marry the widow of his brother), and the pervasive practice of endogamy among Jews—so-called consanguineous coupling, or cousin marriages—were thought to render incest a ubiquitous practice that set Jews apart and led to the infinite reproduction of their racial pathology across the generations. In nineteenth-century European racial science endogamy, inbreeding, and incest were conflated and viewed as a composite mark of Jewish neurotic propensity.45 In Germany and Austria this conflation had a legal expression. By the late nineteenth century sexual contact between in-laws was seen as a violation of the law, and thus so-called inbreeding was viewed not only as the direct cause of Jewish mental pathology but as a racialized criminal act. In German legal and forensic literature Blutschande was the name given to the reported ‘‘pollution’’ of the ‘‘blood’’ that occurs when close relatives engage in sexual contact. Instructively, the term, which eventually gained popular usage and is now synonymous with incest in general, has a deep historical association with race and with ‘‘unnatural,’’ ‘‘degenerate,’’ Jewish reproductive practices and wayward sexual desires.46 Caught within this damaging logic Jews were viewed as degenerate because they cultivated marriage among themselves, and inbred because they were predisposed to mental illness, especially hysteria. As one scientist attested, ‘‘Being very neurotic, consanguineous marriages among Jews cannot but be detrimental to their progeny. . . . The Jewish population of [Warsaw] alone is almost exclusively the inexhaustible source for the supply of specimens of hysterical humanity, particularly the hysteria in the male, for all the clinics of Europe.’’ Otto Binswanger, the prominent psychiatrist, echoed this judgment: ‘‘Among the European races the Jews present the greatest number of cases of Neurasthenia.’’ Another member of the Viennese Psychoanalytic Society, meanwhile, pronounced this to be especially true of Eastern European Jews, since among Russians and Poles ‘‘almost every man is hysteriSexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 165

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cal.’’ In the standard medical textbook of the period, Richard von Krafft-Ebing announced the consensus: ‘‘under a veil of religious enthusiasm [Jews conceal an] abnormally intensified sensuality and sexual excitement that leads to sexual errors that are of etiologic significance.’’ 47 In the anti-Semitic idiom of the period Jewish refusal to marry out of the group was seen as signaling Jews as a pathological entity parasitically, even vampiristically living off of gentile society. In short, Jewish inbreeding was a form of sexual excess that enabled the corrupt economic hegemony of the Jews.48 Though Freud was immersed in this racist cacophony, as were all Jews, he was acutely aware of the pronouncements of Jean Martin Charcot, under whom he worked from 1885 to 1856 at the Salpêtrière in Paris. Charcot’s impact, as Freud admits, was profound: ‘‘No other human being has affected me in such a way,’’ he wrote to Martha Bernays, his fiancée.49 Freud took from Charcot his orientation to hysteria and his insistence that the disease be recognized as an object of scientific study for which laws of development, a uniform nosology, and a clear hierarchy of symptoms could be established. Following Charcot, Freud sought to claim hysteria as a legitimate condition with a hitherto hidden mechanism, not an imaginary disease vaguely associated with an unruly, wandering womb and malingering women.50 However, even as Freud celebrated Charcot’s neurobiological insights, his antiSemitism caused Freud consternation. Charcot, in his ‘‘Tuesday Lesson,’’ for instance, argued that ‘‘nervous illness of all types are innumerably more frequent among Jews than among other groups,’’ a statistic attributable to Jewish endogamy. In another famous case, Charcot diagnosed a Hungarian Jew known as Klein as a male hysteric, whose symptoms, limping and wandering, he designated as Jewish ailments. Along with his cohort, Charcot regarded hysteria as the degenerative neurosis to which inbred Jews, already predisposed to mental illness, were prone because of their biological predisposition and its perpetuation through their marriage practices.51 In their attempts to understand Freud’s response to antiSemitism, Freud scholars have cast psychoanalysis as a ‘‘reaction formation.’’ This approach—which tends to put Freud on the couch and to read his science as a symptom—suggests that Freud defended against the anti-Semitic idea that Jews are inherently pathological by demonstrating that neurosis is cultural rather than biological (read racial). In numerous articles and books Sander 166

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Gilman, the prolific historian of nineteenth-century medicine, has argued that Freud established psychoanalysis as a legitimate science by producing it as racially neutral and thus universally applicable. According to Gilman, Freud felt that scientists should be objective, free of what today is frequently regarded as a ‘‘standpoint epistemology,’’ and thus that Freud purged traces of his identity, his Jewishness, from his science to position psychoanalysis as a legitimate and objective practice with universal relevance to the treatment of all people, not just neurotic Jews.52 In subsequent work Gilman has incorporated an analysis of Freud’s reaction to the castigation of the eastern Jewish male as feminized and thus akin to the hysterical woman.53 Because anti-Semitism was articulated through sexism within European fin de siècle medical literature and scientific culture, Gilman argues, Freud felt it necessary to transmute race into gender such that ‘‘race was excised from Freud’s scientific writing and appeared only in his construction of gender’’ (37). Consequently, Gilman reads Freud’s theories of femininity as reactions to the feminization of Jewish men. Freud’s famous ‘‘Dark Continent’’ metaphor for female sexuality, for instance, is interpreted as a response to Jewish male emasculation and the racialization of Jews as black or African: ‘‘The language Freud used about the scientific unknowablity of the core of what makes a Jewish male a male Jew was parallel,’’ Gilman writes, ‘‘to that which he used concerning the essence of the feminine. . . . Freud translates the complicated, pejorative discourse about the dark Jew with its suggestion of disease and difference into a discourse about the blackness (the unknowability) of the woman’’ (37–38).54 In an oft-quoted passage Gilman equates the circumcised or ‘‘truncated’’ Jewish penis (his term) with the clitoris, revealing the salient fact that in Viennese slang the latter was known as the ‘‘Jew’’ ( Jud), and ‘‘playing with the Jew’’ was a widely used colloquialism for female masturbation (39).55 In response to Gilman’s work Ann Pellegrini has offered an important corrective. Gilman’s focus on gender as a stand-in for race, she argues, makes it impossible to account for Jewish women in the text of psychoanalysis. In identifying the mechanism whereby the Jewish woman gets lost in Freud’s work, Pellegrini suggests that Gilman has repeated the original gesture of erasure of which he accuses Freud: ‘‘The collapse of Jewish masculinity into an abject femininity displaces women . . . [for] in the homology JewSexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 167

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as-woman, the Jewish female body goes missing’’ (18). In calling Gilman out—in a manner reminiscent of the black feminist critiques of those black liberationists and white feminists who together wrote black women out of the picture—Pellegrini suggests that in Gilman’s work, as in Freud’s, all the Jews are men, and all the women Aryan. To make Jewish women visible as more than Jewish men in drag, Pellegrini restores them to Freud’s texts by refusing to go along with Freud when he deracinates his patients by providing them with pseudonyms and excises all references within their cases that would identify them as Jewish.56 While such scholarship recognizes ‘‘the Jewish woman’’ in the text of psychoanalysis (a project to which this chapter also contributes), it is worth noting that there is no substantive difference between the structure of Pellegrini’s and Gilman’s arguments, or for that matter between their work and that produced by other scholars who have made significant contributions to the new field often dubbed ‘‘cultural studies in Freud.’’ Indeed, in all such scholarship psychoanalysis is conceived of as a reaction formation, a flight from feminized Jewishness that shores up a deracinated, decisively heterosexual masculinity by relegating Jewish pathology to the neurotic (often hysterical) female body.57 Freud’s theoretical formulations were clearly shaped by the scientific and medical establishment’s views on Jewishness, gender, and disease, and yet there are, I believe, alternative interpretations of psychoanalysis’s engagement with anti-Semitism. As demonstrated in the readings that follow, rather than purging the new science of Jewishness, Freud’s texts actually bring the anti-Semitic milieu in which he worked into view. Through invocation of the genealogical metaphor in ‘‘Aetiology,’’ for example, rather than erasing Jewishness, Freud subtly invokes it. In using—even relying upon—the genealogical metaphor, the rhetorical structure of Freud’s text winds up implicitly centering anti-Semitic ideas about inbred Jews and binding them to racially marked ideas about incestuous reproduction. Far from cleansing his theory of a Jewish taint, as others have argued, Freud rendered racially marked reproductive metaphors central. Rather than creating psychoanalysis as a universal science by purging it of Jewishness, Freud incorporated racialized discourse to new ends and built universal claims out of Jewish particularisms. And unless we wish to psychoanalyze Freud, in the end it matters little whether the Jewishness that pervades Freud’s texts was intentional or unintentional, conscious or 168

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unconscious, for the effect of its presence remains the same. What is significant about the anti-Semitic ideas about Jewishness that saturated the context in which Freud worked, and thus his writings, is precisely the textual energy that was derived from them and the rhetorical power they allowed Freud to generate and to marshal. In mobilizing the genealogical metaphor, a reproductive metaphor that is coded as Jewish and that codes Jewishness, the ‘‘universal validity’’ of Freud’s claims about the sexual nature of the etiology of neurosis became intelligible from the singular vantage point of a racial stereotype, or a stereotyped particularism. Rather than installing an Aryan definition of psychic normativity in an effort to make his science palatable, Freud engaged anti-Semitism, rescripting this particular form of racism. In reappropriating a discourse on Jewishness and wayward reproduction, harnessing it, gaining control over it, Freud (consciously or not) managed to render the aspect of anti-Semitism by which he was assaulted productive rather than destructive of ‘‘genuine’’ science. In Freud’s hands Jewish sexual selections were invariably racializing and simultaneously, if paradoxically, universalizing. Although psychoanalytic theory has from the outset aspired to universal applicability, as Gilman and others have so eloquently argued, it is possible to arrive at a reading of psychoanalysis as a universal theory by turning the dominant line of argumentation on its head. In his discussion of one of Freud’s earliest essays, Gilman offers an example that illustrates the inversion of the dominant interpretative trend that reading for a paradoxically universalized Jewish particularism enables. In ‘‘Heredity and the Aetiology of the Neuroses’’ (1896), Gilman argues that Freud sought to dislodge hereditary explanations of pathology by advancing strictly psychological ones. For instance, Freud interpreted ‘‘a pair of neurotic patients’’ from the same family, whom Charcot would have regarded as possessing a shared hereditary predisposition to illness, as instead incestuously involved. Quoting Freud directly Gilman concludes: a pair of ‘‘little lovers in their earliest childhood—the man suffering from obsessions and the woman from hysteria,’’ may be mistakenly interpreted as ‘‘related by nervous heredity.’’ 58 Although, as Gilman suggests, this passage can be read as evidence of Freud’s refusal of hereditary and thus of Jewish neurosis, the inverse is also possible. For these same siblings appear again a month later in ‘‘Aetiology’’; the second time they are figured through the lens of Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 169

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the already familiar genealogical metaphor that structures the later text.59 They are the progeny of intertwined family trees whose incestuous relationship is marked as Jewish, and whose Jewishness renders the sexual etiology of hysteria a universalizable, globally powerful scientific tool. In reworking the category of universality, Freud—intentionally or not—cast psychoanalysis as a Jewish (read racially marked) science. Indeed, the connection between racial particularity and hysteria emerges as part and parcel of Freud’s understanding of neurosis—as the means through which his theory about it paradoxically asserts a claim to universal scientific truth. From this alternative perspective, ‘‘Aetiology’’ offers an account of racialized endogamous sexual selection among Jews that builds upon Darwinian ideas of sexual selection as a racializing force even as it reassesses the relationship between race and sex. For to be useful to the new science, race and sex are inextricably joined in such a way that it becomes difficult to determine whether the trauma that produces neurotic symptoms is sexual or racial; one can claim only that it is both in origin and expression. Once identified, the intersection of Jewishness and sexuality that pervades ‘‘Aetiology’’ becomes readily evident in other theorizations of hysteria, and the neurotic body of the hysteric a privileged location for studying hysterical sexuality as racializing force. In fact, when we take the genealogical metaphor and the centrality bestowed upon it seriously—remembering that it is the metaphor that Freud relies upon to convey the meaning of hysteria to his readers—it becomes clear that far from universalizing psychoanalysis and legitimating it as a science by deracinating it (as if this were possible), the genealogical metaphor reveals psychoanalysis’s involvement in complex processes of reproductive racialization. As in Darwin’s theory of sexual selection, in Freud’s theory of hysteria, wayward reproductive sexuality produces racial formations, and in turn these wayward desires and selections emerge as norms, not exceptions, as universals rather than particulars. In contrast to the position of those Freud scholars who have tended to view Jewishness as a static category, as a reified or essentialized object of investigation that can be hived off and examined and then reattached to ‘‘real’’ Jewish bodies whose identity can be reclaimed and made known within an identitarian logic of recovery,60 this chapter recasts Freud’s work on hysteria to show that the hysterical body is a source of racial otherness simply because 170

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hysterics are defined by a particularly Jewish form of wayward reproductive desire. As in Darwin’s theory of sexual selection, the female body is, in Freud’s theory of hysteria, a racialized reproductive body whose waywardness threatens to produce and reproduce racial difference. For in the Freudian theory of the etiology of hysteria, as in the Darwinian theory of sexual selection, racialization is intimately bound up with women’s sexual agency and wayward desire, a fact that pathologizes reproduction, but also one that makes the hysterical body serviceable for Freud, the objective Enlightenment scientist. Darwin’s Descent into Studies on Hysteria Studies on Hysteria, a work by Freud and Josef Breuer, Freud’s one-time collaborator, confidant, and fellow physician, was published a year prior to ‘‘The Aetiology of Hysteria.’’ 61 Studies, which comprises a reprint of a joint theoretical paper on hysteria (originally written in 1892), five case histories (one by Breuer, four by Freud), a theoretical paper by Breuer, and a concluding essay on psychotherapy by Freud, is significant for two reasons. It is the text credited by historians of psychoanalysis with giving ‘‘birth’’ to the form of psychoanalysis known as Freudianism; and it contains the most controversial ‘‘birth’’ recorded within the annals of Freud’s science. Let me explain this double reproduction less cryptically. In Studies Freud first explores ideas of ‘‘free association,’’ ‘‘transference,’’ and ‘‘conversion’’ and proposes the ‘‘cathartic method.’’ This method, which involves recollection and narration of psychic trauma, was transformed into a therapy by Breuer and his patient Anna O., the woman who gave the technique its moniker, ‘‘the talking cure.’’ 62 Anna O.’s story, however, which opens Freud and Breuer’s volume, is also significant because it bears witness to Anna O.’s hysterical pregnancy. Although Anna O. was not Freud’s patient (he never met her), her case, placed at the beginning of Studies, has been heralded as the prototype for the rest of the cases recounted.63 These two births—psychoanalysis’s and Anna O.’s—are inseparable, for the ‘‘birth’’ of Freud’s theoretical edifice is bound up with the wayward reproductivity of this hysteric. Although it had to be carefully crafted and repeatedly fine-tuned, the narration of Anna O.’s phantom pregnancy constitutes the condition of possibility for the elaboration of the larger psychoanalytic project.64 Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 171

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Anna O., née Bertha Pappenheim, was born into a wealthy, orthodox German-Jewish family.65 Her Hungarian grandfather had acquired a fortune through marriage and made a huge profit through investment in a family grain-dealing business which was then passed on to Bertha’s father, who moved it to Vienna after the opening of the Pressburg ghetto. Bertha’s mother was a member of another prominent Jewish family, the Goldschmidts of Frankfurt, which included the poet Heine. Bertha was frustrated by thwarted intellectual and social ambitions, as were the other alleged hysterics whom Freud treated in his early practice. She has been characterized as a bored, lonely, and miserable young woman, confined within a respectable home, where she was expected to patiently await marriage. Unlike her brother, Wilhelm (the only other Pappenheim child to live to adulthood), who went off to university, Bertha was left to entertain herself with what she described to Breuer as her private ‘‘mental theater’’ of daydreams that were spun out as she tatted lace. In 1880, while nursing her sick father, Bertha herself became ill and began treatment. Though her initial complaint was a common cough, Breuer diagnosed her as troubled by severe psychological disturbances, which after ‘‘a period of incubation’’ (Breuer’s clinical designation) became manifest in a variety of symptoms, including hallucinations, paralyses, contractures of limbs, anesthesias, two distinct states of consciousness, aphasia, and an unusual polyglot. When, during the course of her treatment, Anna O.’s father died, her condition deteriorated further still, and she began to have difficulty seeing and recognizing people.66 Over the course of two years Breuer noticed that, when in a hypnoid state, Anna O. imagined scenes and muttered words that, when queried by him, were elaborated into full-blown stories. Though these tales often culminated in the expression of terrifying hallucinations of black snakes and death’s-heads, Anna O. found mental relief following the verbalization of her thoughts. ‘‘In the case of this patient,’’ Breuer explained, ‘‘the hysterical phenomena disappeared as soon as the event which had given rise to them was reproduced in her hypnosis’’ (35). Verbalization was thus adopted as a therapeutic procedure by Breuer and dubbed ‘‘chimney sweeping,’’ or ‘‘the talking cure’’ by Anna O. At the end of the case, after detailing the relief of one symptom after another (to greater or lesser effect), Breuer finally provided a description of Anna O.’s reenactment and renarrativization of the most terrifying 172

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of her hallucinations, that experienced at the bedside of her dying father. After recreating this scene, designated by Breuer as ‘‘the root of her illness,’’ Anna O. was pronounced on the way to recovery. Breuer concluded the case by suggesting that the continual relief of symptoms had had a cumulative effect, and that though it took his patient time to regain ‘‘her mental balance entirely,’’ she was eventually restored to ‘‘complete health’’ (41). Breuer told Anna O.’s story to an enraptured Freud in November 1882. Thirteen years after the treatment was terminated, and several years after Freud began developing the ‘‘talking cure’’ in his own practice, he convinced Breuer to collaborate in the publication of Studies. Although the volume that resulted is presented as a unified whole, it is rife with conflict. While each of the four case studies that Freud contributed introduced a sexual element into the hysterical etiology and revealed sexual feelings as catalysts of hysterical symptoms, Breuer’s single contribution to their book, the case in which ‘‘the talking cure’’ and cathartic method originate, failed to fit the larger clinical picture. Though Freud and Breuer’s famous break over the issue of the sexual etiology of hysteria would not transpire until after their volume’s publication in 1895, Studies can be read as a transcript of the dispute that lead to it. Freud reveals the distance separating him from Breuer with two remarks in his concluding discussion: on the one hand, he insists, apparently wishing to appease skeptics (Breuer among them), he came ‘‘fresh from the school of Charcot’’ and thus ‘‘regarded the linking of hysteria with the topic of sexuality as a sort of insult—just as the women patients themselves do’’ (260); on the other hand, as he reiterates, practical experience obliges him ‘‘to recognize that, in so far as one can speak of determining causes which lead to the acquisition of neuroses, their aetiology is to be looked for in sexual factors’’ not in hereditary ones (257, original emphasis).67 Not quite as committed to ‘‘free association’’ (letting his patients draw their own conclusions and connections) as eulogizers attest, Freud suggests in the discussion with which Studies concludes that he has been compelled to assume an aggressive attitude in his quest for information when the cause of an illness offered him by a patient was nonsexual. ‘‘I naturally rejected this [nonsexual] derivation,’’ he notes, ‘‘and tried to find another instead of it which would harmonize better with my views of the aetiology of the neuroses’’ (275). Freud’s interventionist and theorySexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 173

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laden method bore the desired results. In the case of Frau Emmy von N, a wealthy middle-aged widow living in the Baltic provinces of Russia, hysterical symptoms resulting from self-imposed sexual abstinence were found to have been accompanied by unrealized sexual desire. Emmy von N, Freud relates, did not remarry because she wished to fulfill her duty to her daughters, to whom she hoped to leave her dead husband’s fortune. In another case, that of an English governess, Miss Lucy R’s ‘‘pure hysteria’’ is again given an ‘‘unmistakable sexual aetiology’’ (260). This patient, ‘‘an overmature girl with a need to be loved,’’ had been ‘‘hastily aroused’’(260) by her widowed employer, the father of her charges. Likewise, in the volume’s closing case, that of Elisabeth von R, ‘‘repressed’’ sexual feeling for a brother-in-law, the husband of a dead sister, are said to have produced hysteria. Although each of Freud’s contributions to Studies documents the sexual origins of hysteria, Katharina’s case, which reads as a bucolic fairy tale at the volume’s center, epitomizes the trend. Freud narrates his (feigned?) surprise discovery of this Alpenkind: ‘‘I reached the top [of the mountain] after a strenuous climb, feeling refreshed and rested, and was sitting in deep contemplation of the charm of the distant prospect. I was so lost in thought that at first I did not connect it with myself when these words reached my ears: ‘are you a doctor sir?’ ’’ (125). Katharina, the daughter of an innkeeper, catches Freud, the mountain climber (rather than doctor), off guard in the Hohe Tauern. She has discovered Freud in the inn’s register and has sought him on account of her ‘‘bad nerves.’’ In the exchange that transpires (no doubt the most productive session ever recorded) Freud recognizes Katharina as a hysteric, a ‘‘model . . . of virginal anxiety’’ (260), whose symptoms have resulted from her prior discovery of her uncle engaged in sex with a cousin, a scene that in turn brought to consciousness this same uncle’s sexual advance upon herself. Once the memory was verbalized, Freud assures the reader, Katharina was swiftly cured. Indeed, in a footnote appended in 1924, he testifies that her recovery was even more remarkable than first indicated, as it was actually Katharina’s father who was her seducer. Atop a six-thousand-foot precipice and thus far from the city and his more ‘‘prudish’’ analysands, Freud finds resounding confirmation of his theory for the sexual etiology of hysteria. ‘‘You see,’’ he seems to announce, ‘‘hysteria is not an exclusively Jewish disease but a pathology of the Volk; psychoanalysis is not Jewish 174 Wayward Reproductions

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quackery but genuine science.’’ Freud renders hysteria a pathology found in the city and high on the mountain, among working-class and wealthy women alike, and furthermore, a neurosis undergirded by a sexual experience, which although attributed to Jews by anti-Semites, is universalizable among women of all stations, situations, and races. In this sense, Freud’s account of Katharina might have served as a rejoinder to Breuer’s account of Anna O., competing with it for pride of place. If Anna O.’s illness was an anomaly, a hysteria lacking a sexual etiology, Katharina’s was a definitive counterexample. Alas, things were not so simple. Substitution of Katharina for Anna O. as prototypical hysteric did not constitute a sufficient solution to the conflict brewing in Studies. And although Freud scholars would probably argue that this archetypal Aryan helped Freud to universalize his claims, Katharina’s case instructively failed to secure Freud’s. Indeed, even though Freud left Breuer’s account of Anna O. intact for many years, he eventually returned to it to reinterpret it, make it fit his mold and work for his science. For Breuer’s case presented Freud with a dilemma: how was he to attribute the ‘‘birth’’ of psychoanalysis to an account of hysteria that did not have any sex or race in it? Unless the Anna O. case could be expressly sexualized, and by extension implicitly racialized, Studies could not adequately ground Freud’s science. And thus, despite Katharina’s exemplementarity, Freud slowly but surely orchestrated a multistage alternation process, one that located a sexual origin for Anna O.’s hysteria, and as we shall see, racialized this origin as well. Freud began by circulating rumors about the patient and her relationship to her doctor, despite the fact that Breuer had been adamant that for this woman ‘‘the element of sexuality was astonishingly underdeveloped’’ (21). In fact, as a consequence of Freud’s efforts, the Anna O. case became known for containing a very particular sexual element, a phantom pregnancy, or as Ernest Jones would immortalize it in the language of science, a ‘‘pseudocyesis’’ that was implicitly Jewish in character.68 The first trace of active textual reconstruction that readers stumble across is a footnote added to Studies by Freud’s editor and translator, James Strachey, more than half a century after the text’s original publication.69 The new material is conspicuous because of its awkward insertion directly prior to Breuer’s closing sentence (the one that confirms that Anna O. was eventually cured) and because of the inSexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 175

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sider knowledge that it purports to convey from the living and breathing source: At this point (so Freud once told the present editor, with his finger on an open copy of the book) there is a hiatus in the text. What he had in mind and went on to describe was the occurrence which marked the end of Anna O.’s treatment. . . . [H]e spoke of it as, from Breuer’s point of view, an ‘untoward event’. The whole story is told by Ernest Jones in his Life of Freud, and it is enough to say here that, when the treatment had apparently reached a successful end, the patient suddenly made manifest to Breuer the presence of a strong unanalyzed transference of an unmistakably sexual nature. It was this occurrence, Freud believed, that caused Breuer to hold back the publication of the case history for so many years and that led ultimately to his abandonment of all further collaboration in Freud’s researches. (40–41)

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In this sexualized game of finger pointing, Freud implies (via Strachey) that since Breuer did not corroborate his theory of the sexual etiology of neurosis, he (Freud) found it necessary to renarrate Breuer’s story for him. In so doing, he transformed Breuer’s case into a more ‘‘honest’’ and useful founding moment for his own science. Freud’s reported hand gesture speaks volumes: with his phallic finger filling in the gapping chasm in the textual body in an act of penetration, he reveals the ‘‘hiatus’’ in Breuer’s account, and then qualifies it by marking out the presence of an ‘‘untoward event’’ of a ‘‘sexual nature’’ that arose during Breuer’s treatment of Anna O. Although at the time Studies was written Freud had just begun to theorize ‘‘transference’’ (alluding to the idea fleetingly in the last section of the theoretical conclusion to Studies), he casts the ‘‘hiatus’’ he finds in Breuer’s narrative as not only transferential but countertransferential. For, Freud insinuates, the entire episode was repressed by Breuer, in whom Anna O.’s desire provoked feelings that were terrifying. Although Strachey refrains from proffering torrid details, he guides readers to Ernest Jones’s biography of Freud, where he promises that the ‘‘fullest account’’ is given and additionally references those passages in Freud’s oeuvre where the master himself describes his version of events.70 As intriguing as the pages to which Strachey directs us are, they pale in comparison to a document he does not mention: a posthu176 Wayward Reproductions

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mously published letter to Freud’s friend Stefan Zweig, the author and historian of the psychoanalytic movement. In this letter, Freud emphasizes two additional aspects of Breuer’s case: ‘‘What really happened with Breuer’s patient I was able to guess later on, long after the break in our relations, when I suddenly remembered something Breuer had once told me in another context before we had begun to collaborate and which he never repeated. On the evening of the day when all her symptoms had been disposed of, he was summoned to the patient again, found her confused and writhing in abdominal cramps. Asked what was wrong with her, she replied: ‘Now Dr. B’s child is coming!’’’ 71 Freud’s understanding of the case is here no longer cast as speculation, but confirmed by his own memory of a previous telling. He (re)narrates events with full authority, revealing that he knew all along about the ‘‘sexual nature’’ of Anna O.’s hysteria. In an act of revision, in other words, Freud constitutes the sexual etiology of Anna O.’s hysteria as an originary ‘‘fact’’ that has been deliberately covered over, and for the first time specifies from what it was that Breuer fled: not only Anna O.’s perturbing desire for Breuer but specifically her wayward reproductivity. Reprimanding Breuer for his shortcomings, Freud attests that at the moment that Breuer terminated Anna O.’s treatment he ‘‘held in his hand the key that would have opened ‘the door to the Mothers,’ but he let it drop.’’ 72 The door to the Mothers! Finally Freud acknowledges that it was not simply a sexual etiology that he sought to integrate into the Anna O. case so that it might better satisfy his theoretical aims, but rather, by way of innuendo, footnote, and phallic finger pointing, the familiar specter of wayward reproductive sexuality—the cause of hysteria previously discussed in ‘‘Aetiology’’ by way of the twisted genealogical trees and illicit incestuous couplings. And thus, even though Anna O.’s hysterical reproductivity has most often been read as a rejoinder to Charcot’s resolute rejection of the association of hysteria with illnesses of the womb,73 another interpretation for Freud’s odd if marked obsession can also be offered. For Freud’s simultaneous marginalization and foregrounding of Anna O.’s pregnancy was precisely the double move that allowed full integration of Studies into his larger corpus. In interjecting himself into Breuer’s text by way of a footnote, Freud allowed psychoanalysis to give birth to itself, to begin as a narration of its own birth, such that Freud could in turn claim to have given birth to the psychoanalytic science. Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 177

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This reading, brilliantly developed by Rachel Bowlby and Wayne Koestenbaum, suggests that Freud wrested the power of reproduction from this hysterical woman, to claim her (pro)creation of the ‘‘talking cure’’ as his own. As they argue (albeit to different ends), in renarrating the Anna O. case, Freud engaged in a discursive struggle for control over reproductivity and emerged victorious.74 Such readings add meaning to Etienne Trillat’s dictum that ‘‘all psychoanalytic theory [is] born from hysteria, but the mother died during the birth.’’ 75 And yet, although such arguments about the power struggle played out over Anna O.’s reproductivity enable my own, the phenomenon that they recognize—that the addition of information about the phantom pregnancy renders Studies ‘‘whole’’—can be read somewhat differently. For Freud’s insertion, with finger on text, of Anna O.’s reproductive body is an expressly sexualizing act that is simultaneously racializing. Certainly, Freud provided Bertha Pappenheim with a race-neutral name and thus barred Jewishness entry into his text on the level of manifest content; however, along with her reproductive body, an inextricable, if inchoate, figuration of race enters in tow. In restoring Anna O.’s fantasmatic pregnancy to the record, Freud, like Darwin before him, mobilized wayward reproductivity as a racializing force—in this case a force that enabled a universally applicable science to be generated out of a castigated racial particularism. When the metaphors that structure Anna O.’s case are historicized, especially those that describe her linguistic symptoms, the Jewishness of hysteria emerges full force. According to Breuer’s schema, Anna O.’s illness had four distinct phases. During the most severe, the period of ‘‘manifest illness,’’ she experienced extreme disturbances of speech and found herself at times aphasic, at others able to speak only a confusing polyglot speech comprised of several foreign languages, or, at still other times, a fluent German followed by an inability to speak in any language other than English. In short, at the height of her illness, Anna O. was deprived of words, bombarded by an excess of words, or able to speak exclusively in someone else’s words, but rarely at home in what Breuer (quite inaccurately) refers to as her (German) ‘‘mother tongue.’’ This linguistic shattering and scattering was paralleled by a splitting of Anna O.’s mental theater into a form of ‘‘double consciousness’’ (Breuer’s term) in which she was divided into a ‘‘naughty’’ and normal self, a hysterical woman who acted out and a sane version of the same person. In Anna O., hysterical ‘‘naughtiness’’ 178

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(read illness) and multilinguality converged.76 Breuer neatly documents this in detailing Anna O.’s difficulties: She lost her command of grammar and syntax; she no longer conjugated verbs, and eventually she used only infinitives, for the most part incorrectly formed from weak past participles; and she omitted both the definite and indefinite article. In the process of time she became almost completely deprived of words. She put them together laboriously out of four or five languages and became almost unintelligible. When she tried to write . . . she employed the same jargon. (25, emphasis added) Anna O.’s polyglot speech was, Breuer avers, ‘‘unintelligible.’’ And yet, a paradox is embedded within his assessment. Being ‘‘unintelligible’’ because one uses incorrect syntax and grammar, or because one is ‘‘completely deprived of words,’’ is distinct from being ‘‘unintelligible’’ because one speaks in a language that those who are listening do not understand. Similarly, putting words together ‘‘out of four or five languages’’—employing ‘‘jargon’’—is hardly synonymous with having no words at all. And thus, it is perhaps more accurate to restate the situation thus: Anna O.’s expression was not devoid of meaning; it was filled with a surfeit of meaning that Breuer chose not to acknowledge, or perhaps could not. Strikingly, the anti-Semitic view of Jewish language was routinely expressed in terms that echo Breuer’s and indicate what was implicitly at stake in his assessment of Anna O.’s symptoms. As Sander Gilman explains in another context, ‘‘The Christian world . . . represents the Jew as possessing all languages or no language of his or her own; of having a hidden language which mirrors the perverse or peculiar nature of the Jew; of being unable to truly command the national language of the world in which he/she lives.’’ 77 Anna O.’s polyglot and her tenuous relation to German are figures for her Jewish use of language, or more simply for her neurotic racial otherness, her Jewishness. Mauscheln, which literally means to speak German like Moses, or to speak like a Jew, was, like endogamy, considered a stigmatizing racial trait. Additionally, the term was a descriptor that Western (Germanicized Jews) used to designate the German speech of their East European brethren. Mauscheln, which originally meant to counterfeit, or to engage in shady dealings, was further linked within anti-Semitic discourse to stereotypes about Jews and money and to those about Jews as deceitful cheats, fakes, and frauds. In the context of antiSexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 179

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Semitic rhetoric about national belonging, this linguistic fraudulence was tantamount to national fraudulence. As first Hannah Arendt and later Carl Schorske have observed, Jews in turn-ofthe-century Austria were regarded as a ‘‘state people’’ par excellence. Jews did not constitute a nationality of their own, nor did they belong to one of the existing nationalities (such as Slovaks or Ukrainians, for example); rather, Jews were without a nation and of all nations, without a language and usurpers of all languages. As Schorske explains, such views about language and nation were especially pronounced in the rhetoric of the Pan-Germanist and anti-Semite Georg von Schönerer. In Schönerer’s eyes Jews were ‘‘the supra-national people of a multi-national state’’ who could be ‘‘attacked in the name of every nation’’ and for being without a nation, that is for being ‘‘sub-national.’’ Schönerer’s observation reiterated nearly verbatim that expressed by Richard Wagner, who earlier in the century had denied that Jews could have any authentic relation to national cultures or languages because they were merely guests in the nations in which they resided: ‘‘The Jew speaks the language of the country in which he has lived from generation to generation, but he speaks it as a foreigner.’’ 78 In instances in which Jews attempted assimilation, they were regarded within anti-Semitic discourse as ‘‘converts’’ to their assumed nationality, as false nationals and linguistic counterfeits.79 There is also a second route along which to trace the antiSemitic racialization of Anna O.’s language. When Breuer denotes it as ‘‘jargon’’ ( Jargon), he employs a common euphemism for Jewish talk in general, one that German speakers often used for Yiddish.80 As for many Jews who immigrated from the outer reaches of the Hapsburg Empire to Vienna, Yiddish was the language of the real Anna O.’s (Bertha Pappenheim’s) dead father, a language she knew intimately. Later in life Pappenheim, in addition to emerging as an important feminist activist, would become known as a translator of ‘‘Judeo-German’’ or Yiddish, what she called ‘‘the Woman’s German.’’ From such a biographical perspective, Anna O.’s ‘‘jargon’’ clearly emerges as a figure for her Jewishness, as a sign ‘‘at once of this woman’s alienation from a truly German heritage and [of] her incomplete assimilation’’ into a multilingual culture.81 Like Mauscheln, Jargon has a racist etymology; it was often defined as speech solely intelligible to members of a particular group, tribe, or race—that is, as a shibboleth. As in the logic of the label ‘‘anti-Semitism’’ (coined by the Hamburg jour180 Wayward Reproductions

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nalist Wilhelm Marr)—in which ‘‘Semitic,’’ an adjective originally used to designate the language of the Jews, is transformed into a racial mark, trait, or designation—‘‘jargon’’ conjures an amalgam of language and race.82 In sum, Anna O.’s pathologized language symbolizes ‘‘supra-’’ and ‘‘subnationality,’’ and by extension a form of linguistic exclusivity that is decisively racial in character, inappropriate because it is distinctively Jewish. If Anna O.’s language, the preeminent symptom of her hysteria, figures her Jewishness, then by extension her hysteria itself figures Jewishness. When Anna O. was hysterical, acting as her ‘‘naughty’’ self, she was not just a neurotic bourgeois cosmopolitan, but also a Jewess whose neurosis found expression in a particularly racialized linguistic symptom. In turn, this revelation gives new meaning to Breuer’s insistence that when he heard Anna O. speak German he knew that her treatment was effective. In describing one of her sessions of so-called chimney sweeping he writes, ‘‘The longer she went on the more fluent she became, till at last she was speaking quite correct German’’ (29). According to Breuer, Anna O.’s ability to speak the German ‘‘mother tongue’’ was a sign of normalcy; by contrast, her polyglotism and other linguistic difficulties were a sign of her hysteria. To be cured of hysteria was to become capable of speaking/being German; to be sane, the hysteric had to master and display correct German grammar and syntax—that is, she had to assimilate by transforming her racially denigrated language into a properly national one. Significantly, in closing his narrative, Breuer describes Anna O.’s rendition of the most tormenting of her memories and interprets her subsequent return to proper German usage as a sign of her ‘‘cure’’ (40). If in the logic of Breuer’s text Anna O.’s wellness was equated with her ability to express herself in (as) German rather than in any other way, there remains a link in the metonymic chain that is still unanalyzed. For it must be remembered that at the precise moment that Breuer declared Anna O. cured, Freud (via Strachey) inserted the footnote into the case that introduced Anna O.’s pregnancy and thus unequivocally declared that she was still quite hysterical. In short, the Jewishness of hysteria that found expression in Anna O.’s pathologized speech emerges, in view of Freud’s footnote, as a function of wayward reproductivity. As in ‘‘Aetiology,’’ in the Anna O. case, a discursive web comprised of mutually reinforcing discourses on race and reproduction emerges slowly; this web embodies the connections among wayward reproduction, Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 181

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Jewishness, and pathology that have been discussed throughout this chapter and simultaneously constitutes the foundation upon which the psychoanalytic project’s claim to universal relevance is based. For it was upon a particularism—wayward Jewish reproductive sexuality—that Freud founded a decidedly sexualized and racialized science with paradoxically universal purview. In one of the only instances in which Breuer uses figurative language, he discusses the hysteric as ‘‘the flower of mankind.’’ He specifies that she is not just any flower, but a ‘‘double flower’’ characterized by beauty and sterility. Perhaps Breuer’s approach to Anna O.’s sexuality—flight from her reproductivity (or dropping of the key to ‘‘the door to the Mothers,’’ as Freud would have it)— was the safest option, disengaged as it was from the racializing and pathologizing logic of anti-Semitism. However, if Breuer took the safe route, Freud located the more productive one. For it was not until he successfully introduced the wayward reproductive element into the case that it became possible for Anna O. to give birth not only to a phantom child but to the form of racialized reproduction that constituted the appropriate foundation for Freud’s universal science. In Freud’s work, as in Darwin’s, reproduction and racial difference are invariably tightly bound. In Studies, a Jewish women’s wayward reproductivity is appropriated and transformed into a resource that is drawn upon in creating theoretical coherence and, better still, universal validity. Rather than aligning Jewishness with pathology and normalcy with Aryanness or Germanness (as Breuer did), through insertion of textual addenda about Anna O.’s wayward reproduction Freud enabled Jewish pathology to emerge as the model for all pathology—that is as a Jewish particularity that, situated as it was at the origin of the ‘‘talking cure,’’ was paradoxically universal in form. After years of covert reconstructive activity Freud ultimately succeeded. Anna O., like the hysterical siblings who were revealed to be incestuously involved, became a prototypical case, a hysteric whose neurosis could be viewed as exemplary in that it was both racially particular and universalizable. Indeed, Anna O.’s wayward reproductivity, like the endogamous relation between the Jewish siblings, was finally rendered as a racial particularism available for transformation into a psychoanalytic universal. In hauling his insinuations about the ‘‘untoward event’’ into Breuer’s narrative, Freud succeeded in making an anti-Semitic discourse about Jewishness appropriable and thus generative of a ‘‘genuinely’’ uni182 Wayward Reproductions

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versal science. If the widely accepted anti-Semitic discourse by which Freud was surrounded was a form of racism masquerading as universalism, Freud produced out of it a counteruniversalism, one that addressed the problem inherent in universalism by building a new universalism out of a castigated particularism. In the most robust formulation, anti-Semitism was a discourse that Freud could not escape. Rather than submitting to it, he (ab)used it by resignifying and employing it to generate scientific authority and to universalize his findings. Indeed, as this chapter has demonstrated, psychoanalysis is built out of stereotypes about Jewish wayward reproduction, in that it effectively renders insights about Jewish pathology germane to Jews and Austro-Germans alike. Although in many ways the textual logic of the Anna O. case appears quite similar to that of ‘‘Aetiology,’’ there is a difference worth remarking upon. In the Anna O. case, Jewish particularity is never essentialized; rather, it is unmoored from the racial body as biological entity. Whereas in ‘‘Aetiology’’ the universal cause of hysteria emerges as incestuous or endogamous (read Jewish) sexuality, in the Anna O. case hysteria emerges as Jewish but is not indexed by a singular expression of wayward reproductive desire. Instead, Anna O.’s wayward reproductivity can be read as endogamous or exogamous, ‘‘miscegenous’’ or incestuous, or all of these at once. If Anna O. is understood as a Jewess, her desire for Breuer, the Jewish physician, emerges as endogamous; conversely, if the case is read according to the protocols dictated by its manifest content, then only Breuer is Jewish in the eyes of the reader, and Anna O.’s reproductive desire for Breuer is exogamous. The point is not, however, to submit Anna O.’s case to such a calculus. Rather, it is to show how within psychoanalytic theory, as in the theory of sexual selection, race and reproduction were so intimately bound together that they were articulated in and through each other. For in both theories the exercise of wayward reproductive desire—women’s sexual selection—itself emerges as a racializing force. As Hortense Spillers has explained in a different context, ‘‘the universal sound of psychoanalysis’’ often misleads us into ‘‘giving short shrift to its cultural uniqueness.’’ Though she is not writing of psychoanalysis’s Jewishness but rather of its Eurocentrism, her assertion underscores a scholarly tendency to naturalize rather than interrogate supposed psychoanalytic universals.83 As this Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 183

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chapter has demonstrated, it is precisely the alleged universality of psychoanalysis that should put us on guard and make us alert to the ‘‘cultural uniqueness’’ out of which its universal purview has been generated. Though Freud may not have consciously or expressly thematized his connection to the particular location from which he wrote, anti-Semitic ideas about Jewish wayward reproductivity implicitly and persistently contoured his work and, in the process, enabled the paradoxical universality of the science of psychoanalysis to which he gave birth. Insofar as the Anna O. case provides a window onto Freud’s embrace of Jewish particularism to produce emancipation from antiSemitic marginalization, it also is suggestive of the ways in which we might begin to raise questions about our reading not only of Freud’s early work on hysteria but of other centerpieces within the Freudian corpus. For when it becomes evident that racialized ideas about reproductive sexuality—indeed, stereotyped ideas about Jewish wayward reproduction—were not so much purged from psychoanalysis as constitutive to psychoanalytic theory’s expression, it becomes possible to locate the work of a now familiar conceptual unit, the race/reproduction bind, in other texts as well. In the range of social treatises that Freud produced later in life, including Totem and Taboo (1913), Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1921), and Civilization and Its Discontents (1929), for instance, the wayward sexuality of the so-called primal horde that inaugurates the taboo on incest might itself be interpreted as Jewish. In formulating his argument about the ‘‘primal horde’’ Freud followed Darwin closely, arguing that taboos against incest are not innate (as Edward Westermarck famously averred), but rather social inventions put into place by ‘‘primitive’’ people significantly prior to the advent of ‘‘civilization.’’ As first Darwin and then Freud attested, such societies were comprised of ‘‘small hordes, each of which was under the despotic rule of an older male who appropriated all the females and castigated or disposed of the younger males, including his sons.’’ 84 In such a situation a band of brothers who desired to have sex with their sisters and mother formed. In a rage against the father’s curtailment of their desire they murdered the father, raped the mother, and were subsequently struck by internalized guilt and remorse. Ultimately this structuring guilt found expression in the imposition of a taboo on incest. These stories, like the Anna O. case, are origin stories in which 184 Wayward Reproductions

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the wayward sexuality figured at the origin might be productively understood as racializing, or more precisely as Jewish. From such a vantage point it becomes possible to discern that Freud crafted not only a narrative in which a ‘‘primal horde’’ inaugurated the incest taboo but one that flirted (albeit quite ahistorically and anachronistically) with the notion that the ‘‘primal horde’’ was itself a racialized social order—nothing less than a Jewish social order —that enabled ‘‘civilization’’ by erecting a taboo upon its own highly particular, incestuous impulses. In texts that elaborate the origins of the most significant and pervasive social injunctions, those against patricide and incest, it becomes possible to consider that Jewishness lies at the origin of ‘‘civilization’’ as a catalyzing particularity that Freud rescues from pathologization through its expansion into a universal. Indeed, it seems relevant to consider whether Freud was in fact suggesting that the first ‘‘civilized’’ people were Jews, as such ‘‘primitives’’ were the first to desire incest and to contain, through prohibition, this universal desire. Once the social texts are recast in this light, other central Freudian contributions, including the Oedipus complex, also begin to be implicated in a reoriented reading. Freud’s theorization of the Oedipus complex was, after all, an attempt to explain how a universal taboo regulates sexuality, promotes heterosexual marriage, and configures interpsychic relations among family members, not only among incestuous Jews but among all people. In the Oedipus complex Freud universalized the son’s desire for the mother and explored the conflict with the father that this incestuous urge produced. Though it is well beyond the scope of this chapter to read closely any of Freud’s numerous iterations of the Oedipal drama, suffice it to suggest here that just as the incestuous desire of the siblings in ‘‘Aetiology,’’ the wayward reproductive desire of Anna O., and the impulse of the ‘‘primal horde’’ may be productively read as Jewish when placed within the context of virulent Austro-German anti-Semitism, so too may the incestuous desire of the Oedipal son. Fearing castration, the Jewish boy identifies with the father, and in so doing imposes upon himself the prohibition of the father, that against incest. Once again a Jewish particularism is mobilized to launch an antiracist argument in which a denigrated stereotype is recast as a universal in the interest of securing the theory of psychoanalysis and its applicability to all people. As this chapter has argued, Jewishness was not purged from Freud’s science to universalize it, but rather a certain version of Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 185

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stereotyped, castigated Jewishness—nothing less than the racialized desire of the incestuous siblings, the wayward hysteric, the ‘‘primal horde,’’ and the Oedipal son—was the particularized element out of which a new counteruniversalism was generated. Indeed, from such a perspective Jewishness can be aligned with neurosis and with social pathos more generally, but only insofar as it simultaneously inaugurates the universal culture, including the Austro-German culture, in which Freud wrote and for much of his life lived. In contrast to those who have argued that Freud founded his science by excising any hint of Jewishness, this chapter asks whether it might not be time to consider how psychoanalytic theory reappropriated, reworked, and ultimately resignified anti-Semitic discourse about wayward reproductivity, not by running from it but by casting Jewishness as a constitutive function of wayward reproduction, and in turn rendering racialized reproduction—nothing less than the race/reproduction bind—productive of a new science with universal purview.

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Chapter Five The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Reproduction of Racial Globality

The symbolic kernel of the idea of race . . . is the schema of genealogy, that is, quite simply the idea that the filiation of individuals transmits from generation to generation a substance both biological and spiritual and thereby inscribes them in a temporal community known as ‘‘kinship.’’—Etienne Balibar It may be African-Americans, supposedly those Americans with the most sketchy genealogical records, who have most consistently constructed racial identities for themselves that do not rely on myths of racial purity.—Harryette Mullen In my life the chief fact has been race— not so much scientific race, as that deep conviction of myriads of men that congenital differences among the main masses of human beings absolutely condition the individual destiny of every member of a group. Into the spiritual provincialism of this belief I have been born and this fact has guided, embittered, illuminated and enshrouded my

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life.—W. E. B. Du Bois

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In the United States, black maternity has been persistently constructed as antithetical to national belonging. In a nation whose ideology of inclusion has been grounded in notions of biological, reproductive, and thus genealogical connection, being an ‘‘American’’ entitled to the exercise of full civil rights has often required having a white mother, herself descended from a family whose Anglo-Saxon pedigree is uncontaminated by so-called interracial sex or miscegenation. Insofar as the concept of Americanness has been regarded as coextensive with whiteness, the exclusion of blackness, and the marginalization from the nation of those women thought to reproduce it, have been mainstays of U.S. social and political culture.1 By the turn of the nineteenth century, when the activist and public intellectual William Edward Burghardt Du Bois began writing, this ideological construction had taken root in a variety of discourses—scientific and legal as well as popular. In this chapter I read Du Bois’s work as an evolving response to the ideology of racial nationalism elaborated in chapter 1, and as the articulation of a genealogical counternarrative that argues, at times, for African American inclusion in the nation, and at others, for black belonging in the world. The most explicit rendition of the racialized reproductive themes against which Du Bois wrote was the discourse of ‘‘race suicide,’’ discussed in detail in chapter 2. According to E. A. Ross, Francis Amasa Walker, Lothrop Stoddard, Madison Grant, and others, the birthrate among those who had come to call themselves ‘‘native Americans’’ was plummeting; unless Anglo-Saxon mothers were recruited into the reproductive service of the nation, the United States would quickly become a land comprised of the darker-hued progeny of prolific foreign-born immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe and the descendants of African slaves.2 As Ross, a prominent sociologist, averred, ‘‘The superiority of a race can not be preserved without pride of blood and an uncompromising attitude toward the lower races.’’ 3 Expressing such an ‘‘uncompromising attitude’’ in horror-struck, stuttering syntax, one doctor wrote in the pages of the Pennsylvania Medical Journal, ‘‘American families’ having no children and the increase of foreigners with large families means . . . that the [national] majority will be the foreign and their children.’’ 4 For this selfdeclared champion inveighing against ‘‘race suicide,’’ as for others, white women were to solve the dilemma. They were to be recruited as nation builders—national reproducers to be exact—and given 188

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incentives to steer clear of childless marriages, labor outside the home that might impact their fertility and, of course, sexual liaisons across racial lines. As for black mothers, about whom the silence of ‘‘race suicide’’ tracts speaks volumes, the message was clear: cease to reproduce. For unless a mother could bestow white skin privilege upon her offspring, her child would not be embraced as a national, as a subject with a claim to truly equal protection within the nation’s borders and under its laws. From the start of his career Du Bois wrote within and responded to what he calls, in the above epigraph, ‘‘the spiritual provincialism of this belief’’ system—a system in which sexual and reproductive politics played as great a role as racial politics, precisely because the two were inextricable.5 As Etienne Balibar helps explain, ‘‘the symbolic kernel of the idea of race’’ within the context of the modern nation is ‘‘the schema of genealogy’’—a schema in which issues of reproduction, maternity, and kinship play starring roles.6 After the formal end of Reconstruction United States nationalism came to depend upon what might be understood as reproductive racism. The production of the idea of the dominant national population as racially homogeneous was underpinned by the idea that this population was reproducible as a racially ‘‘pure’’ kinship group. Such a construction of the nation was not only about the reproduction of minoritarian elements as genealogical outcasts, but as important, it was about the reproduction of racial kinship as central to the self-conception of the national majority. As Du Bois understood, the nation in which he resided was a majoritarian racial entity and the majoritarian memory of the nation was racist insofar as racialized reproduction was viewed as the motor of national belonging. And thus Du Bois’s deceptively simple insight: reproductive politics are internal to both nationalism and racism.7 This chapter argues that in order to fully understand Du Bois’s lifework on ‘‘the race concept’’ that he claims ‘‘guided, embittered, illuminated and enshrouded [his] life,’’ it is necessary to explore his negotiation of the reproductive undergirding of the concept of race in his time, particularly the reproductive dimensions of the racial nationalism by which he was surrounded and against which he wrote. Like Freud (as discussed in the previous chapter), Du Bois realized that most forms of racism depended upon the consolidation of the race/reproduction bind— and thus like Freud he sought to rescript the relationship between these terms in producing antiracist thinking. The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 189

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In response to the genealogical imperatives that secured belonging in the United States, Du Bois produced various literary figurations of black maternity, reproduction, and genealogical continuity that have not yet been examined. Three strategies, though there are others, are my focus in the following pages. In his early work, in protest of the failures of Reconstruction, Du Bois refused to represent the black maternal body as a source of belonging for African Americans. He refused, in other words, to participate in the dominant reproductive logic of racial nationalism. The Souls of Black Folk (1903) elaborates this approach, especially in Du Bois’s eulogy for his son, ‘‘Of the Passing of the First-Born.’’ By contrast, in the 1920s, as Du Bois wearied of the struggle for black inclusion within the United States, he began to look outward toward a larger global theater, and his treatment of black reproductivity changed again. In a text marking this shift in thinking, the romantic novel Dark Princess (1928), Du Bois reinserts the black mother into a discourse on belonging, but this time appropriates this vexed figure to argue for black inclusion in the world. This expanded horizon of belonging, this alternative approach to the issue of racial reproduction, is also evident in Du Bois’s 1940 autobiography, Dusk of Dawn, the text which I examine at the end of this chapter. In this pivotal work Du Bois leaves the figure of the black mother behind and focuses all his energy on reworking the concept of genealogy to bring his thoughts on reproduction and race to a new form of politically strategic fruition. For in Dusk Du Bois goes a long way toward deconstructing the notion of genealogical belonging and in so doing articulates the robustly revolutionary and internationalist goal of black belonging in the world, or what I refer to throughout this chapter as racial globality. National Genealogies

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In reading Du Bois’s work as gender-conscious, even feminist in its persistent attention to issues of maternity, reproduction, and genealogy, I build on the work of those scholars discussed throughout this book who have sought to theorize the gendered and sexual dynamics of nationalism and antinationalist movements.8 In pushing the discussion of Du Bois in this direction I also hope to augment several of the dominant interpretations of Du Bois’s writings on gender. Du Bois’s readers have been divided over how to assess 190

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his representation of black women, especially mothers. Some extol his portraits of womanhood, particularly those of the figure he repeatedly refers to as ‘‘the black All-Mother.’’ Others reserve praise, and like Joy James, are willing only to claim Du Bois as a ‘‘profeminist’’ voice.9 As Hazel Carby points out, Du Bois imagined the black intellectual as necessarily male and as preponderantly patriarchal; indeed, his very definition of black intellectual life and political activism is masculinist.10 Still other critics are concerned with neither Du Bois’s unrealistic or overly romanticized representation of black women, nor his masculinism. Rather, they are interested in how Du Bois’s political claims about racism and the meaning of being black in the twentieth century are subtended by his eugenic thought. As Daylanne English suggests in an essay on Du Bois’s editorship of the Crisis, from about 1900 to 1930 the journal was shot through with eugenic strands, especially in its promotion of a form of ‘‘racial uplift’’ that had as much to do with biological as cultural pedigree, and thus with what might be thought of as ‘‘intraracial ‘family planning.’ ’’ 11 Although I am not expressly concerned with Du Bois’s eugenic thought, I argue, as does English, that the most interesting—and often most troubling —gendered and sexualized elements of his thinking are expressed through implicit and explicit discourses on black reproduction. For although, as other scholars have shown, Du Bois’s representations of women are often mythopoetically idealized and/or stereotypically reductive, assessment of their (de)merits can be usefully separated from exploration of their rhetorical function in articulating a series of inextricable relationships between race and reproduction. First published as a chapter of Souls, Du Bois’s account of the untimely death of his first child, Burghardt, in ‘‘Of the Passing of the First-Born’’ may seem an unlikely place to begin discussion of the racialized reproductive politics that structure his conceptual edifice.12 After all, the figure of the mother hardly appears in this eulogy at all. And yet, it is precisely her spectral presence, her lack of embodiment, that allows Du Bois to work out questions of paternity and paternal filiation while simultaneously exposing the political valence of a refusal of maternal genealogical narration as racial connection. Miming and in the process exposing the prototypical white male national who secures his whiteness, his belonging within the nation, through the assertion of paterThe Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 191

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nal epistemological authority over reproduction and subsequent misrecognition of his black progeny, Du Bois willfully refuses to recognize himself in his son. Souls, published while Du Bois was working as a teacher of history and economics at Atlanta University, is divided into three sections containing both previously published essays and unpublished works. The first two sections are comprised of academic and polemic writings that explore the social and economic situation of blacks during and after Reconstruction (including Du Bois’s famous argument with Booker T. Washington), the Black Belt, cotton, and the black southern metropolis, Atlanta. The third section, which contains Du Bois’s eulogy (one of three chapters written expressly for the collection) is more recognizably literary, and also includes a short story and Du Bois’s monumental essay on the political significance of black music to American culture. Together these stylistically distinct and seemingly incompatible elements combine in an uneasy whole, creating a genre-busting modernist aesthetic that is ‘‘self-consciously polyphonic.’’ 13 In transforming his account of personal tragedy into an occasion for considering a different vision of racial and national belonging, one that reappropriates rather than consolidates the logic of national reproduction, ‘‘Of the Passing of the First-Born’’ becomes a collective narrative and thus as inseparable from the overtly political chapters included in Souls as from issues of group survival. Of particular significance for understanding Du Bois’s elegy is ‘‘Of the Dawn of Freedom.’’ In this early chapter, he foregrounds rather than forgets the history of miscegenation in the United States and the black maternal body’s central place in it. Using two archetypal figures to emblematize an emergent, though still divided, nation, Du Bois retells the story of the unfulfilled promise of Reconstruction:

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One, a gray haired gentleman whose fathers had quit themselves like men, whose sons lay in nameless graves; who bowed to the evil of slavery because its abolition threatened untold ill to all; who stood at last, in the evening of life, a blighted, ruined form, with hate in his eyes;—and the other, a form hovering dark and mother-like; her awful face black with the mists of centuries, had aforetime quailed at that white master’s command, had bent in love over the cradles of his sons and daughters . . . [and] aye, too, at his behest had laid herself low to his 192

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lust, and borne a tawny man child to the world, only to see her dark boy’s limbs scattered to the winds by midnight marauders riding after ‘‘cursed Niggers.’’ (383) In replacing a racist memory of the white nation with its history of miscegenation, Du Bois claims the progeny of white masters and enslaved women as the legitimate inheritors of America and implicitly situates black maternity as the ‘‘medium through which two great races [have been] united’’ in the United States.14 As for the ‘‘tawny man child,’’ the babe born to the formerly enslaved woman and her master, he remains the trace, the vestigial symbol of violent beginnings, he who must straddle the color line as it obscures the real, and yet inadmissible, heterogeneity of the nation he inherits. In creating a portrait of his son Du Bois imbricates his genealogy with the story of miscegenation on a national scale. Describing his son in terms that echo his portrait of ‘‘the tawny man child,’’ he writes of his son’s body: ‘‘How beautiful he was, with his olivetinted flesh and dark gold ringlets, his eyes of mingled blue and brown, his perfect little limbs, and the soft voluptuous roll which the blood of Africa had molded into his features!’’ (507). Du Bois’s son is visibly mixed, and Du Bois does not hesitate to conceal his reaction. Upon holding him and feeling ‘‘a vague unrest,’’ he asks, ‘‘Why was his hair tinted with gold? An evil omen was golden hair in my life. Why had not the brown of his eyes crushed out and killed the blue?—for brown were his father’s eyes, and his father’s father’s’’ (507). Not only does Du Bois acknowledge the violent history embedded in his son’s genealogy, but he casts genealogy as a visual confusion precipitated by the body of his child. Even as his father love awakens, Du Bois struggles with the reproductive dimensions of racialization, with the complexity of black genealogical belonging in the United States, and with the relationship of both to a dominant scopic economy of race in which physiological marks constitute a visual index of life chances as well as the attendant affective repercussions of Du Bois’s paternity.15 As Du Bois’s eulogy proceeds he does not mitigate his obsession with the optics of race but returns to and reworks it as a sign of his own evolving thoughts on fatherhood, reproductive racialization, and the ideology of racial nationalism. In addition to the first moment he sees his child, Du Bois’s thoughts pivot on a series of further optical moments. In the opening sentences of the chapter, The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 193

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as he receives news of his son’s birth, his first thought is to wonder how his baby looks. In passages that follow he marks the descent of the ‘‘Veil’’ that separates the white world from the black as a transformation in the visual field, as a process of shadowing. As he recounts the circumstances of his son’s death and describes the funeral procession, his use of darkness and light intensifies: Death is cast as a ‘‘shadow,’’ and the sun as a ‘‘brooding’’ presence ‘‘veiling its face’’ (508). The funerary song in the ears of the mourners is likewise transformed into an image, a ‘‘shadow’’ that stands out in bold relief next to the ‘‘pale faced’’ hurrying men and women, who fail to turn in sympathy toward the black mourners but instead judge them in a ‘‘glance’’ and pronounce them ‘‘Niggers!’’ Finally, in his depiction of Burghardt’s departing soul Du Bois writes that it leaves ‘‘darkness in its train’’ (508), as well as the ominous veil itself.16 Du Bois’s preoccupation with the visible coding of his son’s body, and with the play of darkness and light across it, is directly linked to the treatment of racial optics in the best known passage in Souls, where he declares that the ‘‘true self-consciousness’’ that he seeks to find and to instill in others is that which belongs to the man who ‘‘simply wishes it to be possible . . . [to] be both a Negro and an American’’ (364). In formulating the struggle for self-consciousness as the articulation of racial and national belonging, Du Bois mobilizes the highly visual figure of the veil to explain the twinned forces that inspire that particular feeling of ‘‘twoness,’’ of possessing a body that holds ‘‘two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings’’ in a form of tension manifest as ‘‘double-consciousness’’ (364–65). Double consciousness, the ‘‘sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity’’ (365) is structured by racial optics, by a presumption that blackness is opaque to the white gaze. In turn, double consciousness relies on a series of visual concept metaphors and refers to a number of scopic states simultaneously: the power of white racism to render blacks invisible and subordinate; the experience of being perceived as American and not quite American that results from such invisibility; the recourse of racism to the hypervisibility of ‘‘one drop of black blood’’ that is the inverse of a racism of invisibility; the internal conflict attendant on living in a white nation while perceiving oneself as black; and the visually overdetermined metaphor of the Veil.17 Consciousness 194

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is perhaps more accurately double-edged than double: the Veil renders blacks subordinate to the white world and gaze, while those who must look at the world through the Veil gain a painfully clear view of racial apartheid’s mechanism. In coming to terms with the heavy use of visual metaphors and color-coded figurations in Du Bois’s work I do not mean to argue that he wished to reduce blackness to a set of visual signifiers, nor to imply that in meditating on the raced body and on physiological degrees of lightness and darkness Du Bois embraced an essentialist conception of race.18 Rather, I am suggesting a reading of Du Bois’s central philosophical formulations—the Veil and double consciousness—as ones in which consciousness and vision are, as in most Enlightenment projects, inextricable. Du Bois chose to inhabit the dominant discourse on race and the notions of racial visibility that are part and parcel of it, because he regarded this as a strategic necessity in a context in which racism transparently grounded itself in such thinking.19 In short, Du Bois’s engagement with the optics of race expresses his awareness of racial (in)visibility as one of the primary power regimes through which racism institutes itself. His reflections on his son’s golden hair and blue-tinted eyes constitute an acknowledgment of the historical and political necessity of working through the effects of the dominant scopic economy of race—the ‘‘the quasi-hallucinatory’’ 20 visibility of race that has been used to cement relationships between racial and national belonging in a nation Du Bois famously describes as divided by ‘‘the color line.’’ Insofar as Du Bois’s engagement with the optics of race exists in a strategically deconstructive relationship to the dependence of racism on the putative visibility of race, it also bears such a relationship to the nationalist discourse that joins race and reproduction. As Du Bois understood, black fathers could not secure belonging for their sons in a nation in which they themselves received unequal treatment and protection. And thus, when Du Bois imagines that his son’s body can escape the cut of the Veil it is by way of a genealogical counternarrative in which he is dissociated from the paternal line (note that Burghardt does not have the eyes and features of his father nor his father’s father) and is affiliated instead with his mother. Significantly, at the same time as he refuses paternal filiation, Du Bois casts the maternal-child bond as decisively antiessentializing—not grounded in biology— but instead integrated into an alternative calculus of connection in The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 195

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which spiritual merging plays a far greater role than genealogical descent. Like her child, Burghardt’s mother is presented as racially indeterminate. And while it may be argued that readers were meant to assume that Nina Gomer Du Bois was black and self-identified as such, the textual mother in Du Bois’s eulogy is unnamed, never subjected to physical description, or otherwise racialized.21 Instead, she is characterized as an empty vessel, a protean being of mythological proportions who is so emotionally bound up with Burghardt that Du Bois depicts his baby as torn from ‘‘underneath her heart’’ (506) rather than from her womb. Indeed, the primacy of the textual mother’s connection to the child is so strong that Du Bois’s paternity is expressed as maternally mediated. Unable to love the ‘‘tiny formless thing . . . all head and voice,’’ he insists that his tie to his baby is secured through his ‘‘love for its mother’’ (506). This romanticized and at once nonbiological link between mother and child is further solidified when the connection between the two is rendered in terms of language rather than flesh or blood. As Du Bois points out, renovating a nineteenthcentury discourse of sentimentality to his own ends, mother and child communicate through a private, ‘‘soft and unknown tongue and in it [hold] communion’’ (507). Though Du Bois insists throughout that his son is born within the Veil, he also reiterates that even as it shadowed him it was incapable of ‘‘darken[ing] half his sun’’ (509). Because Burghardt lacks racial self-consciousness, Du Bois describes him as living in a better world, in which ‘‘souls walk alone, uncolored and unclothed’’ (509). In this sense Burghardt is suspended above the color line, a precarious position associated with youthful ignorance, with his multiply signifying body, with his body’s ability to escape the cut of the Veil, with the cutting gaze of white America, and perhaps most importantly, with his racially unmarked mother. Just as Du Bois will not ‘‘Africanize America . . . [or] bleach his black Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism’’ (215), he will not bind his son to his mother using the ideological constructs of racial nationalism; for to do so would be to capitulate to the (il)logic of national reproduction—a losing proposition for a black father and for a child born to a black woman. Instead, in Du Bois’s eulogy an ambiguous maternal body holds his child close, all the while allowing this incalculable body to remain in suspension above the color line, contesting its logic. 196 Wayward Reproductions

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The few critics who have treated ‘‘Of the Passing of the FirstBorn’’ interpret it allegorically.22 The reading offered here follows suit, while paying special attention to the narrative’s reproductive politics. For, by focusing on and developing a portrait of his child’s tiny changing form, Du Bois constructs mother and child together as a symbolic repository for the relationship between race and nation that is allegorized in Souls and, simultaneously, indicates the contours of a genealogical counternarrative. In contrast to the dominant ideology of national belonging, in which the reproduction of race is coupled with an account of the maternal body as a resource for instantiating the racial nation and the racist memory of nationals (and thus of a particular form of sexualized racism as the history of nationalism), ‘‘Of the Passing of the First-Born’’ allegorizes the violence of the ideology of national reproduction by refusing to construct the maternal body as the source of racial identity. As the last words of Du Bois’s chapter indicate, so long as national belonging and blackness remain irreconcilable in the United States, there will be no justice for America’s black sons. Together with the other ‘‘tawny’’ children who comprise the newly unified nation, Du Bois’s child will reside ‘‘above the Veil,’’ balancing on the tightrope of the color line that suspends it. With this in mind, Du Bois’s title, ‘‘Of the Passing of the FirstBorn,’’ begins to resonate multiply. Du Bois’s first son passes away, potentially passes in and out of the white world, and passes in the biblical sense of being passed over. He is not sacrificed to the Veil but is among the chosen, his death, as Priscilla Wald has argued, a ‘‘survival, [or an] almost active (although . . . unwitting) protest.’’ 23 And yet, the act of ‘‘passing’’ invoked in the title can be interpreted as referring not only to Du Bois’s son but also to Du Bois. For it is he who ‘‘passes’’ in the sense that he declines to ground either his own paternity or his portrait of maternity in the nationalist logic of racialized reproduction. In creating an alternative representation of mother and son, Du Bois refused to make the black mother into the source of racial identity in a context in which this same logic excluded blacks from the nation. In refusing to situate his son in the world according to the geography of American racism— a map that at the time charted the terrain of visible blackness— Du Bois deconstructed the nationalist logic that situated reproduction as a racializing force that determined who belonged and at the same time denied belonging to those who would be both Negro and American. The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 197

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In his ‘‘After-Thought’’ to Souls, Du Bois prays that his book will not fall ‘‘stillborn into the world’’ (547). In closing he thus indicates that ‘‘Of the Passing of the First-Born’’ is an allegory of thwarted reproductive potential that is central to the book overall. ‘‘In the Dawn of Freedom,’’ the essay in which Du Bois locates white masters and slave women as the progenitors of the nation, he reflects on the failures of the Freedmen’s Bureau, stating that ‘‘the passing of a great human institution before its work is done, like the untimely passing of a single soul . . . leaves a legacy of striving for other men’’ (390). In echoing nearly verbatim his sentiments about his son’s death in recounting his feelings about the plight of black freepersons, Du Bois reveals his child’s story as again coincident with that of the miscegenated nation. In failing to nurture its black children, Du Bois warns, America renders its future precarious. For in a context in which the pervasive form of historical memory disavows the history of miscegenation in the United States—in a context in which it is impossible to acknowledge black mothers as ‘‘co-worker[s] in the kingdom of culture’’(365)—the bold vision elaborated in Souls risks demise. As Souls continues on from Du Bois’s personal tragedy, ‘‘the kingdom of culture’’ emerges as the ultimate figuration of the miscegenated nation. And instructively, the book’s final chapter, ‘‘The Sorrow Songs,’’ forcefully expresses this. As Du Bois avers (prefiguring the arguments of cultural studies scholars nearly a century later), the black contribution to the United States is foundational, as can be discerned in black music: ‘‘by fateful chance the Negro folk-song—the rhythmic cry of the slave—stands to-day not simply as the sole American music, but as the most beautiful expression of human experience born this side of the seas. It has been neglected, it has been, and is, half despised . . . but not withstanding, it still remains as the singular spiritual heritage of the nation and the greatest gift of the Negro people’’ (536–37). As readers have observed, the United States, like its music, is African American; and yet this fact, like the starkly political one, awaits acknowledgment.24 What is seldom mentioned about Du Bois’s argument about the black foundations of the nation is that the sorrow songs are not only a raced but also a gendered and expressly reproductive cultural formation. These songs, ‘‘the siftings of centuries,’’ were sung by Du Bois’s grandfather’s grandmother, who was ‘‘seized by an evil Dutch trader two centuries ago’’ (538). Slave mothers once passed them down to their ‘‘children and they to their chil198

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dren’s children,’’ such that generations upon generations know not the meaning of the songs’ words but ‘‘know . . . well the meaning of [the] . . . music’’ (539) and the significance of its reproduction across time. The sorrow songs chapter not only concludes Souls but also provides a key to the paired musical and poetic epigraphs that begin each of the book’s chapters. As becomes evident from the vantage point of the arguments set forth about the sorrow songs, in coupling stanzas of song with bars of music or stanzas of poetry from around the world, Du Bois universalizes the sorrow songs’ message, enlarging, even globalizing, the scope of ‘‘the greatest gift’’ while keeping sight of its specific import in the United States. Voices heard singing songs of grief and liberation, oppression and freedom are universally comprehensible because the message of black music—that ‘‘sometime, somewhere, men will judge men by their souls and not by their skins’’ (544)—travels no matter the language in which the sorrow songs are sung.25 Indeed, music that originated in Africa and found new expression in America is not only aesthetically on a par with European music but is the prototypical sound of freedom. And, significantly, these cadences of liberation have been reproduced by black women who have succeeded not so much in creating a biological destiny for the race, as in reproducing a universalizable cultural inheritance.26 Racial Globality

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Though Du Bois clearly hoped that acknowledgment of black music, and black culture more generally, would be foreseeable in the near future, over a quarter of a century after writing Souls his optimism was to a great extent dampened. Three decades of lynching, Jim Crow, and other forms of state-sanctioned racial violence had taken their toll. Rather than persisting exclusively in a battle for national recognition of black men and women, by the 1920s Du Bois began to turn toward the larger world, toward Marxism, and toward an understanding of the interconnection between struggles for racial justice fought at home in the United States and those fought against imperialism and colonialism elsewhere. In his 1920 anthology, Darkwater, this geographical reorientation is already pronounced. Whiteness, Du Bois argues, is a concept that signifies class as much as race, and thus in discussing world economic power he develops a critique of colonialism as a form of The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 199

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international capital expansion that is linked directly to racial oppression in the United States. Like European imperial powers the United States has produced itself as a white nation, and thus of Darkwater’s readers Du Bois asks, ‘‘Are we not coming more and more, day by day, to making the statement ‘I am white’ the one fundamental tenet of our morality?’’ Are not Americans ‘‘shoulder to shoulder’’ with Europeans in their quest for the accumulation of wealth through imperial escapades and racialized exploitation? 27 In a 1925 essay entitled ‘‘The Negro Mind Reaches Out,’’ Du Bois instructively elaborates these ideas through careful selfcitation and revision of his famous opening gambit in Souls.28 ‘‘Once upon a time,’’ he writes, in my younger years and in the dawn of this century I wrote: ‘‘The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.’’ It was a pert and singing phrase which I then liked and which since I have often rehearsed to my soul and asked:— how far is this prophecy or speculation? To-day in the last years of the century’s first quarter . . . fruit of bitter rivalries of economic imperialism . . . deeply entwined at bottom with the problems of the color line . . . [such that] world dissension and catastrophe still lurk in the unsolved problems of race relations. (385)

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Whereas in Souls the problem of the color line is principally (though not exclusively) treated as national, in 1925 ‘‘the problem of the twentieth century’’ is overtly global and refers to Portuguese involvement in Sao Thomé, British Nigeria, insurgent Morocco, Liberia, the Belgian Congo, the French West Indies, Sierra Leone, and a score of other sites of imperial domination and anticolonial struggle that Du Bois discusses at length. These disparate geographic sites and the people who inhabit them are linked by a shared experience of exploitation, by the unity that might emerge from common analysis of ‘‘international finance’’ and ‘‘imperialistic world industry’’ (406)—that is, by a powerful, if partially inchoate, global consciousness of ‘‘the Color Problem and the Labor Problem’’ as to ‘‘a great extent two sides of the same human tangle’’ (407–8).29 Building on these interwar period writings, Du Bois’s novel Dark Princess joins together a critique of a nation that had frustrated Du Bois’s quest for justice, with an exploration of the potential for black anti-imperial internationalism.30 The novel, which 200

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Du Bois called his ‘‘favorite book,’’ resolutely gazes outward toward emerging struggles for decolonization while simultaneously legitimating inclusion of African Americans in such world historical events.31 As if to continue the unfinished argument of Souls by picking up on the internationalist potential of the sorrow songs, in the opening chapter of Dark Princess the protagonist, the selfidentified ‘‘American Negroe’’ Matthew Towns, makes the global move by singing ‘‘Go Down Moses’’ to an audience referred to as the ‘‘Council of the Darker Peoples of the World.’’ He is prompted to share the ‘‘great song of emancipation’’ by a desire for recognition by this group as a man whose cultural contribution rivals that of members of other great civilizations and whose consciousness of exploitation and dream of liberation are consonant with those of the world’s oppressed peoples.32 If, as Du Bois argued in Souls, he could not make America recognize black people as ‘‘coworkers in the Kingdom of culture,’’ if he could not by force of will and reason convince America that it could not be ‘‘America without her Negro people’’ (545), then the fictional Matthew will show the rest of the world that American Negroes have a place on the larger global stage. In Dark Princess, as in Souls, the political argument finds expression through a series of reproductive metaphors, figurations, and themes. In contrast to Du Bois’s previous use of the black mother to contest the racist logic of nationalism, Dark Princess elaborates a utopian dream of solidarity among the darker peoples of the world by reappropriating this figure. As if recrafting his earlier grief-stricken representation of mother and child, he proffers a new (albeit troubling) vision of a ‘‘black All-Mother.’’ In this sense, Du Bois’s internationalist fiction does not simply supersede his earlier, overtly political project, but rather intertwines with it by reiterating as it responds to the failures of the first. That Dark Princess, a work formally and generically distinct, should be coupled with Souls is partly explained by the novel’s fulfillment of Du Bois’s mandate for propagandistic literature which he elaborated in ‘‘The Criteria of Negro Art,’’ a controversial paper first delivered in 1926 at an naacp conference in Chicago, just two years before Du Bois’s novel’s publication.33 In this treatise on engaged artistic production, Du Bois expresses himself decisively: ‘‘all art is propaganda and ever must be. . . . I stand in utter shamelessness and say that whatever art I have for writing has been used always for propaganda for gaining the right of black The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 201

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folk to love and enjoy. I do not care a damn for any art that is not used for propaganda. But I do care when propaganda is confined to one side while the other is stripped and silent.’’ 34 As Dark Princess’s subtitle signals, it is generically ‘‘A Romance’’—first and foremost a story about the love of Matthew for Kautilya, the Maharanee of Bwodpur, the princess of the novel’s title. In invoking ‘‘Criteria of Negro Art,’’ I do not mean to suggest that Du Bois’s writings must be read as propaganda; rather, I wish to draw attention to the particular place given to the romantic genre in the ‘‘Criteria for Negro Art.’’ For of all the generic forms that Du Bois might have chosen as vehicles for propaganda he singles out romance, thus implicitly suggesting that it is because Dark Princess is a romance that it can advance the unfinished political arguments put forth in Souls. After describing the anticolonial struggle in German East Africa, in which thousands of ‘‘black men from East, West and South Africa, and Nigeria and the Valley of the Nile . . . struggled, fought and died,’’ to drive the Germans, English, and Flemish from their lands, Du Bois writes that ‘‘such is the true and stirring stuff of which romance is born.’’ Here, he directly connects romance to struggle against imperialism and colonialism and thus situates it as an artistic form that lends itself to expression of triumph over oppression. Through this lens, Dark Princess practices what Du Bois elsewhere preaches: in its pages romance emerges as a useful political tool, as a propagandistic narrative that inextricably binds the fight to end white world domination through international anticolonial alliance with a globe straddling love affair.35 The relationship between the novel’s lovers is related in four parts, each of which doubles as an account of Matthew’s political awakening, and thus his struggle to develop internationalist consciousness is bound up with his love for the princess and the movement in which she is involved. In part 1, ‘‘Exile,’’ Matthew leaves the United States for Germany after being discharged from medical school. In Berlin he first meets the princess when he rescues her from the advances of a white American in a café. After telling her his life story he is invited into the inner circle of ‘‘the Council of the Darker Peoples of the World,’’ who have begun plotting an anti-imperialist realignment of global power. Though the members of this group are uncertain about whether Matthew should be included amongst them, the princess is convinced of the need to include African Americans in their internationalist enterprise. 202

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Against the protestations of her comrades, Matthew is discharged by the princess to research and report on the activities of Manuel Perigua (a Caribbean nationalist reminiscent of Marcus Garvey), the leader of an organization committed to the overthrow of white supremacy through terrorism. Having fallen in love with the princess and her cause, Matthew departs with the intention of executing her orders. On his return home Matthew finds that his life is filled with new forms of racialized brutality. In part 2, ‘‘The Pullman Porter,’’ he meets Perigua, by whom he is baffled, unsure whether he is a misguided visionary or true prophet. To find out and to support himself Matthew becomes a railway porter. He meets Perigua’s alleged supporters and quickly discovers that his organization is largely a sham. Though disheartened, Matthew retains his sense of purpose until his fellow porter is lynched aboard a train transporting Klan members to a huge international conference. Matthew’s rage and sorrow are compounded when he discovers that his friend’s assassins had assumed that they were in fact murdering Matthew. Overwhelmed by bitterness Matthew joins Perigua in a suicide mission to dynamite a bridge over which the next ‘‘Klan Special’’ will pass. At the last minute, when he discovers the princess on board the train slated for destruction, Matthew aborts the mission, realizing that his love for Kautilya and his commitment to her cause persist. When Matthew refuses to turn Perigua over to the law, he is sentenced to ten years in prison. In part 3, ‘‘The Chicago Politician,’’ Matthew begins a new life as a cog in the corrupt political machine that is making a bid for control over black Chicago. This section of the novel, an exposé of the corruption of organized politics and the manipulation of black constituencies by power-hungry hucksters, also depicts the political alternatives to the princess’s cause. Though Matthew momentarily loses himself in this narrow world, he eventually reawakens to the distinction between justice and injustice, honesty and graft. When the princess reenters his life, having gone off to learn the dignity of toil (as a maid, waitress, tobacco worker, and official of the Box Maker’s Union) Matthew is jolted back into consciousness and love. In part 4, the romance is consummated, and the princess and Matthew each achieve spiritual and political enlightenment. When the princess finally calls upon Matthew to rejoin ‘‘the Council of the Darker Peoples of the World,’’ whose planning for global transformation is now in its final stages, she also summons him to The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 203

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join her in constituting a new family at the center of which resides a golden child, Matthew’s son, a baby cast as the messiah of a new world in which Pan-Asia and Pan-Africa are united in common cause against white world domination. As is evident, the events that catalyze the novel’s drama and those that resolve it are decisively reproductive. Matthew is not dismissed from medical school because he cannot make the grade but because he has been prohibited from his training in obstetrics, a course that would place him, a black man, into contact with the reproductive bodies of white women. As the dean of the medical school admonishes, ‘‘What did you expect? Juniors must have obstetrical work. Do you think white women patients are going to have a Nigger doctor delivering their babies?’’ (4). As in the discourse of ‘‘Race Suicide,’’ the white maternal bodies that regenerate the nation are rescued from contaminating black hands, and Matthew’s ‘‘exile’’ in ‘‘his own native land’’(7) is explicitly marked as an exclusion from the reproductive order of things. When Matthew arrives in Berlin, the rage in his heart channels itself into an action that avenges the specific wrong done him. His exclusion from medical training fuels his outrage that a white man would sexually defile a woman of color, the princess, who sits at a far table in the Viktoria Cafe. As Matthew first envisions her she is cast as a burst of color, ‘‘a glow of golden brown . . . darker than sunlight and gold . . . a living, glowing crimson,’’ which suddenly brightens ‘‘the absence or negation of color’’ in which he exists in Europe (8). The scene that ensues is overdetermined and highly charged. Matthew’s honorable intention toward white women as a wouldbe doctor contrasts with the sexually threatening intention of the white American. In this brief episode, the white man, rather than the fantasmatic black rapist, is revealed as the true threat to racial harmony. Though the scene is set in Berlin, its male actors operate within a specifically U.S. racial and sexual economy. The white American points to the princess and claims he knows what ‘‘Niggers’’ want, while Matthew defends her honor with a conviction of which only he understands the deeper meaning: ‘‘All that cold rage which still lay like lead beneath his heart began again to glow and burn’’ (9). Though grateful, the princess is nonplussed. Although ‘‘she [is] ‘colored’ . . . [she is] not at all colored in [Matthew’s] intimate sense’’ (14), and thus she interprets the incident through a global lens rather than a specifically North 204 Wayward Reproductions

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American one. As she explains to Matthew over coffee, ‘‘It had never happened before that a stranger of my own color should offer me protection in Europe. I had a curious sense of some great inner meaning to your act—some world movement’’ (17, emphasis added). As the narrative unfolds the princess’s understanding of the alliance of ‘‘Negro America’’ and India, Pan-Africa, and Pan-Asia, rather than Matthew’s U.S. exceptionalism, is literally born out in the international and interracial reproductive union that serves as the narrative’s symbolic and rhetorical culmination. Before turning to the birth of the child who may aptly be identified as Du Bois’s second son, however, I turn to the depiction of two archetypal female bodies: the first, the light-skinned Sara Andrews, the nonreproductive foil to Kautilya; and Sara’s antithesis, a dark and fecund background figure who provides the novel with a maternalist mechanism of filiation that makes arrival at its reproductive telos possible. Within the narrative’s logic, the embrace and celebration of the latter figure depends upon the sacrifice of the former. The disturbing castigation of Sara’s pale form is overt: Matthew is first married to Sara, and it is his sterile union with her that he repudiates when he joins the princess. An array of textual details forecast this turn of events: the ‘‘new and shining’’ (142) house that Sara furnishes and arranges for herself and Matthew on the eve of their marriage boasts an electric log in the fireplace that Matthew had longed to fill with real ones. Moreover, the home without a hearth is purged of Matthew’s personal effects, most notably his ‘‘long coveted . . . copy of a master painter’s female nude’’ (142–43), an image that spoke to him of ‘‘endless strife, of finer beauty and never dying flesh’’ (143). Like Sara on her wedding day, the perfectly ordered house that the couple cohabit is ‘‘immaculate.’’ Further depictions of Sara as a frigid, sterile check to Matthew’s advances are unrelenting; all passionate impulses that Matthew experiences are immediately squelched by his lightskinned wife. On the couple’s wedding day, as Matthew gazes on Sara’s ‘‘roll of silken hair,’’ and the ‘‘single pearl shining at the parting of her’’ noticeably ‘‘little breasts,’’ he is reprimanded by her ‘‘metallic voice’’ to straighten his tie. When afterward, the pair roll off in their new Studebaker and Matthew is moved to tenderness by ‘‘his slim white bride’’ (144), she issues a portentous reminder to ‘‘be careful of the veil’’ (144), a warning that cannot but echo doubly for Du Bois’s readers. The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 205

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The veil that divides the white and black worlds ultimately separates the light-skinned Sara from Matthew. Though her ambition is to secure a political office for Matthew and to use him to gain the power that she as a woman cannot dare seek for herself, she does so by selling out the black constituency that he represents, an activity that often necessitates that she pass as white. Events come to a head on the day of the election at a previctory dinner in honor of Matthew’s imminent acquisition of a place in Congress. At this event meticulously orchestrated by Sara, the princess surreptitiously reenters Matthew’s life, luring him back with her full lips and dark, sinuous form, which has been visibly molded by the toil she has now experienced. Sara, who is by contrast adorned in a ‘‘flesh colored even frock’’ that appears white and soulless by comparison, is left gasping in disbelief. Kautilya’s ‘‘colored hands,’’ ‘‘which are bare and almost clawlike,’’ tell of a deeper transformation, her entrance into the proletariat. As Matthew notes, ‘‘The Princess that [he] worshipped is become the working woman whom [he] loves’’ (209), a laborer whose ‘‘body is beauty’’ and whose soul is ‘‘freedom to [his] tortured groping life’’ (210). Needless to say, Matthew abandons Sara, who is now ‘‘white to the lips’’ in Du Bois’s estimation. Though Kautilya’s work-wizened body foreshadows other forms of bodily productivity, the black mother figure that is the antithesis of Sara is first incarnated as Matthew’s ex-slave mother, a woman who lives alone in rural Virginia on the farm that she received after the Civil War. This silent yet powerful woman is repeatedly etched in the reader’s mind with simple descriptives: ‘‘big,’’ ‘‘straight,’’ ‘‘tall,’’ ‘‘immense,’’ ‘‘white haired,’’ and ‘‘darkly brown’’ and is often encountered ‘‘singing something low and strong’’ (130), the same sorrow songs passed down from African ancestors that Du Bois wrote about in Souls, that Matthew sings to the princess’s council, and that Du Bois claims to have first heard from the descendants of his great-grandmother Violet, who had ‘‘crooned a heathen melody to the child between her knees’’ (538). Though Matthew’s interactions with his mother are scant, she comes into focus through the bond that the princess forms with her during Matthew’s imprisonment. On the occasion of Kautilya’s reunion with Matthew, she extols his mother: ‘‘Oh Matthew, you have a wonderful mother. Have you seen her hands? Have you seen the gnarled and knotted glory of her hands? . . . [Y]our mother is Kali, the Black One; wife of Siva, Mother of the World!’’ (220). 206 Wayward Reproductions

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Describing her encounter as ‘‘what I shall always know to have been the greatest thing in my life,’’ Kautilya continues: I saw that old mother of yours standing in the blue shadows of twilight with flowers, cotton, and corn about her, I knew I was looking upon one of the ancient prophets of India and that she was to lead me out of the depths in which I found myself and up to the atonement for which I yearned. . . . So I started with her upon that path . . . [and] we talked it all out together. We prayed to God, hers and mine, and out of her ancient lore she did the sacrifice of flame and blood which was the ceremony of my own great fathers and which came down to her from Shango of Western Africa. (221) For Kautilya, Matthew’s mother symbolizes the dignity of the manual labor that Kautilya herself will soon know, a Hindu goddess of life (Kali) who is specifically racialized as black, a symbol of the fertility of the earth, and an ‘‘ancient prophet’’ whom Kautilya views as a direct descendent of Gotama, the Buddha of the world, an incarnation of ‘‘his perfect and ineffable self,’’ who is meant to lead her to atonement.36 This pantheistic and at times unapologetically orientalist portrait of the black mother as the life-giving goddess of the entire world originates in Du Bois’s early nonfiction. In ‘‘The Damnation of Woman’’ (1920), which first appeared in Darkwater, Du Bois rescues black women from historical occlusion, from scorn and racist stereotype, by celebrating them as descendants of those other ‘‘daughters of sorrow,’’ among whom he includes ‘‘the primal black All-Mother of men,’’ and ‘‘black Neith, the primal mother of all,’’ through to the ‘‘dusky Cleopatras, dark Candaces, and darker and fiercer Zinghas’’ (300–301). According to Du Bois, the land of ‘‘the mother is and was Africa’’ and the black mother is herself akin to ‘‘Isis . . . still titular goddess . . . of the dark continent’’ (301). Taking a detour through the writings of famous authors who have recognized ‘‘the mother-idea’’ as itself a black concept, Du Bois concludes that although it is commonly believed that slavery destroyed black maternity, black women have drawn on their prodigious lineage such that ‘‘the half-million women of Negro descent who lived at the beginning of the nineteenth century [have] become mothers of two and one-fourth million daughters at the time of the Civil War and five million granddaughters in 1910’’ (303).37 The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 207

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Black maternity is simultaneously American, global, and ancient. And while Du Bois’s ‘‘black All-Mother’’ image may have glossed over the complexity of black women’s lives and lent itself to black matriarchy myths (formulated by Franklin Frazier and later egregiously distorted by the Moynihan Report), within the context of Du Bois’s own corpus this figuration plays a crucial role in freeing black people the world over from the logic of the color line. Whereas Du Bois refused to racialize the mother of his son in ‘‘Of the Passing of the First-Born’’ in order to fend off the racist logic of national reproduction, in Dark Princess he repudiated the sterile light-skinned woman by counterpointing her with the fecund ‘‘black All-Mother,’’ a dark racialized vessel of consciousness and belonging whom he cast as the source of racial globality— a form of international kinship that encompasses all the darker peoples of the world, and constitutes a refutation of U.S. racial nationalism. In continuing her dialogue with Matthew, Kautilya transposes the black mother figure yet again. When Matthew asks her to tell him about India, she depicts India as a mother source metonymically connected to Matthew’s mother: ‘‘India! India! Out of black India the world is born. Into the black womb of India the world shall creep to die. All that the world has done, India did, and that more marvelously, more magnificently. The loftiest mountains, the mightiest of rivers, the widest of plains, the broadest of oceans—these are India’’ (227). This passage is part of an ongoing argument in which Du Bois contests Europe and Greece as the origin of civilization—in this instance positing India as the origin of world culture. When on completion of her monologue the princess turns to Matthew and asks whether he understands what she has said, however, more is at stake than a reworking of civilization’s origin story. Matthew’s deceptively simple reply encapsulates the affective logic of racial globality: ‘‘No I can not understand,’’ he says to Kautilya, ‘‘but I feel your meaning’’ (227, emphasis added). In refusing a strict analogy between India and America, Pan-Africa and Pan-Asia, Du Bois refuses to homogenize the members of the darker world; rather, through Matthew, he proffers a shared ‘‘structure of feeling’’ (to borrow a formulation from Raymond Williams), a form of racial consciousness that connects all the world’s darker peoples into a single world-shaping force.38 Echoing the princess’s earlier sentiment about feeling a world movement in Matthew’s rescue of her from white sexual 208

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predation, here Matthew similarly feels global connection. ‘‘Black America’’ and ‘‘Black India’’ have much in common in terms of the feelings of their black populations, and even though these are not the same, the story that can be told through the mother line makes revolutionary kinship possible. Whereas Richard Wright cast the Negro as America’s metaphor, Du Bois cast the black mother as the world’s metaphor.39 If ‘‘the Council of the Darker Peoples of the World’’ is initially reluctant to grant full membership to African Americans, the trajectory of the novel is toward their enlightenment, toward a shift in their political analysis made possible by their embrace of a more nuanced understanding of realized labor and white world domination. While in the beginning of the novel the council members (Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Egyptian, and Arab elites) believe that a color line divides the world, but that there is a necessary ‘‘color line within a color line’’ (22) dividing the worthy from the rabble, by the end of the book this internal divide dissolves.40 The council realizes that it matters not whether the masses ‘‘be bound by oppression or by color’’ but only that all the oppressed belong among their ranks. In promulgating a more robust Marxism, the council approaches Stuart Hall’s famous formulation that race is the modality in which class is lived.41 As Matthew and the princess concur: ‘‘the mission of the darker peoples . . . of black, brown, and yellow is to raise out of their pain, slavery, and humiliation, a beacon to guide manhood to health and happiness and life and away from the morass of hate, poverty, crime and sickness, monopoly, and the mass-murder called war’’ (257). Though the novel’s pervasive elitism precludes the possibility that the masses emerge as significant historical actors within its pages, Du Bois grounds the princess’s political philosophy and emergent Marxist proclivities in his historical reality and political concerns. Like Du Bois, Kautilya is thoroughly engaged in the Communist Party’s debate over ‘‘the Negro question,’’ which started in the early twenties when Lenin introduced it at the Second Congress of the Communist International in his famous ‘‘Draft Theses on the National and Colonial Question.’’ In this document Lenin advanced the idea that African Americans constitute an oppressed nation, whose struggle for freedom should be supported and recognized as akin to other struggles against capitalism and imperialism.42 Significantly, the final formulation of the ‘‘Theses’’ adopted by the Comintern was linked from the The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 209

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outset with debates about the dawn of communism in India, and especially with the writings of the Bengali intellectual and activist, M. N. Roy, founder of the Indian Communist Party. Roy’s contribution to Lenin’s ‘‘Theses’’ came in the form of comments and critiques, and eventually an alternative draft created in response to a preliminary version of the document that Lenin had precirculated among Congress delegates. The central additions that Roy offered, and which were officially adopted by the party, drew distinctions among diverse bourgeois-democratic liberation movements and their revolutionary potential. Roy was concerned that in many contexts ‘‘reformist’’ nationalist movements prevailed, and that the Comintern should eschew such movements and their leaders lest they desert to the imperialist camp. In contrast to his condemnation of such dangerous bourgeois tendencies, Roy advocated undivided support of the real revolutionary masses, those nationalists who were stridently anticolonialist. The difficulty with Roy’s proposals, as Du Bois also seemed to comprehend in creating his portrait of the princess and her council, was the question it begged about how to distinguish among nationalist movements, how to divine the difference between revolution from above and from below.43 In 1921, after the Second Congress met, Lenin wrote the Communist Party United States expressing surprise that their reports to Moscow did not discuss party work among black Americans, urging them to reconsider their strategy, and appealing to them to recognize blacks as a crucial element in communist activity. After all, he argued, ‘‘American Negros’’ occupy the most oppressed sector of American society. Though Lenin had his detractors, particularly John Reed (the outspoken leader of the Communist Labor Party), by the Fourth Congress in 1922, a more realistic basis for discussion of the connection between the ‘‘National Question’’ and the ‘‘Negro Question’’ was finally established.44 And thus it was this congress, the first to be attended by American blacks—the unofficial and noncommunist Jamaican-born poet Claude McKay and an official communist delegate, Otto E. Huiswood—that resulted in the first formal declaration of Comintern policy toward blacks.45 As the Comintern announced in the pages of The Worker, it was now ready to recognize the right of ‘‘Negro Americans’’ to national self-determination for the ‘‘history of the Negro in America fits him for an important role in the liberation of the en210 Wayward Reproductions

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tire African race.’’ As the Comintern concluded, ‘‘the international struggle of the Negro race is a struggle against Capitalism and Imperialism,’’ and thus there is a clear ‘‘necessity of supporting every form of Negro Movement which tends to undermine Capitalism and Imperialism and to impede its further penetration.’’ 46 These ‘‘real life’’ correlates for Kautilya’s politics explain her interest in Matthew Towns. When comparing the language of the Comintern’s declaration with that which Du Bois attributes to Kautilya, the echoes are audible. As Comrade Rose Pastor Stokes expressed it, following the language approved by the congress verbatim, The world Negro Movement must be organized: in America, as the center of Negro culture and the crystallization of Negro protest; in Africa, the reservoir of human labor for the further development of Capitalism; in Central America . . . where American Imperialism dominates; in Puerto Rico, Haiti, Santo Domingo and other islands washed by the waters of the Caribbean, where the brutal treatment of our Black fellow-men by the American occupation has aroused the protests of the conscious Negro . . . in South Africa and the Congo . . . in East Africa . . . in all of these centers the Negro movement must be organized.47

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Work among black Americans is here described as part of a worldwide struggle against colonialism and imperialism, and the Communist Party International situated as the means for organizing this movement. Just as the Comintern recognized the relationship between ‘‘the Negro Question’’ and ‘‘Colonial Question,’’ so too Kautilya and, at her urging, the members of ‘‘the Council of the Darker Peoples of the World.’’ In particular these historical debates find expression in Kautilya’s discussion of the ‘‘black belt,’’ a concept she deploys to rescript black America not only as a ‘‘nation within a nation’’ (the formulation announced at the Sixth Party Congress in 1928, the year Dark Princess was published) but as a black nation that is part of a ‘‘black belt’’ that girds the world.48 As she observes in a letter to Matthew, rural blacks constitute a significant sector of the darker world. From Virginia, where she is living with Matthew’s mother, gestating their child and at the same time planning world revolution, she writes: The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 211

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This world [the black world of Virginia] is really much nearer to our world [the black world of the council] than I had thought. This brook dances on to a river fifty miles away. . . . And the river winds in stately curve down to Jamestown of the slaves. . . . Think Matthew, take your geography and trace it: from Hampton Roads to Guiana is a world of colored folk, and a world, men tell me, physically beautiful beyond conception; socially enslaved, industrially ruined, spiritually dead; but ready for the breath of Life and Resurrection. South is Latin America, East is Africa, and east of east lies my own Asia. Oh Matthew, think this thing through. Your Mother prophesies. We sense a new age. (278) When Matthew responds to her letter, asserting an exceptionalist position, Kautilya stridently contests his U.S.-centrism. Asia and Africa are the center of the world, she corrects. And yet, because ‘‘America is power,’’ it must be factored into her new geography. Recognizing rural Virginia as a part of a world-swaddling swatch of color and consciousness, Kautilya proceeds to articulate her position more deftly still: Here in Virginia you are at the edge of a black world. The black belt of the Congo, the Nile, and the Ganges reaches by way of Guiana, Haiti, and Jamaica, like a red arrow up into the heart of white America. Thus I see a mighty synthesis: You can work in Africa and Asia right here in America if you work in the Black Belt. . . . [N]ow I see through the cloud. You may stand here, Matthew—here halfway between Maine and Florida, between the Atlantic and the Pacific, with Europe in your face and China at your back; with industry in your right hand and commerce in your left and the Farm beneath your steady feet; and yet be in the Land of the Blacks. (286)

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According to Kautilya, black America, the nation within a nation, merges with all the oppressed nations that together comprise the ‘‘the Land of the Blacks.’’ Not surprisingly this internationalist vision comes to Kautilya while she is pregnant with Matthew’s child. As the Black Belt wraps itself around the world, the black world develops enveloped in Kautilya’s womb. In Du Bois’s representation of this epic reproductive process the three movements—Kautilya’s transformation into a mother, the gestation of her child, and the dawning of her 212

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political consciousness of racial globality—are inextricable. Just as Matthew’s mother is the ‘‘Darker World’’ and, through a process of metonymic substitution India itself, so, through her reproductive journey, Kautilya is transformed from an Indian princess into a ‘‘black All-Mother,’’ whose womb emerges as the repository for a form of black internationalism encompassing people of color the world over. In the novel’s last few pages, the birth of Kautilya’s baby and of a new black world order converge fully. Where the politics of national reproduction would expel the racially mixed baby from the nation as examined in Souls, in Dark Princess this child inherits the world. The coupling of this second fictional birth with that of Du Bois’s son, Burghardt, is pronounced in the language describing these children. On returning to Kautilya for the last time, Matthew is beckoned to her side for what he does not realize until the last moment is his own wedding and the crowning of his son as Maharajah of Bwodpur. On this occasion mother and child are depicted in terms that resonate with the sentimental language of Souls but also transform it: She was dressed in Eastern style, royal in coloring, with no concession to Europe. As he neared, he sensed the flash of great jewels nestling on her neck and arms; a king’s ransom lay between the naked beauty of her breasts; blood rubies weighed down her ears, and about the slim brown gold of her waist ran a girdle such as emperors fight for. Slowly all the wealth of silk, gold, and jewels revealed itself as he came near and hesitated for words; then suddenly he sensed a little bundle on her outstretched arms. He dragged his startled eyes down from her face and saw a child—a naked baby that lay upon her hands like a palpitating bubble of gold. (307)

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Just as Du Bois wrote of his son as ‘‘golden,’’ so too is the babe in Kautilya’s arms. And yet the affect that attends the revelation of the child’s body and the figuration of the mother distinguishes the two. Whereas in ‘‘Of the Passing of the First-Born’’ Du Bois experiences conflict on first viewing his son and baldly declines to racialize his child’s mother, his description of the princess’s body is rendered with an array of racializing details that bind her to her baby. This ‘‘Princess of the wide, wide world’’ (307) can give her son to the brown world and the world to him, even though The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 213

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for the black mother in the United States such a proposition is unrealizable. In contrast to Du Bois’s son, who is ‘‘torn from beneath the heart’’ of his mother, an act that signals an intimate bond and an intimate violence, the golden child born to Matthew and Kautilya is described as having ‘‘leapt [from] beneath [her] heart,’’ an act that signals joy and possibility. Whereas Burghardt, when separated from the protective maternal body, is consumed by the racism of white America, in Dark Princess the golden child thrives in the world’s warm embrace. No sooner are Kautilya and Matthew pronounced man and wife than a mysterious pageant emerges from the gloom of the Virginia woods and the coronation of their son begins. In this second ritual, Matthew’s mother hands the child over to the Brahmin leader of ceremonies. Symbolically he is the gift of black America to black India. In completion of the ceremony Kautilya, joined by celebrants and the ‘‘silver applause of trumpets,’’ declares: ‘‘Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva! Lords of Sky and Light and Love! Receive from me, daughter of my fathers back to the hundredth name, his Majesty, Madhu Chandragupta Singh . . . Maharajah of Bwodpur . . . Protector of Ganga the Holy! Incarnate Son of the Buddha! Grand Mughal of Utter India! Messenger and Messiah to all the Darker Worlds’’ (311). Although Du Bois has aggressively glossed over historic Brahmin caste prejudice against blacks and evinces little if any interest in criticizing the elitism of his imagery, in the utopian dream of his novel a black child can inherit ‘‘the Darker Worlds.’’ For with the golden child’s arrival the narrative of racial maternity that Du Bois found to inhere in the United States is reappropriated to internationalist ends. ‘‘What Is Africa to Me?’’

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Although Du Bois’s romance of black world revolution constitutes a successful utopian fiction insofar as it rescripts racial nationalism as racial globality, it presents a deeply troubling vision that even Du Bois’s earliest critics regarded as that of a ‘‘romantic racist.’’ 49 With its hallucination of Brahmin royalty, royal blood, and of the golden child as the incarnation of a new interracial alliance, Dark Princess reinscribes the orientalism we might expect it to challenge while making what may be called a ‘‘racial origin mistake,’’ an essentializing argument about racial belonging that is on a structural level a mere revamping of that made by advocates of racial nation214 Wayward Reproductions

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alism within the U.S. context, those who view whiteness as a requirement for national belonging. In the end, even as Dark Princess succeeds in severing maternity from the logic of racial nationalism, it reinserts the black mother into a logic of internationalism, casting reproduction as the motor of black belonging in the world. The upshot is that Du Bois’s novel emerges as racially globalist in the way in which it mobilizes racial reproductivity to ground intercolonial alliance. Perhaps the sentimentalism of Du Bois’s romance allowed it to evade the tough scrutiny Du Bois might have subjected it to had it been expressed in another idiom. We can only speculate about why the novel lacks critical perspective on its strategy of narrative resolution. What is clear is that Du Bois did not conclude his meditation on the relationship of race to reproduction with Dark Princess, but continued it for the rest of his life. In closing this chapter, I turn to a third strategy that he developed for grappling with the race/reproduction bind, jumping forward just over a decade from Dark Princess to his 1940 autobiography Dusk of Dawn. Although Dusk lacks some of the poetry and symmetry of Souls, its multigeneric form (comprised of essays, memoir, and political polemics) echoes the earlier work. And yet, if it resembles Souls formally, the arguments it advances are closer to those in Dark Princess. Like Du Bois’s novel, Dusk focuses on questions of racial globality, on the interconnection of African American struggles for justice and struggles for decolonization elsewhere in the world, and explores how black internationalist thought is necessarily bound up with thinking about reproduction. Indeed, within Dusk’s pages antiracist, anti-imperialist, anticolonialist, and reproductive arguments are imbricated, although this complex of ideas has not been addressed in the criticism. Whereas in Souls and Dark Princess Du Bois examines the connection between race and reproduction through the figuration of maternity, in Dusk the black mother all but disappears from the text and is replaced in centrality by the figure of genealogy. From one perspective, this is nothing new. Du Bois, who narrated his life more often than almost any other twentieth-century intellectual, wrote four books that can be considered autobiographical— those already mentioned, Souls, Darkwater, and Dusk, as well as his last work, The Autobiography of W. E. B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century (1960). Each of these texts devotes space to Du Bois’s account of his pediThe Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 215

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gree, his descent from his forebears. What distinguishes Dusk from the others is how it articulates its central political agenda through genealogical metaphors, and how accounts of genealogy are thus situated as inextricable from political expression. In the ‘‘Apology’’ with which Du Bois opens Dusk, he explains his preoccupation with kinship and familial networks.50 His personal musings are never simply accounts of his life, he underscores; they are always also historically located meditations on ‘‘the Problem’’ of being black in the United States and in the world in the twentieth century. ‘‘My life had its significance and its only deep significance,’’ he avers in Dusk’s famous opening passage, because it was part of a problem; the central problem of the greatest of the world’s democracies and so the Problem of the future world. . . . I seem to see a way of elucidating the inner meaning and significance of the race problem by explaining it in terms of the one human life that I know best. I have written then what is meant to be not so much my autobiography as the autobiography of a concept of race, elucidated, magnified and doubtless distorted in the thoughts and deeds which were mine. (551)

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Lest the emphasis be lost, Du Bois subtitles Dusk ‘‘An Essay toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept’’ and then reiterates his thoughts on the political dimensions of personal narrative throughout the book’s chapters.51 ‘‘My discussion of the concept of race, and of the white and colored worlds,’’ he repeats later, are not ‘‘digressions from the history of my life; rather my autobiography is a digressive illustration and exemplification of what race has meant in the world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. . . . My living gains importance from the problems and not the problems from me’’ (716). The volume’s organization quietly confirms this message, moving from initial chapters on Du Bois’s New England boyhood to those on worldwide revolt against colonialism and imperialism. Together, Du Bois’s strategic formulations, subtitle, and organizational choices reveal ‘‘the Problem of the color line’’ (as he called it nearly forty years earlier in Souls) to be constitutively linked to autobiography and, by extension, to the project of genealogical narration that Du Bois brings to the fore with special force in Dusk.52 Du Bois uses genealogical narration to counter racialized forms 216

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of oppression and uneven distributions of power in two ways. On the one hand, he exposes nineteenth-century racial science as a pernicious form of racism deployed to legitimate imperialism and colonialism; on the other, he engages and ultimately rejects the positivism of genealogical narration in arguing for African American inclusion within a larger black diaspora of oppressed people the world over. In doing so he redresses the essentialism of his earlier vision of racial globality as set forth in Dark Princess, while harnessing the power of genealogical discourse for new ends. Du Bois conceives of these two strategic objectives as inseparable; the fight against nineteenth-century racial science is part and parcel of the fight against imperialism, and the overturning of racial science and its understanding of racial kinship is central to the formation of an alternative model of black international solidarity. If in Souls Du Bois deconstructs racial nationalism by reappropriating the figure of the mother, in Dusk he deconstructs the forms of racism that have been buttressed by racial science by reappropriating genealogical narration—by doing what Nietzsche would label ‘‘genealogy’’ and Foucault ‘‘effective history.’’ Indeed, Du Bois’s rhetorical move is akin to that made by Freud in his engagement with the anti-Semitic ideas about race and reproduction that pervaded Austro-German medical and scientific discourse (as detailed in the previous chapter). Racial science had been abused to justify imperialism: as Du Bois notes, the ‘‘income bearing value of race prejudice [is] the cause and not the result of theories of racial inferiority’’ (649). To contest such imperial domination and forge alliances in the face of it, Du Bois thought it necessary to reveal racial science’s mechanism and then to displace it. For he believed it possible to generate new forms of connection and kinship—new orderings of the social in which race and reproduction would no longer be bound. Within the racial science that Du Bois wished to challenge and expose as an adjunct to global capitalist expansion and uneven development, genealogical thinking was central. As suggested in preceding chapters, genealogical notions of descent and pedigree were used to argue for the existence of ‘‘pure’’ races and essential racial differences thought to be manifest in either ‘‘blood’’ or ‘‘genes.’’ Such genealogical narratives of racial ‘‘purity’’ existed in vertical and horizontal forms simultaneously.53 They were vertical when employed to express ‘‘pure’’ or ‘‘uncorrupted’’ connection The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 217

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between parents and their children (for example, in a vertical narrative an individual’s whiteness is bestowed by that individual’s parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on). Such was the reasoning behind the ‘‘one-drop theory’’ in which the existence of one great-grandparent thought to possess black blood rendered an individual black. By contrast, genealogical narratives were horizontal when they documented links between siblings or other related members of a community. In a horizontal narrative, belonging to a group was based on kinship or filiation within a single generational cohort, while proof of such belonging resided in the idea that all members of a group could trace their line of descent back to a set of common forebears. Such would be the notion of connection that secured the ideology of racial nationalism in which the United States was viewed as a nation comprised of ‘‘white’’ citizens who shared a common racial heritage. Such would also be the genealogical thinking that undergirded the antimiscegenation legislation that was produced in the aftermath of the Civil War, as well as the nativism and restrictionism (discussed in chapter 2) that characterized anti-immigration legislation. For my purposes, what is important is that within horizontal and vertical genealogical narratives matrilineal and patrilineal descent confer differing forms of authority on claims of belonging and racial ‘‘purity.’’ When absolute certitude about pedigree is necessary, only a maternal genealogy will do, as maternity alone is definite. By contrast, claims of paternal affiliation (at least prior to the advent of dna testing) are viewed as tenuous, as readily destabilized by the gender asymmetry that has until recently structured the reproductive relation. Acutely aware of how genealogical thinking enabled racist and nationalist claims to belonging in the name of science, Du Bois writes within the genealogical idiom in Dusk, but turns it toward different ends. Rather than accepting it as scientific fact, he inhabits the arguments that buttress it and, from the inside, exposes their inadequacy. Because genealogical thinking is constitutively gendered and sexualized, its deconstruction likewise required Du Bois’s attention to genealogy’s sexual anatomy. Once exploded from within, the hegemony of genealogical thinking could be contested and potentially displaced. To fully understand Du Bois’s choice and use of genealogical narration it is thus necessary to examine how race and gender function in his writings, not only on the level of manifest content (i.e., what he says about black 218

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women, and what kinds of images of women he creates) but also on structural and rhetorical levels. Du Bois provides the bulk of genealogical information in Dusk in a chapter that begins with the claim that within its pages the author plans to turn ‘‘aside from the personal annals’’ of biography, and turn instead to serious consideration of ‘‘the concept of race’’ (625).54 However, given Du Bois’s repeated assertion of the inextricable relationship between the personal and political, a seeming paradox resolves rapidly. Far from turning ‘‘aside’’ from ‘‘personal annals,’’ Du Bois gravitates toward them, particularly toward a tandem discussion of his encounters with racial science as a student in the United States and Europe, and of his family’s genealogy. As he explains, on both sides of the Atlantic he was confronted with ‘‘scientific race dogma: first of all, evolution and ‘Survival of the Fittest’ ’’ (625).55 He recalls that in the university community as in his classes it was ‘‘continually stressed . . . that there was a vast difference in the development of the whites and the ‘lower’ races . . . [and] that this could be seen in the physical development of the Negro’’ (625). In graduate school at Harvard and later in Germany, although some emphasis was placed on racial differences ‘‘as a matter of culture and cultural history,’’ even within this wider discussion ‘‘Africa was left without culture and without history.’’ When ‘‘the matter of mixed races was touched upon [blacks’] evident and conscious inferiority’’ was invariably noted (626). As Du Bois poignantly recounts (in a passage that recalls Freud’s recollection of Charcot’s racism), Heinrich von Treitschke, one of his German professors, thundered during a lecture that ‘‘Mulattoes . . . are inferior. . . . Their actions show it’’ (626). It is Du Bois’s shift from discussing the racism at Harvard and in Germany to discussing his own genealogy that interests me; for within the logic of his text the latter is offered as a response to the former. His account of his pedigree constitutes a strategic move into the realm of racial science and the genealogical thinking that underpins it—a move that contests the concepts upon which racial science and genealogy depend. Marking and in the process defiantly making the connection between his account of the persuasiveness of scientific racism and his turn toward narration of his pedigree, he writes, ‘‘The whole question of the heredity and human gift depends upon’’ knowledge of ‘‘the various types of mankind and their intermixture.’’ The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 219

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[E]ver since the African slave trade . . . we have been afraid in America that scientific study in this direction might lead to conclusions with which we are loath to agree; and this fear was in reality because the economic foundation of the modern world was based on the recognition and preservation of socalled racial distinctions. . . . We have not only not studied race and race mixture in America, but we have tried almost by legal process to stop such study. It is for this reason that it has occurred to me just here to illustrate the way in which Africa and Europe have been united in my family. (629, emphasis added) Having argued that the account of race produced by modern racial science was an unreasonable ‘‘science fiction,’’ Du Bois now proffers a discussion of the mixture of African and European within his family. In so doing he reengages and ultimately deconstructs the genealogical terrain claimed by racial science, rededicating this form of reproductive thinking to new ends. By focusing on mixture rather than race ‘‘purity,’’ Du Bois vacates the genealogical narrative that he sketches of its racist utility and instead proposes that an alternative set of conclusions be drawn from the available genealogical information. Instructively placing the term ‘‘race’’ within quotation marks for the first time in Dusk, he comments that he has been speaking of ‘‘ ‘race’ and race problems quite as a matter of course,’’ but that in turning to his genealogical narrative he will take on the more complicated task of ‘‘explanation’’ and ‘‘definition’’ of ‘‘the race concept’’ (627). At the outset of Du Bois’s promised enumeration of his ancestors he states that his family pedigree will not be ascertained from legal documents (which he notes are ‘‘naturally unobtainable’’ [630]) but rather from ‘‘oral tradition in . . . [his] mother’s family and direct word and written statement from . . . [his] paternal grandfather’’ (630).56 Despite his reliance on an archive that would be deemed illegitimate by scientists, Du Bois attests to the ‘‘substantial accuracy of [his] story,’’ boldly placing the forms of evidence to which he and other African Americans have recourse on a par with those to which experts more conventionally appeal. In short, he draws attention to the constructed nature of scientific authority—to the fact that scientific narratives are stories— and just as significantly to how an individual’s genealogical narrative can serve as a counterweight to the universalizing claims of science.57 220 Wayward Reproductions

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Unsurprisingly, as Du Bois unfolds his particular tale of descent, ‘‘mixture’’ emerges as the main plot. He describes his paternal great-grandfather, Dr. James Du Bois, as a ‘‘white’’ man descended from ‘‘a French Huguenot farmer,’’ and his grandfather, Alexander, as born of this man’s son and his common-law wife, a slave on his plantation in the Bahamas (631). These grandparents in turn gave birth to Du Bois’s father, Alfred, whom he characterizes as ‘‘a throw back to his white grandfather’’ in feature and manner, insofar as he was ‘‘small, olive skinned’’ and ‘‘naturally a playboy’’ (633). Not only does Du Bois state that his family comprised a white forefather at its inception and is thus peopled by numerous black folk of mixed race, but he insists that his family tree includes unknown branches, including a number of black people who, unbeknownst to themselves, have spent their lives passing as white. In Du Bois’s view, those who think that they are racially ‘‘pure’’ ought to think again, for ‘‘proof of paternity . . . [is always] exceedingly difficult’’ to ascertain, while the more likely scenario is that an ‘‘interracial history’’ such as his own has ‘‘been duplicated thousands of times’’ in the United States (630 and 629). Du Bois begins his narration of his maternal genealogy by naming his great-great-grandfather, Tom Burghardt, a slave who was brought to ‘‘this country when he was a boy’’ (634) and became a freedman after the Revolutionary War. Jacob, the son of Tom, married Violet, a woman newly arrived from Africa, who brought with her the African melody that became a tradition within Du Bois’s family. Jacob had nine children, one of whom, Othello, was Du Bois’s grandfather. Othello married Sarah Lampman, with whom he had ten children, including Du Bois’s mother Mary Sylvina. This matrilineal account of Du Bois’s genealogy is followed by a genealogical chart that lays out Du Bois’s pedigree with all the pretense of scientific acumen. And yet, as with Du Bois’s narration of his paternal genealogy, his excursion into the scientific idiom works not so much to shore up racial science as to reveal its inadequacy as a knowledge tool, and thus the instability of racist and imperialist ideologies that seek to legitimate themselves by producing scientific accounts of race. In concluding his discussion of his pedigree, Du Bois points out that even his seemingly secure maternal genealogy ‘‘was curiously complicated’’ and that genealogical narration in this instance is no more ‘‘pure’’ than in any other. For this reason, rather than endThe Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 221

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ing his discussion of ‘‘the Burghardt clan’’ by asserting his definitive descent from maternal African forebears, Du Bois wryly notes that the biological connection that he might have posited has been supplanted by a cultural one: ‘‘with Africa . . . I had only one direct . . . connection and that was the African melody which my great-grandmother Violet used to sing’’ (638). With this statement, Du Bois refers back to Souls and indicates the alternative bonds of kinship that find expression through music. And thus again, the sorrow songs emerge as a genealogical counternarrative that situates ‘‘melody’’ in the place of biology. If the chapter on the sorrow songs in Souls gestures toward the foundational status of black music in the U.S. context, in Dusk music gives expression to the forms of connection that exceed the national calculus and instead demarcate an international diaspora among black Americans and Africans. Like other black communists of the period, Du Bois used the sorrow songs as a vehicle for internationalist sentiment that subverted the party’s own racialized cultural categories as well as the black musical form.58 Despite the array of genealogical details he produces, Du Bois nonetheless insists that questions of belonging are not usefully cast as essential or biological and that he prefers to use genealogy to denote his connection to Africa as affective. As in Dark Princess, where Matthew understands his connection to the princess, and thus that between Pan-Asia and Pan-Africa, as what is most aptly described as a ‘‘feeling,’’ so too in Dusk Du Bois asserts felt kinship with Africa. In both instances, music is the idiom in which affective connection takes form. A verse of Violet’s song is inserted directly into Dusk: Do bana coba, gene me, gene me! Do bana coba, gene me, gene me! Ben d’nuli, nuli, nuli, nuli, ben d’le. (638)

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As Du Bois notes, although he knows not the meaning of these words, it is precisely their inability to signify in the languages that are familiar that allow the melody to become a repository or conveyance for an alternative kinship structure. Significantly, after inserting the verse of Violet’s song into his text, Du Bois places the term ‘‘race’’ within quotation marks for the second time in Dusk and concludes, ‘‘My African racial feeling was [thus] . . . purely a matter of my own later learning and reaction, my recoil from the assumption of the whites; my experience in the South at Fisk. . . . I 222 Wayward Reproductions

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felt myself African by ‘race’ and by that token was African and an integral member of the group of dark Americans who were called Negroes’’ (638, emphasis added).59 One becomes black by familial association within a racist society, Du Bois argues, but such a situation may be turned on its head. For if ‘‘race is a cultural, sometimes historical fact’’ (665), black cultural productions—in this instance music—may be used to create continuity of connection and racial solidarity. If blackness is a particularly U.S. construct—a structure of feeling produced in reaction to the particular forms of racism that structure the racial formation within the United States—it is nonetheless repeatedly and self-consciously conflated by Du Bois with the notion of Africanness in those contexts in which he also considers racism’s international purview, its colonial and imperial reach. Throughout Dusk of Dawn, a work that resolutely tackles the racial exploitation of labor around the globe, Du Bois casts Africanness as a diasporic figure of belonging that defies national borders. And it is for this reason that the Africanness that surfaces within the genealogical counternarrative that Du Bois produces about himself should be read not only as a way of contesting racial science’s ideas of black inferiority in the United States, but also as a way of conducting anti-imperialist struggle within a larger international theater. Revealing the desire for international racial solidarity that underpins his invocations of Africanness, Du Bois notes that the ‘‘heritage of slavery . . . binds together not simply the children of Africa, but extends through yellow Asia and into the South Seas’’ (640). Du Bois’s imbrication of the national and international contours of racial oppression, belonging, and struggle is especially forceful in the often cited passage in which he expands his observations about his personal genealogy onto a world stage by crafting an answer to the question, ‘‘What is Africa to me?’’ so famously posed by his one-time son-in-law, the Harlem Renaissance poet Countée Cullen.60 Like Cullen, who is circumspect about claiming Africa as a figure for the woman ‘‘from whose loins’’ he sprang, or as a mythical land of ‘‘copper sun’’ and ‘‘scarlet sea’’ peopled by ‘‘strong bronzed men and regal black,’’ Du Bois weaves a response to Cullen’s question that negotiates the vicissitudes of black belonging in the world by working through and against the race/ reproduction bind that undergirds uncritical genealogical thinking about identity and inclusion.61 He writes: The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 223

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Once I should have answered the question simply: I should have said ‘‘fatherland’’ or perhaps better ‘‘motherland,’’ because I was born in the century when the walls of race were clear and straight; when the world consisted of mutually exclusive races. . . . [S]ince then the concept of race has so changed and presented so much of contradiction that as I face Africa I ask myself: what is it between us that constitutes a tie which I can feel better than I can explain? Africa is, of course, my fatherland. Yet neither my father nor my father’s father ever saw Africa or knew its meaning or cared overmuch for it. My mother’s folk were closer and yet their direct connection, in culture and race, became tenuous; still my tie to Africa is strong. On this vast continent were born and lived a large portion of my direct ancestors going back a thousand years or more. The mark of their heritage is upon me in color and hair. These are obvious things, but of little meaning in themselves; only important as they stand for real and more subtle differences from other men. Whether they do or not, I do not know nor does science know today. . . . But one thing is sure and that is the fact that since the fifteenth century these ancestors of mine and their other descendants have had a common history. . . . [T]he real essence of this kinship is its social heritage in slavery.

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At the outset of this passage Du Bois appears to confidently assert that Africa is the place he would have once considered his ‘‘motherland.’’ In an age in which the ‘‘walls of race were clear and straight’’ science suggested that there ‘‘was no question of exact definition and understanding of the meaning of the word’’ race (639). At such a time, Du Bois concedes, he readily imagined his filiation with Africa within the confines of the gendercoded genealogical thinking germane to nineteenth-century racial science. He saw himself as African because such was his racial inheritance reproduced through the motherline. And yet, as Du Bois continues to reflect on his relationship to Africa, he begins a careful process of inhabiting, complicating, and displacing old, and in his mind defunct, ideas of genealogically secure racial filiation. If maternity is knowable, a mark of ‘‘real’’ biological connection, then ‘‘motherland’’ is not the metaphor for belonging for which Du Bois searches. The tie to Africa cast as a motherland is best explained as a feeling rather than a biological inheritance. And although paternity is perpetually open to dispute, the notion of 224 Wayward Reproductions

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Africa as ‘‘fatherland’’ is still too ensconced in conventional genealogical thinking about origins as ‘‘pure’’ biological posits. Neither his father nor his father’s father, Du Bois tells his reader, had much of a connection to Africa; and certainly no more of one than his mother’s family, who were ‘‘closer’’ to this land and people, but not a part of it. Finally, in discarding the rhetoric of ‘‘motherland’’ and ‘‘fatherland’’—and thus of racial belonging as a function of genealogical inheritance, descent, or pedigree—Du Bois begins to free himself from the shackles of the race/reproduction bind, conventional genealogical thinking, and the legacy of racial science. In so doing he clears space for the articulation of a different understanding of his origins and their meaning. He writes, ‘‘The real essence of [my] kinship [with Africa] is its social heritage of slavery.’’ In refusing a genealogical connection to Africa, Du Bois opens up the possibility of expressing his sense of identity and belonging as affective. In the process, he offers an alternative to the troublingly essentialist conclusion of Dark Princess. Anti-imperialist alliances and racial kinship need no longer gestate in a black woman’s womb. For in Dusk Du Bois postulates racial globality through the creation of a genealogical counternarrative—through elaboration of the interconnections among ‘‘the darker peoples of the world’’ over that no longer bear the burden of the race/reproduction bind that lurks in Du Bois’s earlier texts. In reading Du Bois’s response to Countée Cullen’s question in this way, I argue against those readings of Du Bois that situate him as a biological essentialist whose work demonstrates complete, if unwitting, allegiance to biological notions of race and thus indebtedness to nineteenth-century racial science.62 In concluding with a reading of Du Bois’s response to Cullen I also suggest an understanding of Du Bois’s writings as movements beyond the race/reproduction bind—even (ab)uses of the conventional genealogical narration that had previously been used to support politically and rhetorically essentialist ideas.63 For Du Bois’s internationalist anti-imperialism necessitated non-biological strategies for articulating the internationalist connections—strategies to which readers only gain access when we focus our attention on the reproductive logic of racial globality. In producing a genealogical counternarrative that worked through and against the gender logic and sexual politics that are part and parcel of conventional genealogical thinking, Du Bois exThe Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism 225

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plored and to some extent imploded the race/reproduction bind. Until we fully comprehend Du Bois’s internationalist move out of the nation and into the world as one that he persistently articulated by reworking reproductive concept metaphors, we will have failed to read Du Bois closely enough. And while neglect of sexual and gender politics has certainly been a problem for Du Bois criticism, it is also unfortunate in a wider way. For through his lifelong negotiation of the race/reproduction bind—his failures and his successes—Du Bois offered us tools, as of yet unclaimed, that are relevant in the current conjuncture. In the coda that follows I consider how Du Bois’s struggle to understand racial belonging without recourse to reproduction provides insight into how we can move beyond the race/reproduction bind in our time.

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Ties through blood—including blood recast in the coin of genes and information—have been bloody enough already. I believe that there will be no racial or sexual peace, no livable nature, until we learn to produce humanity through something more and less than kinship. —Donna Haraway

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In recent years scholarship on race in the humanities has made recourse to scientific advances in genetic (in the newest coinage, ‘‘genomic’’) research to argue that race is no longer a meaningful category or concept. As numerous scholars have asserted, in view of contemporary scientific evidence about genes and the inheritance of genetic traits, the collection of purported essences that have been thought about and referred to as ‘‘race’’ cease to exist. In his famous article on W. E. B. Du Bois, for instance, Anthony Appiah suggests that essentialist arguments about race as a biologically knowable essence lose their force in the face of new genetic research.1 Scientists have proven that there is no gene for race, as evidenced by the fact that any two randomly selected members of supposedly distinct racial groups share as much genetically as any two members of the same racial group. As Appiah argues, because we now have proof that genes are in fact us, we need no longer believe that race, which has been proven to have absolutely no genetic basis, is. Appiah buttresses his argument with an array of statistics. Al-

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though other calls to move beyond race do not always make express recourse to scientific authority as Appiah’s does, his gambit (which builds on prior scholarly consensus in the post–World War II period) has been repeated by other nonscientists with increasing frequency. In fact, the announcement of the successful mapping of the human genome by an international team of researchers involved in the Human Genome Project has been accompanied by a proliferation of humanistic arguments about the ‘‘end of race.’’ 2 For instance, scholars as disparate in their pursuits as Susan Gubar and Walter Benn Michaels have argued that race is an obsolete idea, no longer sustainable at a time when the concept of human racial distinction is now more than ever before one of which we must let go if we are to dismantle barriers to further understanding of our shared human condition.3 Such arguments, albeit of differing political stripe, find nearly unanimous endorsement in popular books on genomics—and there are many currently available—that pronounce that human races are nonexistent, because there is no gene for race, because there are no alleles that necessarily result in expression of what we have mistakenly thought about until now as ‘‘racial’’ differences.4 In chapter 5 of this book I argued that Du Bois should not be regarded as a biological essentialist but rather as a committed public intellectual who engaged biological discourse as a strategic move crafted in response to forms of nineteenth- and twentiethcentury racism grounded in biological, scientific reasoning. Du Bois treated biological notions of race and ideas about the reproductive body as a source of racial identity and hierarchy precisely because the historical forces he sought to check deployed such hegemonic notions in coding difference with biological signifiers such as ‘‘blood’’ and phenotype. To refuse to think race biologically, to refuse to grapple with how race was constructed as a reproducible trait within the shifting raciological discourses of his day, would have been to step out of historical time, to completely miss the moment in which he lived and about which he wrote. When Appiah insists that Du Bois made recourse to essentialist notions of race and therefore failed to dislodge one of the centerpieces of modern racism—the idea of race as a biological essence— he dismisses the significance of the historical imperatives by which Du Bois felt himself compelled. As a political actor with a materialist analysis of historical processes, Du Bois could not choose not 228 Coda

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to contend with biological notions of race and reproduction, and with their mutual ensnarement in the race/reproduction bind. In closing this book I wish to consider the import of the arguments advanced by reopening the question that confronted Du Bois from a different vantage point—that is, I wish to consider how, in our pursuit of antiracism, we might productively treat the concept of race in the new millennium. For the pressing issue that Du Bois’s strategic approach to race underscores for us now when the meaning of both race and reproduction have been inflected and decisively transformed by new genomic knowledges and reproductive technologies, is whether it makes sense to—indeed, whether we have the luxury to approach race (as Appiah and others advise) so differently than did Du Bois. Are we truly in the midst of a historically unprecedented moment in which we can attack racism and build antiracist movements by arguing that science proves that ‘‘race’’ does not exist? Are we living in a moment in which race and reproduction are becoming unbound, in which race is no longer calculated as a reproducible identity, trait, or essence? Those who argue for the nonexistence of race and for the use of genetic reason as a form of antiracism would have it so. Such scholars and pundits believe that even in a moment characterized by ethnic cleansing, racial profiling, and renewed forms of race-based immigration restriction there is a way to talk about differences among groups and individuals without reconstructing race as a boundary category or relying upon reproductive racial reasoning in conceptualizing differences among individuals and groups. And yet arguments that purportedly go beyond race by bludgeoning us with the supposedly incontestable, hard scientific fact that race does not exist give me pause. For not only does our social and political reality continue to be organized by racist ideas about race, but even in the absence of a gene for race, the idea of race remains bound up with that of reproduction. Rather than the race/reproduction bind having been transcended within and by the contemporary biogenetic practices and discourses that together characterize the new millennium, this particular ideological knot has been tightened rather than loosened, given new mass and density, all the while being continuously woven within large, historically overdetermined systems of knowledge production. Race remains a cultural category that continues to be produced in and through practices and discourses that advance the idea of the reGene/alogies for a New Millennium

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producibility of essences, identities, and other indices of difference among human beings. In this sense, even as the idea of race is eclipsed by that of genetic variation, race as a practice and belief system has not been rendered any less potent than has racism. Indeed, the new language of genes continues to impose notions of race on human groupings, even though the meaning of human diversity is now more than ever before open to contestation, transformation, and resignification.5 As evidenced in the dominant practices that structure the implementation of an array of reproductive technologies, from artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization to gestational and donor surrogacy, people are using new genomic knowledges and biotechnologies not so much to transcend race as to reproduce already existent racial identities and hierarchies, as well as the essentialist ideas of race and reproduction by which they are subtended. As feminist anthropologists and science studies scholars have carefully documented, egg donors and traditional surrogate mothers (those who contribute genetic material to the embryos they gestate) are selected by consumers who purchase their services and/or bodily products on the basis of their genotype, on their ability to offer a close match, generally construed as a racial match, to the couple to whom they are contributing a gamete and for whom they are gestating a child.6 In fact, when donor genes (ova or sperm) are used in infertility treatments, these materials are selected in the hope of determining hair type, eye color, and complexion, as well as mitigating against an array of inheritable diseases—and all this to reproduce perfected progeny who have the best possible chance of looking like, and thus being identifiable as belonging to the same ‘‘race,’’ as the social ‘‘parents.’’ When the use of artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization has resulted in the reproduction of offspring of a different, unanticipated race from the person purchasing the reproductive technology and/or genetic materials in question, lawsuits have ensued. In one instructive instance a white mother who utilized in vitro fertilization involving donated sperm gave birth to twins, one of whom was black. She sued the fertility clinic that had performed the procedure for damages that she explained had resulted from the duress of her wayward birth and the racist taunting that her child had had to confront as a result. Her grievance stemmed from the idea that she had been inseminated with racially mismatched sperm, a claim buttressed by her overriding sense that the 230

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race/reproduction bind should remain intact at all costs, that her white reproductive body should rightfully have been the source of the whiteness of all the children it reproduced.7 In a second case, a black surrogate who attempted to breach her contract to keep the child she had gestated for a white man and his Filipina wife lost her legal battle for custody. In this decision, the fact that she was genetically unrelated to the child she had reproduced, and thus of a different race, figured prominently.8 In such cases and others, attempts at genetic selection amount to attempts at racial selection. Even in the absence of a gene for race, genetic knowledge, the new reproductive technologies, and the laws that govern their implementation continue to be manipulated to secure racial likeness between parents and progeny and more generally to shore up the race/reproduction bind that characterizes the modern episteme. Of course it has also been argued that the same technologies that are currently employed in consolidating the race/reproduction bind might also be (and occassionally are) used to transcend it. Critics who advance arguments against antitechnological reasoning and the various government policies that seek to control genomic research and delimit the use of reproductive technologies insist that neither the research nor the technologies are themselves inherently problematic. Rather, these liberal (and generally promarket) forces argue that both technology and knowledge are inherently neutral, and that the question of use and implementation should be left to individual discretion. As this line of argumentation concludes, people should be trusted to make reproductive choices; after all, it is now possible for any and every child born to be entirely genetically unrelated to both its birth mother and its social parents, and thus there need no longer be any reason to use the technologies and knowledges currently available to link race and reproduction, biological parents and biologically related progeny.9 And yet the difficulty with such arguments is that while they usefully identify the potential for liberation from existing social structures and hierarchies that increased use of reproductive technologies and genomic research might ideally offer (i.e., nonheteronormative family configurations and forms of kinship organized without regard to biological relatedness—both of which are of course achievable without biotechnological intervention), they do not account for the reciprocity between dominant social practices and the implementation of the new technologies and knowledges. They do not recognize that there are no ‘‘neutral’’ technologies; Gene/alogies for a New Millennium

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all are practices shaped by as well as shaping of their context and their deployment. Although the sexual economy of reproduction has begun to budge (for example, the increasing number of lesbian and queer families, single heterosexual and older women using reproductive technologies to produce unconventional households), the racial economy of the new reproduction within which the sexual economy is imbricated remains quite static. On the one hand, heterosexual women and lesbians almost invariably elect to be inseminated with sperm or to use donor ova that will produce racial continuity across the generations, and thus that will promote the fiction of racially ‘‘pure’’ genealogy. On the other hand, such choices are made in a context that leaves the racial division of labor intact: it is black mothers who gestate children to whom they are themselves genetically unrelated for wealthy, most often white, parents. Not at all surprisingly, I have been unable to locate a case in which a white woman agreed to contract her womb out for gestational use by a black couple requesting that she gestate their genetic materials and form for and turn over to them a black baby; nor have I found evidence of purposeful and routine race-blind artificial insemination practices at the fertility clinics or sperm banks that have been studied by feminist ethnographers.10 Tellingly, although unprecedented modalities of interracial reciprocity are now possible, they are seldom pursued when racial continuity —what might be thought of as gene/alogy—is in question. And although we might hope that the racial hierarchies that structure our society need not necessarily inflect the scientific knowledge and technologies that we develop and use as we practice reproduction, knowledges and technologies have proven to be only as liberatory as the context in which they are created and deployed, and which they in turn contour. From this perspective it is clear that recent scientific ‘‘advances’’ have not thus far worked effectively to unbind race and reproduction. In fact, the pervasive disinclination to conceive of and to practice reproduction differently—and this despite the availability of knowledges and technologies that would make this possible—seems to be as much a product of limited imagination as of more predictable material or legal barriers. In this situation the centrality of works of creative imagination to the project of unbinding race and reproduction comes home with special force. Such imaginative works have the power to serve 232

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as springboards to meditation on genomics and on the possibilities and pitfalls of moving beyond race in our current biogenetic moment. They possess the ability to help us imagine the practice of reproduction differently. That is, they can expose the problems that inhere in continued delimitation of the practice of reproduction according to racial and reproductive scripts that are historically overdetermined within transatlantic modern thought. And thus with this coda I make a move that parallels the one with which I began this book: in chapter 1 I read Kate Chopin’s ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ as an allegory of racial reproduction in the context of racial nationalism; here I turn to three conceptual artworks, all of which allegorize genomics in the new millennium. My hope is that through engagement with these visual texts, which were together included in an exhibition entitled ‘‘Gene(sis)’’ at The Henry Gallery (a major Seattle center for display of contemporary art), it is possible to sketch some of the most pressing and compelling questions about the fate of the race/reproduction bind in our time. As the promotional materials for ‘‘Gene(sis)’’ proclaimed, the high-profile traveling show sought to meditate upon the social and political implications of genomics and the new reproductive technologies by bringing together and commissioning a variety of works by twenty-six artists for whom the ‘‘accelerated pace of genetic research and the potential socio-cultural impact of recent scientific developments on our daily lives’’ have been the principal imaginative spark.11 Many of the artists whose work was featured in the show had already been part of other nationally celebrated exhibitions with similar themes.12 Their work ranged in form and focus. Larry Miller’s pop-art paper coffee cups, provocatively emblazoned with the question ‘‘Who owns your genes?’’ and the offer to aid in copyrighting them, were on view beside Susan Robb’s cibachrome prints of imaginary organisms that looked like bioengineered specimens enlarged through the lens of a microscope but, as her piece’s title—Macrofauxology—conceded, were in fact ‘‘faux’’ assemblages of miscellaneous substances including play dough, dirt, and spit. Other works of sculpture, photography, painting, video, and Internet-based interactive performance treated issues ranging from the patenting of genetic materials, to the determination of individual identity through dna sequencing, to the sale and purchase of reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. Gene/alogies for a New Millennium

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While it would be unfair to the curators of ‘‘Gene(sis)’’ and to the individual artists to suggest that the works on display presented a unified vision or single ideological position vis à vis genomics, it was immediately evident that far from having inspired art that moved the imagination ‘‘beyond race’’ by envisioning the demise of race and severing race from reproduction, many of the works on display were highly ambivalent about, if not intentionally critical of, their deep ensnarement within imbricated racial and reproductive scripts—within the race/reproduction bind. For this reason the genealogical method elaborated in chapter 1 of this book and mobilized throughout emerges once again as a useful analytical and theoretical tool—one that can locate its object (aptly labeled ‘‘gene/alogy’’) as well as the critical edge of the artwork under discussion. For the genealogical method enables this work self-reflexively to open up questions about the racial and reproductive concepts by which it is either implicitly subtended, or upon which it expressly draws. The centrality of the race/reproduction bind to the artistic imagination was most visible in Daniel Lee’s digital c-print series entitled Judgment. Lee’s piece, a series of eleven poster-size blackand-white digitally manipulated photographic prints of animal/ human hybrids who gazed resolutely out at the viewer, occupied an entire wall of the gallery. As the curatorial note beside these images explained, these creatures represented the judge, jury, and guards who together comprise ‘‘the mythological court under the earth’’ where 108 different types of existent beings, including human beings, are judged after their death. In most cases the fantastical hybrids (represented one to a photograph) were phenotypic composites of familiar nonhuman animals or mythical creatures and people of color, subjects whose ‘‘otherness’’ was clearly indexed by sartorial style, skin tone, facial features, and hair (see figure 1). Juror number 1, ‘‘Pig King,’’ had decidedly Asian eyes and an enlarged porcine nose; juror number 3, ‘‘Dragon King,’’ sported a gold chain and goatee, dark skin, and a menacing countenance; juror number 4, ‘‘Fox Spirit’’ (one of three female members of the court), was nude from the waist up and, in soft porn fashion, provocatively crossed her arms over her breasts as her wild hair blew back from her face, accentuating her black foxlike eyes and small canine nose. The ‘‘judge of the dead’’ himself had long clawlike fingernails, sleek black hair pulled back in a ponytail, swarthy skin, and again, Asian eyes. He was flanked by two guards, one of 234

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1. Juror number 6, ‘‘Leopard Spirit,’’ from the digital c-print series Judgment by Daniel Lee. From the exhibition ‘‘Gene(sis),’’ The Henry Gallery, Seattle, 2002. Courtesy of the artist and O. K. Harris Gallery, New York.

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whom, ‘‘Bull Head,’’ was a bare-chested, muscular black man with a flat bovine nose, flared nostrils, rolling eyeballs, mustache, and a seemingly obligatory hand on his crotch. Needless to say these images were deeply fraught: they were simultaneously racialized and animalized and taken together resolutely suggested that hybridity—nothing less than wayward reproduction across the species divide—is generally confined to crossings between people of color and animals, who by implication do not actually belong to distinct species but are rather somehow kin enough to have successfully reproduced with one another. Though the images themselves were arresting, so too was the rationale supplied for their inclusion in the show. As the curatorial note explained, Lee’s work treats ‘‘concepts of hybridity . . . that have long inspired the imaginings of both East and West.’’ And thus viewers were left to ponder what such ‘‘imaginings’’ have to do with the express theme of the ‘‘Gene(sis)’’ exhibition, whose subtitle unequivocally proclaimed, ‘‘Contemporary Art Explores Human Genomics.’’ Hybrids are centuries-old creations, as their inclusion in a mythical Chinese court attests. They are the product not of high-tech genomic science but either of our imaginations (centaurs or cyborgs) or of the low-tech and quite ancient science of animal husbandry. And thus the questions begged multiply: How do the racial and reproductive scripts that Lee’s hybrids engage allow for reflection on genomics? And on what aspect of genomics do they allow us to reflect? What does inclusion of the court in the exhibit suggest about how race is being imagined today? Answers to these questions begin to emerge from examination of the curatorial juxtaposition in the gallery area in which Lee’s creatures were displayed, for directly across from the court of ‘‘half animal, half human chimeras,’’ separated from it only by a wooden bench, was a series of photographs by Catherine Chalmers entitled Transgenic Mice (2000). Each of Chalmers’s six cibachrome prints depicted a real mouse that had been reproduced by artificially integrating foreign dna that had been inserted into one mouse via a multistage procedure that resulted in a genetically blended specimen of the experimental type used extensively in human genome research (see figure 2).13 Notably, some of the dna used in this process was human. These unusual portraits, which were enlarged hundreds of times so that each mouse appeared to 236

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2. ‘‘Rhino Mouse,’’ from the series of cibachrome prints Transgenic Mice by Catherine Chalmers. From the exhibition ‘‘Gene(sis),’’ The Henry Gallery, Seattle, 2002. Courtesy of the artist and RARE, New York.

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be the size of a small child, ranged from the ‘‘Rhino Mouse,’’ who was pink, hairless, and excessively wrinkled, to the ‘‘Downs Syndrome Mouse,’’ who was gray-brown and had a decidedly droopy aspect, to ‘‘Obese Mouse,’’ a spherical brown fur ball with shiny eyes and a ludicrously tiny tail. The curatorial comment that accompanied the six specimens stated that fifty million such experimental transgenic mice are reproduced each year for research, and through a loophole in the usda’s 1966 Animal Welfare Act (that has recently been addressed), they are unprotected and their standard of care unmonitored. The juxtaposition of Chalmers’s transgenic mice and Lee’s hybrids reveals an overlapping conception of mixture as monstrosity and indicates that such a conception draws upon a sedimented repository of racial and reproductive meanings that have persisted, even as they have metamorphosed over time. For this reason the juxtaposition of these variously distorted images also represents (though it does not necessarily produce) a serious imaginative failure. If genetic research reveals that race no longer exists—that it now behooves us to think beyond race—the juxtaposition of Chalmers’s and Lee’s images demonstrates that race persists as a lens through which the new reproductions and reproductive technologies and practices are perceived. Transgenics and hybridization are not the same—one process involves genomics and reproductive technology, while the other involves the oldest technology of all, that of conventional reproductive sex. However, when the products of each are juxtaposed, as they were in the gallery space, they begin to become conflated. The upshot is that the racialized hybrids that populate Lee’s court appear to have much in common with the mice at whom they stare across the gallery space. Indeed, not only the proximity but also the symmetry of these two sets of mixed, albeit differently created creatures, reminds viewers that discussion of mixture in the preceding two centuries has routinely focused on crossings that were deemed monstrous because they were conceived of as racial in character, and simultaneously recalls for us that transgenics is part and parcel of such racialized notions of monstrosity. As discussed in chapter 1, ‘‘miscegenation’’ is a term that was invented in the mid-nineteenth century to describe racial mixing, while the debates that swirled around the relative evolutionary advance of ‘‘miscegenous’’ individuals rested upon questions about 238

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the relationship of human racial differences to those among species. According to many nineteenth-century scientists and ethnologists, the progeny of wayward reproductions across supposed racial lines were inferior blends comprised of incompatible parts— white and black, human and subhuman, human and animal. These were sterile products of reproductive practices that violated the integrity of ‘‘pure’’ beings belonging to distinct species descended from ‘‘pure’’ lineages. As the moniker ‘‘mulatto’’ indicates (derived as it is from the word mule), racial mixture has all too often realized its most robust expression through analogy to cross-species nonhuman animal mixture. As the analogy encapsulated in the word’s etymology conveys, racialized and animalized reproductive monstrosity are disturbingly proximate within the modern episteme. In fact, in the word ‘‘mulatto,’’ as in the gallery space in which Lee’s hybrids and Chalmers’s transgenic mice were displayed, interracial and interspecies reproduction merge, becoming mutually informed racialized scripts about the monstrosity of all wayward reproductions. Although it is of course up to the individual viewer to decide whether Lee’s and Chalmers’s creative works are critical of the racist notions about interspecies mixing upon which discourses of wayward reproduction have historically been predicated, or whether they are complicit in shoring them up, the curatorial juxtaposition of transgenic and hybrid figures itself can be interpreted as an implicit, if unintentional, argument—one about the endurance in the new millennium of the race/reproduction bind and the continued relevance of the concept of race within creative imaginative works that explore the transformations in reproduction made possible by the new genomic knowledges and technologies, even as these same knowledges and technologies paradoxically render race a nonessence, a category that only exists in our minds.14 One consequence of the enduring synergy among ideas of race, species, and genomics is that the racial narrative about reproduction that Lee’s piece introduces into ‘‘Gene(sis)’’ inflects not only the interpretation of Chalmers’s transgenic mice but also, by extension, other pieces in the exhibit that meditate upon transgenics, including the monumental installation from which the title of the show was evidently derived (see figure 3). In closing this with a reading of Eduardo Kac’s Genesis, I thus make a move that I have Gene/alogies for a New Millennium

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3. Genesis, installation by Eduardo Kac. From the exhibition ‘‘Gene(sis),’’ The Henry Gallery, Seattle, 2002. Courtesy of the artist and Julia Friedman Gallery, Chicago.

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repeatedly made in preceding pages: I consider the work of the race/reproduction bind in a text in which it can be read as foundational but inchoate—in which it is constitutive but nonetheless invisible on the level of manifest content. My point in so doing is to open up a final series of questions about how, within contemporary genomic discourse as in the array of discourses that constituted transatlantic modern thought at the turn of the last century, race and reproduction remain tightly bound, even as race loses its status as biological essence, and reproduction assumes previously unimagined forms. Kac’s Genesis, which was specially retooled for display at the Henry, was placed in the huge, vaulted foyer through which viewers necessarily passed as they entered the exhibit space. The walls of this passageway were painted black. On one, two stories high, there appeared three pieces of bold off-white text: the uppermost, a passage from the Old Testament, directly below it a dotted and dashed phrase of Morse code, and below that a familiar letter string comprised of As, Ts, Cs, and Gs—the alphabet that represents the four chemicals that comprise the base pairs that make up dna. At the center of the room, elevated on a black pedestal and protected by clear fiberglass was a microscope that magnified the content of a petri dish and projected it onto a second two-story black wall in the form of a huge illuminated globe of shifting pale blue and lime green particles whose collisions created eerily amplified sounds. As the curatorial note explaining the connections among the various parts of the installation stated, Genesis ‘‘translates’’ a passage from the Old Testament into Morse code, then into the four-letter alphabet of dna, and finally into actual transgenic organisms (engineered by transferring this artificially produced dna into common, fast replicating, E. coli bacteria) that are on view in a petri dish and on a wall onto which the contents of the dish are projected. The piece was in no way static. As viewers manipulated the level of light that shone on the organisms in the petri dish by sending signals from a nearby computer terminal, a transformation in the chemical base pairs that made up the dna, and thus a mutation in the genetic composition of the transgenic organisms, took place. As is explained on Kac’s Web site, after shows in which Genesis is displayed close, the dna of the transformed organisms is again sequenced, translated back into Morse code, and then again into the English language alphabet, such that viewers’ play at a computer 242 Coda

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terminal and the resultant mutation of the transgenic organisms become legible as a change in the component parts of the original passage from the Old Testament with which Kac began. This new, partially nonsensical but nonetheless easily recognizable text is posted on Kac’s Web site: ‘‘let aan have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over every living thing that loves ua eon the earth.’’ 15 As is evident from my necessarily difficult description, Genesis is a complex and intellectually challenging piece that has the potential to spark a wide variety of interpretations. My intention is not to limit these or to suggest that a single correct analysis exists but rather to offer a focused reading that allows us to think about the issues that such a work of creative imagination raises for us as we consider what has become of race and the concept of reproduction to which it has historically been wed. Put differently, how might Genesis be used to help us update and then address the question of how to think about the race concept—the question that Du Bois felt himself to have confronted in the previous century—in our present one? And how might Genesis reveal the importance of persistent excavation of the race/reproduction bind not only in the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century texts treated in preceding chapters but also in those that constitute our cultural horizon in the twenty-first century? Although the relationship between ‘‘translation’’ and race may not be immediately apparent, the concept of ‘‘translation’’ that Kac’s piece mobilizes and explores can be read as racialized. To move from the biblical Book of Life to actual living organism, Kac translates and in the process transposes the idea of reproduction into that of translation. In fact, the intelligibility of Genesis hinges upon the idea that reproduction is a process of translation that is smooth, perfectible, pure, glitch-free, and fully within human control. To get from text to living organism Kac depends upon the idea that it is possible to translate words into Morse code, code into dna sequences, and such sequences into living organisms without anything getting lost. Within this model meaning can be transferred across various semiotic systems and remain perfectly, transparently intact. Indeed, according to the logic of Genesis, Kac’s transgenic organism is not so much something that has been reproduced as it is a living thing that has been created by producing a direct translation of the book of Genesis—such a good translation that unless human beings intentionally corrupt the translation Gene/alogies for a New Millennium

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process meaning will effortlessly travel in one direction (from text to living organism) as well as back the other way. The disturbing idea that underpins this notion of perfected reproduction as a form of translation that moves from text, to code, to life itself is of course a familiar one: biological determinism. Behind the metaphor of translation that is constructed and set to work in Genesis is that rather simple and all too familiar idea that one thing (in this case text), can find direct and accurate expression in another thing (in this case a living organism)—that is, that genotype can find accurate, direct, and predictable expression in phenotype, and that there is thus something in genes themselves that can be said to determine the essence of those life forms that genes code. In a world in which genomics reigns supreme, divine creation and human reproduction alike have become obsolete, as Genesis can now be translated into being like those other organisms, the fish of the sea and the fowl of the air, for whose miraculous existence the Book of Life was once itself thought to provide an explanation. From one perspective, as at least one critic has pointed out, Genesis prompts the thought that some omnipotent translator has led human beings (coded them?) to uncode the system of marks by which we are coded so that we might begin to rework the code of codes written into our very core and to thus remake, as we rewrite, nothing less than ourselves.16 From another perspective, which places Genesis in the transatlantic modern historical context that this book addresses, the piece can be read as implicitly engaging an idea of reproduction as translation that has been consistently racialized—the idea of reproduction upon which eugenic movements have been based, that upon which surrogate mothers and donor genetic materials are selected by consumers of reproductive technologies, and the very same idea of reproduction as perfected translation that has bound race to reproduction by calculating racial belonging as reproducible, and genealogical ‘‘purity’’ as achievable. The difficulty with any notion of perfected translation will be immediately apparent to anyone who has attempted to translate from one language into another, or who knows even a little about the numerous factors that impinge upon genes and alter their expression in a complex system of interlocking contingencies involving biochemical pathways, cellular structures, physiological relationships, and environmental fluctuations. Such perfection is 244 Coda

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quite simply impossible. All translation involves transfiguration; each repetition is with a difference, however slight. For all texts, organic and inorganic, are in flux, open to multiple iterations that vary depending upon who is doing the translating, the circumstances in which it is being done, and the limitations and flexibilities of the language into which one text is transformed into another. Poststructuralists have repeatedly made this point, not only about translations but also about reading generally. As Gayatri Spivak has observed, ‘‘Each reading of the book produces a simulacrum of an ‘original’ that is itself the mark of the shifting and unstable subject . . . using and being used by a language that is also shifting and unstable.’’ 17 And perhaps just as significant, scientists have underscored this point in their attempts to accurately capture the dynamic, dialogical process of gene expression: ‘‘The cell uses dna as data, and the resultant effect is a new pattern of gene expression that creates an altered cellular network. Viewed as an extended process, dna acts in the dual capacity of program and data, and the cellular machinery likewise acts as both passive interpreter and program. The genotype and phenotype are intertwined, each acting responsively to the other, both contributing to the process and the result.’’ 18 Initially it would seem that what Kac’s Genesis leaves out in its apparent preoccupation with construing reproduction as purified translation is the messiness of translation, nothing less than the waywardness of reproduction, albeit in a petri dish. What becomes evident on further contemplation of Genesis, however, is not that waywardness has been left out of the story of creation, but that it has been deliberately and quite literally represented as something added by human beings. For in translating living organisms that have mutated in response to random exposure to a light source that is controlled by viewers back into text whose meaning (or, as the case may be, meaninglessness) they cannot control, Genesis begins to undermine the very notion of perfect translation that it initially appears to represent and depend upon. In so doing Genesis suggests that translation processes can always be—indeed, are always already—corrupted.19 It would seem that gene/alogies are not any easier to maintain in a ‘‘pure’’ state across generations than are the purified national genealogies of which Charlotte Perkins Gilman and other nativists and restrictionists dreamed more than a century ago. If Genesis can be interpreted as suggesting that, in an age of Gene/alogies for a New Millennium

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genomics, reproduction—even in its guise as translation—is necessarily wayward, it can also be read as indicating that it is human beings whose interactions, not only with science but also with texts, possess the ability to alter both the ‘‘facts of life’’ and the Book of Life. By putting the viewer in a position of control in relation to Genesis, if only to make of it a text that is recognizable if no longer clearly intelligible, Kac demonstrates that human actions, including acts of reading and translation, impinge not only on the production of texts but also on the (re)production of organisms. Indeed, the globe populated by shifting and colliding pale blue and lime green life forms, like the texts we read and translate, reproduce and transform acts of reading and translation as they are in turn transformed by them. Is the race/reproduction bind undone by Genesis? Perhaps not fully, but the reading of Kac’s installation that I have offered here foregrounds for us the manner in which our active reading and writing of texts will constitute the unbinding process in a genomic age in which race is said no longer to exist and reproduction has assumed strange new forms. For Genesis can be read as an allegory that alerts us to the fact that it is by reading and interfering with purportedly perfectible translation processes that we will effectively rewrite and thus reshape the scripts by which we have until now been written, including those biologically determinist scripts that have consistently bound race to reproduction within the modern episteme. In some sense this work of reading the race/ reproduction bind so that it might be unbound or translated differently in the future has been the project and greatest aspiration of this book. As the Genesis installation suggests, reading and translating race, reproduction, and the facts of life are tasks that have been assumed by science, but just as important they are tasks in which those of us who produce, consume, read, and translate texts cannot afford not to participate.

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Notes Introduction 1

2

See Ludmilla Jordanova, ‘‘Interrogating the Concept of Reproduction in the Eighteenth Century,’’ in Conceiving the New World Order: the Global Politics of Reproduction, ed. Faye Ginsburg and Rayna Rapp (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 369–86. See Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976). Keyword was originally intended as an appendix to Culture and Society (1958; New York: Columbia University Press, 1983). However, it was eventually excised and has only appeared as a separate volume. As is evident, I follow Williams in taking the oed as a starting point

3 4

for inquiry into the social and historical processes that occur within language. Jordanova argues that reproduction was unregulated prior to the nineteenth century. See ‘‘Interrogating the Concept of Reproduction,’’ 376. Gilroy develops the term ‘‘raciology’’ as shorthand for the wide-ranging EuroAmerican discourse that invented modern notions of ‘‘race’’ and truths about human nature based upon ideas of biological and cultural difference. Racial sciences, early anthropology, and contemporary genetic discourse are all examples of raciology. Each attempts, albeit differently, to render the idea of ‘‘race’’ epistemologically correct. See Paul Gilroy, Against Race: Imagining Po-

5

litical Culture Beyond the Color Line (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000), 58. See Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution (New York: W. W. Norton, 1986); Luce Irigaray, Speculum of the Other

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Woman, trans. Gillian C. Gill (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985); This Sex Which Is Not One, trans. Catherine Porter with Carolyn Burke (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985); Je, Tu, Nous: Toward a Culture of Difference, trans. Alison Martin (New York: Routledge, 1993); Sexes and Genealogies, trans. Gillian C. Gill (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993); the discussion of ‘‘Chora’’ in Julia Kristeva, Revolution in Poetic Language, trans. Margaret Waller (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984), and in Toril Moi, ed.,

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The Kristeva Reader (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), especially ‘‘Woman’s Time,’’ 187–213. Marxist and socialist feminist approaches to reproductive labor are discussed in chapter 3. Also see Mary O’Brien, The Politics of Reproduction (Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981); Sara Ruddick, Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace (Boston: Beacon, 1989); and the literary scholarship listed in note 8. 6

I have been immersed in these debates since beginning work on the cultures and politics of reproduction more than a decade ago. Books and anthologies that analyze the exploitation of women as reproducers are too numerous to list. Key works (in order of publication) that have shaped my understanding of the present reproductive order include Rita Arditti, Renate Duelli Klein, and Shelley Minden, eds., Test-Tube Women: What Future for Motherhood? (London: Pandora Press, 1984); Michelle Stanworth, ed., Reproductive Technologies: Gender, Motherhood and Medicine (London: Polity Press, 1987); Rosalind Petchesky, Abortion and Women’s Choice: The State, Sexuality, and Reproductive Freedom (London: Verso, 1986); Betsy Hartmann, Reproductive Rights and Wrongs: The Global Politics of Population Control and Contraceptive Choice (New York: Harper & Row, 1987); Zillah Eisenstein, The Female Body and the Law (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988); Cynthia Daniels, At Women’s Expense: State Power and the Politics of Fetal Rights (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993); Sonia Corea in collaboration with Rebecca Reichmann, Population and Reproductive Rights: Feminist Perspective from the South (London: Zed Books, 1994); Ginsberg and Rapp, eds., Conceiving the New World Order; Vandana Shiva and Ingunn Moser, Biopolitics: A Feminist and Ecological Reader on Biotechnology (London: Zed Books, 1995); Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (New York: Pantheon, 1997); Jeremy Rifkin, The Biotech Century: Harnessing the Gene and Remaking the World (New York: Penguin Putnam, 1998); Rosalind Petchesky and Karen Judd, eds., Negotiating Reproductive Rights: Women’s Perspectives across Countries and Cultures (London and New York: Zed Press, 1998); and Vandana Shiva, Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge (Boston: South End Press, 1997), chapter 5.

7

Among others the following studies, listed in order of publication, have shaped my thinking: Anna Davin, ‘‘Imperialism and Motherhood,’’ History Workshop 5 (1978): 9–65; George Mosse, Nationalism and Sexuality: Respectability and Abnormal Sexuality in Modern Europe (New York: Fertig, 1985); Andrew Parker et al., eds., Nationalisms and Sexualities (New York: Routledge, 1992); Ann McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race and Gender in the Colonial Contest (New York: Routledge, 1995); Anne McClintock, Aamir Mufti,

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and Ella Shohat, eds., Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation, and Postcolonial Perspectives (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997); and Ida Blom, Karen Hagemann, and Catherine Hall, eds., Gendered Nations: Nationalisms and Gender Order in the Long Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Berg, 2000). On the relationship of racism to sexism see Colette Guillaumin,

248 Notes

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Racism, Sexism and Power (New York: Routledge, 1995); Patricia Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1991); Ruth Frankenberg, White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993). On the relationships among gender, sexuality, and race in U.S. history, see Hortense Spillers, ed., Comparative American Identities: Race, Sex, and Nationality in the Modern Text (New York: Routledge, 1991); Robyn Weigman, American Anatomies: Theorizing Race and Gender (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1995); Martha Hodes, ed., Sex, Love, Race: Crossing Boundaries in North American History (New York: New York University Press, 1999); Gail Bederman, Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880–1917 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995); Siobhan Sommerville, Queering the Color Line: Race and the Invention of Homosexuality in American Culture (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2000); Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896–1920 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996); Mason Stokes, The Color of Sex: Whiteness, Heterosexuality, and the Fictions of White Supremacy (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2001); and Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1996). 8

Works by Zillah Eisenstein, Jacqueline Stevens, Mary O’Brien, Seth Koven and Sonya Michel characterize the first trend; those by Alice Adams, Alison Berg, Eva Chernievsky, Laura Doyle, and Stephanie Smith characterize the second. See Zillah Eisenstein, Hatreds: Racialized and Sexualized Conflicts in the 21 st Century (New York: Routledge: 1996); Jacqueline Stevens, Reproducing the State (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999); O’Brien, The Politics of Reproduction; Seth Koven and Sonya Mitchel, eds., Mothers of a New World: Maternalist Politics and the Origins of Welfare States (New York: Routledge, 1993); Alice Adams, Reproducing the Womb: Images of Childbirth in Science, Feminist Theory and Literature (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994); Allison Berg, Mothering the Race: Women’s Narratives of Reproduction, 1890– 1930 (Urbana: University of Illinois, 2002); Laura Doyle, Bordering on the

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9

Body: The Racial Matrix of Modern Fiction and Culture (New York: Oxford, 1994); Eva Cherniavsky, That Pale Mother Rising: Sentimental Discourses and the Imitation of Motherhood in Nineteenth-Century America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995); Stephanie Smith, Conceived by Liberty: Maternal Figures and Nineteenth-Century American Literature (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994). I use ‘‘episteme’’ in a Foucauldian rather than classical sense. See Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (London: Tavistock/ Routledge, 1970) and The Archaeology of Knowledge (New York: Pantheon, 1972). Of his project Foucault writes, ‘‘I am not concerned . . . to describe the progress of knowledge towards an objectivity in which today’s science can finally be recognized; what I am attempting to bring to light is

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the epistemological field, the episteme in which knowledge, envisaged apart from all criteria having reference to its rational value or its objective forms, grounds its positivity and thereby manifests a history which is not that of its growing perfection, but rather that of its conditions of possibility’’ (xxii). 10

See Philip Appleman, ed., Thomas Robert Malthus, Essay on the Principles of Population: Text, Sources and Background Criticism (New York: W. W. Norton, 1976), especially commentary by Marx, Engels, Darwin, and Sanger, among others; and Catherine Gallagher, ‘‘The Body versus the Social Body in the Works of Thomas Malthus and Henry Mayhew,’’ in The Making of the Modern Body: Sexuality and Society in the Nineteenth Century, ed. Catherine Gallagher and Thomas Lacqueur (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), 83–106.

11

It is worth noting that recent scholarship on the question of modernity has roundly criticized the Euro-centrism of the concept and argued for recognition of the existence of multiple modernities. See, among others, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Post-Colonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000); Timothy Mitchell ed., Questions of Modernity (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000); and Dilip Parameshwar Goankar, ‘‘On Alternative Modernities,’’ Public Culture 11.1 (1999): 1–18. To be clear, my intent is not to shore up the idea of a singular experience of modernity through focus on ‘‘transatlantic modernity,’’ but rather to reveal the contours of a dominant and dominating discursive

12 13

horizon. See Daniel Rogers, Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998), 1. See Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993); Joseph Roach, Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996); and Daniel Rogers, Atlantic Crossings. For analysis and extension of the ‘‘Black Atlantic’’ paradigm see Neil Lazarus, ‘‘Is a Counterculture of Modernity a Theory of Modernity?’’ Diaspora 4.3 (1995): 323–39; Laura Chrisman, ‘‘Journeying to Death: Gilroy’s Black Atlantic,’’ Race and Class 39.2 (1997): 51–64; Brent Edwards, The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003); and David Kazanjian, The Colonizing Trick: National Culture and Imperial Citizenship in Early America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003), especially chapter 1. On American exceptionalism within American studies scholarship, see Michael Denning, ‘‘ ‘The Special American Conditions’: Marxism and American Studies,’’ American

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Quarterly 38.3 (1986): 356–80; Gary Gerstle, ‘‘The Limits of American Universalism,’’ American Quarterly 45.2 (1993): 230–36; Michael Kammen, ‘‘The Problem of American Exceptionalism: A Reconsideration,’’ American Quarterly 45.1 (1993):1–43; Amy Kaplan and Donald Pease, eds., Cultures of United States Imperialism (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1993), especially

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Kaplan’s introduction, ‘‘ ‘Left Alone with America’: The Absence of Empire in the Study of American Culture,’’ 3–21; Jenny Sharpe, ‘‘Is the United States Postcolonial? Transnationalism, Immigration, and Race,’’ Diaspora 4. 2 (1995): 181–99; Eva Cherniavsky, ‘‘Subaltern Studies in a U.S. Frame,’’ boundary 2 23.2 (1996): 85–110; Jane C. Desmond and Virginia R. Domínguez, ‘‘Resituating American Studies within a Critical Internationalism,’’ American Quarterly 48. 3 (1996): 475–90; and Alys Eve Weinbaum and Brent Hayes Edwards, ‘‘On Critical Globality,’’ Ariel: A Review of International English Literature 31.1 (2000): 255–74. 14

See Stuart Hall, The Hard Road to Renewal: Thacherism and the Crisis of the Left (London: Verso, 1988), 98. Also see Raymond Williams, ‘‘Reproduction,’’ in The Sociology of Culture (New York: Schocken Books, 1982), 181– 205.

1. Genealogy Unbound 1

2

Kate Chopin, ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ [written 1892, published 1893], in The Awakening and Selected Stories of Kate Chopin, ed. and intro. Barbara Solomon (New York: Signet Classic, 1976), 177. Hereafter all references will be given parenthetically. Initially there was a resistance to reading race in this text. See Cynthia Griffin Wolff, ‘‘Kate Chopin and the Fiction of Limits: ‘Désirée’s Baby,’ ’’ Southern Literary Journal 10.2 (1978): 123–33; Robert Arner, ‘‘Pride and Prejudice: Kate Chopin’s ‘Désirée’s Baby,’ ’’ Mississippi Quarterly 25.2 (1972): 131–40; and Emily Toth, Kate Chopin (New York: William Morrow, 1990). Recent critics focus on race but not nation. See Margaret D. Bauer, ‘‘Armand Aubigny, Still Passing after All These Years: The Narrative Voice and Historical Context of ‘Désirée’s Baby,’ ’’ in Critical Essays on Kate Chopin, ed. Alice Hall Petry (New York: G. K. Hall,1996),161–83; Anna Shannon Elfenbein, Women on the Color Line: Evolving Stereotypes and the Writings of George Washington Cable, Grace King, Kate Chopin (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia,

3 4

1989), 126–31; Ellen Peel, ‘‘Semiotic Subversion in ‘Désirée’s Baby,’ ’’ American Literature 62.2 (1990): 223–37; Katherine Lundie, ‘‘Doubly Dispossessed: Kate Chopin’s Women of Color,’’ Louisiana Literature 11.1 (1994): 126–44; and Brewster E. Fitz, ‘‘Kate Chopin’s ‘Désirée’s Baby’ ’’: Emancipating the Readers,’’ Short Story 8.1 (2000): 78–91. See Peel, ‘‘Semiotic Subversion,’’ 225. In 1941 American Jurisprudence defined miscegenation as a crime involving

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the ‘‘intermarrying, cohabiting, or interbreeding of persons of different races.’’ On miscegenation law and custom see Eva Saks, ‘‘Representing Miscegenation Law,’’ Raritan Quarterly 8.2 (1988): 39–69; Derrick Bell, Race, Racism, and American Law, 3d ed. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1992), 64–108; Joel Williamson, New People: Miscegenation and Mulattoes in the United States (New York: Free Press, 1980); F. James Davis, Who Is Black? One Nation’s Defini-

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tion (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991); Peggy Pascoe, ‘‘Miscegenation Law, Court Cases, and Ideologies of Race in TwentiethCentury America,’’ Journal of American History 83.1 (1996): 44–69; and ‘‘Race, Gender, and Intercultural Relations: The Case of Interracial Marriage,’’ Frontiers 12.1 (1991): 5–18; Teresa Zackodnik, ‘‘Fixing the Color Line: The Mulatto, Southern Courts, and Racial Identity,’’ American Quarterly 53.3 (2001): 420–51; and Werner Sollors, ed., Interracialism: Black-White Intermarriage in American History, Literature, and Law (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000). In Louisiana interracial sex was more heavily legislated and punished after Reconstruction than before. Although civil codes of 1808 and 1825 prohibited interracial marriage, white men’s polygamy was institutionalized in an elaborate system of quadroon balls and ritualized common law marriages. Gens du couleur libre could own property and slaves. As I discuss, Chopin’s story projects a severe, specifically postwar view of miscegenation onto an imagined antebellum moment. According to Blassingame, white men seeking legalization of marriages to black women often moved to Cuba or France; such would provide precedent for Chopin’s portrait of Armand’s parents. See John W. Blassingame, Black New Orleans, 1860–1880 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973), 20; and Virginia R. Dominquez, White by Definition: Social Classification in Creole Louisiana (Rutgers, N.J.: Rutgers 5

University Press, 1986). See Plessy v. Ferguson, Brief for the Plaintiff in Error in the Supreme Court of

6

the United States, No. 210 (October Term, 1895): 27–63; and Brook Thomas, ed. and intro., Plessy v. Ferguson: A Brief History with Documents (Boston: Bedford Books, 1997). See C. Vann Woodward, Origins of the New South: 1877–1913 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1951), 142–74, quotes from 154–55 and 168. The distinction that Woodward draws can be usefully explored through Raymond Williams’s conception of ‘‘residual’’ and ‘‘emergent’’ cultural forms. ‘‘Residual’’ forms are those that have been created in the past but are still active in the cultural processes of the present. They are distinct from the dominant culture but at the same time partially incorporated within it. By contrast, ‘‘emergent’’ cultural forms are either part of a new phase of the dominant culture or substantially alternative or oppositional. Woodward reads literature statically and thus does not apprehend Chopin’s antebellum drama as a commentary on her present; that is, he reads literature in terms of its dominant expression rather than as a complex system that reflects and refracts prevailing social tensions. See Raymond Williams, ‘‘Dominant, Residual, and Emergent,’’ in Marxism and Literature (New York: Oxford University Press,

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7

1977), 121–27; and The Sociology of Culture (New York: Schocken Books, 1981), 203–5. Helen Taylor advances this argument in Gender, Race, and Region in the Writings of Grace King, Ruth McEnery Stuart, and Kate Chopin (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989), 1–28 and 165–66, in relation to ‘‘Dé-

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sirée’s Baby.’’ The idea of the nation as an entity that ‘‘loom[s] out of an immemorial past, and glide[s] into a limitless future’’ is Benedict Anderson’s. See Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983), 19. Hereafter all references will 8

be made parenthetically. Cheryl I. Harris, ‘‘Whiteness as Property,’’ Harvard Law Review 106 (1994):

9

1744. Saks, ‘‘Miscegenation Law,’’ 4.

10

Harris, ‘‘Whiteness as Property,’’ 1714. In Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (London: Verso, 1991), David Roediger also discusses white ‘‘status property’’ in the antebellum period. While Harris’s legal work usefully identifies the economic motivations underpinning transformations in the definition of property, the work of historians of the colonial period and of slavery draw our attention to the broader range of social and political issues that were involved in the creation of an at times ironclad, and at other times more malleable, racial order. See Kathleen M. Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996); and Martha Hodes, White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the NineteenthCentury South (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997).

11

12

See Matthew Frye Jacobson, Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998); and Roediger, Wages of Whiteness. According to Balibar such misrecognition is always in part a hallucination of racial identity: ‘‘[Racism] operate[s] in an inverted fashion. . . . [T]he racialcultural identity of ‘true nationals’ remains invisible, but can be inferred (and is ensured) a contrario by the alleged, quasi-hallucinatory visibility of the ‘false nationals.’ ’’ See Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein, Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities (London: Verso, 1991), 60. Hereafter all refer-

13

ences will be made parenthetically in the text. None of the following discuss gender, let alone reproduction: John Breuilly, Nationalism and the State (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1982); Craig Calhoun, Nationalism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997); Liah Greenfeld, Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992); Eric J. Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990); Elie Kadourie, Nationalism, 4th ed. (1960; Oxford: Blackwell, 1994); Hans Kohn, The Idea of Nationalism (1929; New York: Collier, 1967), and The Age of Nationalism (1944; New York: Harper & Row,

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14

1968). See Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalisms (London: Basil Blackwell, 1983). Hereafter all references will be made parenthetically in the text. See, for example, Donald E. Pease, ed., National Identities and PostAmericanist Narratives (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1994); and John Carlos Rowe, ed., Post-Nationalist American Studies (Berkeley: Univer-

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sity of California Press, 2000). On the limits of the postnationalist formulation see Alys Eve Weinbaum and Brent Hayes Edwards, ‘‘On Critical Globality,’’ Ariel: A Review of International English Literature 31.1–2 (2000): 255–74. 15

See Anne McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race and Gender in the Colonial Contest (New York: Routledge, 1995); George Mosse, Nationalism and Sexuality: Respectability and Abnormal Sexuality in Modern Europe (New York: Fertig, 1985); Nira Yuval Davis and Floya Anthias, eds., Women-Nation-State (London: Macmillan, 1989); Andrew Parker, Mary Russ, Doris Sommer, and Patricia Yaeger, eds., Nationalisms and Sexualities (New York: Routledge, 1992); Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan, Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994); Michael Moon and Cathy N. Davidson, eds., Subjects and Citizens: Nation, Race, and Gender from Oroonoko to Anita Hill (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1995); Anne McClintock, Aamir Mufti, and Ella Shohat, eds., Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation, and Postcolonial Perspectives (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997); Caren Kaplan, Norma Alarcón, and Minoo Moallem, eds., Between Woman and Nation: Nationalisms, Transnational Feminisms, and the State (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1999); and Ida Blom, Karen Hagemann, and Catherine Hall, eds., Gendered Nations: Nationalisms and Gender Order in the Long Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Berg, 2000). Other works that have informed my argument include Faye G. Ginsburg and Rayna Rapp, eds., Conceiving the New World Order: The Global Politics of Reproduction (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995); Seth Koven and Sonya Michel, eds., Mothers of a New World: Maternalist Politics and the Origins of Welfare States (New York: Routledge, 1993); Kumari Jaywardena, Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World (London: Zed Books, 1986); Chandra Talpede Mohanty et al., eds., Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991);

16 17 18

and Anna Davin, ‘‘Imperialism and Motherhood,’’ History Workshop 5 (1978): 9–65. See McClintock, Imperial Leather, 355; and Yuval-Davis and Anthias, WomanNation-State, 7. McClintock offers similar observations about Santayana’s formulation. See Imperial Leather, 353. Emphases and capitalization follow Anderson. Also see Daniel Defoe, The True-Born English-Man: A Satyr (Dublin: Printed for Sam Fuller at the Globe and Scales, 1728); and Jennifer DeVere Brody Impossible Purities: Blackness, Femininity, and Victorian Culture (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press,

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19

1998),1–4. Brody treats the racial politics of Defoe’s poem but not Anderson’s use of it. Parker et al., Nationalism and Sexualities, 5–6; McClintock, Imperial Leather, 353, 358; and Ruth Roach Pierson, ‘‘Nations: Gendered, Racialized, Crossed

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with Empire,’’ in Gendered Nations, ed. Blom et al., 41–43, critique Anderson 20

and/or Gellner along these lines. Bhabha and Kristeva discuss alternatives to this temporalization of the nation. See Homi Bhabha, ‘‘DissemiNation: Time, Narrative, and the Margins of the Modern Nation,’’ in Nation and Narration, ed. Bhabha, 291–322; and Julia Kristeva, ‘‘Women’s Time,’’ in The Kristeva Reader, ed. Toril Moi (1978; New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), 187–213. Kristeva distinguishes between cyclical and monumental time, designating the latter rather than the former as the temporality of nationalism; Bhabha reclaims cyclical time for

21

nonnationalist articulation. Anderson suggests that his observations are true for Christendom, Ummah Islam, Buddhism, and Confucianism, but only discusses Islam and Chris-

22

tianity. The Fermin de Vargas quotation is not excerpted from the original text but from a book on the Spanish American revolutions (1808–26). Given that the term ‘‘miscegenation’’ was not coined until 1864, it is unlikely that Fermin de Vargas used this exact term. The questionable translation upon which Anderson relies further indicates the unquestioning manner in which he imports

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reproductive thinking. A ‘‘concept metaphor’’ establishes a direct connection between a metaphor and the idea it conveys, in that such metaphors produce that which they describe in the act of metaphorizing. See Jacques Derrida, ‘‘White Mythology: Metaphor in the Text of Philosophy,’’ in Margins of Philosophy, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), 207–72, especially 262– 64. Lewis Henry Morgan’s and Freud’s uses of concept metaphor are discussed in chapters 3 and 4 respectively.

24

25

26

On the sexual violence—the rape and so-called population control—that lies at the core of modern nationalism and recent forms of balkanization, see Zillah Eisenstein, Hatreds: Racialized and Sexualized Conflicts in the Twentieth Century (New York: Routledge, 1996). In the nation the clerisy is universalized, and these distinctions cease to exist. This is the point at which ‘‘high culture’’ pervades the entire society, ‘‘defines it, and needs to be sustained by the polity’’—a situation that Gellner views as ‘‘the secret of nationalism.’’ See Gellner, Nations and Nationalisms, 18. The Eurocentrism of Anderson’s model—the idea that nationalism was disseminated from the West to the rest, and that universal literacy was a necessary precondition for nationalism—has been amply criticized. See McClintock, Imperial Leather, 373; Paul Gilroy, There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack: The Culture and Politics of Race and Nation (Chicago: University of Chi-

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27

cago Press, 1987), 45; and Partha Chatterjee, Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986), passim. Anderson expressly engages Tom Nairn on this point. According to Nairn

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racism emerges from nationalism; for Anderson, as we shall see, the two are separate belief systems. See Tom Nairn, The Break-Up of Britain (London: New Left Books, 1977). 28

See Immanuel Wallerstein’s ‘‘The Ideological Tensions of Capitalism: Universalism versus Racism and Sexism,’’ and ‘‘Class Conflict in the Capitalist World-Economy’’ in Race, Nation, Class, by Balibar and Wallerstein; Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World System, vols. 1–3 (La Jolla: Academic Press, 1972–88); Samir Amin, Accumulation on a World Scale (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1974); and André Gunder Frank, Dependent Accumu-

29

lation and Underdevelopment (London: Macmillan, 1978). Gellner blames the victims of nationalist sentiment, ‘‘the blue people,’’ for being tough to bring into the nation. Insofar as ‘‘pigmental blueness’’ is an unalterable trait, Gellner’s understanding of racism is especially insidious in its implied permanence.

30

Balibar is often misread on this point. For instance, Eisenstein writes, ‘‘I disagree with Etienne Balibar when he states that ‘racism has nothing to do with the existence of objective biological ‘races,’ if he means to completely contextualize racialized bodies. . . . Racism is constructed through fictions, which is not to say that race is a fiction.’’ Such misreadings are instructive: Balibar does not regard race as a fiction but rather as an ideology that bears no direct relation to the reality of ‘‘races.’’ Balibar thus uses the term ‘‘fictive’’ rather than ‘‘fiction.’’ See Eisenstein, Hatreds, 35. Balibar’s understanding of ‘‘fictive ethnicity’’ is indebted to the social scientist Colette Guillaumin, whose work traces the unmooring of race from the biological body. See Colette Guillaumin, Racism, Sexism, Power, and Ideology (New York: Routledge, 1995) [first English translation; the essays in this collection were published in French in

31

the 1970s and 1980s]. Balibar follows his mentor and collaborator Louis Althusser in refusing to equate ideology with ‘‘false consciousness.’’ See Louis Althusser, ‘‘Freud and

32

Lacan,’’ New Left Review 55 (1969): 51–65. Stuart Hall’s formulation that race is the modality in which class is lived allies him (and other members of the Birmingham school) with Balibar. See Hall, ‘‘Race, Articulation, and Societies Structured in Dominance,’’ in Sociological Theories: Race and Colonialism (Paris: unesco Press, 1980), 305–45; ‘‘Gramsci’s Relevance for the Study of Race and Ethnicity,’’ Journal of Communication Inquiry 10.2 (1986): 5–27; and Gilroy, There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack. For discussion of racism and classism as fused historical narratives see Balibar, ‘‘Class Racism,’’ in Race, Nation, Class, by Balibar and Wallerstein, especially 206–11. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak also theorizes

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this fusion with her two-pronged axiom: ‘‘Capital is anti-essentializing because it is the abstract as such . . . [essences such as race and sex] are deployed by capitalisms for the political management of capital.’’ See Spivak, ‘‘In a Word: Interview,’’ in Outside in the Teaching Machine (New York: Routledge, 1993), 13.

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33

See Etienne Balibar, ‘‘Racism as Universalism,’’ in Masses, Classes, and Ideas: Studies on Politics and Philosophy before and after Marx, trans. James Swenson (New York: Routledge, 1994), 191–204.

34

During a 1996 plenary address Balibar noted that the concept of genealogy is haunted by a repressed memory of class violence that is also a form of gender violence. From this perspective, ‘‘race’’ is not an originary category but is derived from ideas about gender and ‘‘fantasmatic sexuality.’’ In subsequent discussion I asked Balibar why he did not wish to characterize the ‘‘fantasmatic sexuality’’ that he had discussed as explicitly reproductive. He responded that he was inclined to steer clear of the term because of its overdetermination within the Marxist tradition. I thank him for this clarification. Personal communication, and Etienne Balibar and Cornel West, ‘‘Race and Class: A Dialogue,’’ plenary address presented at ‘‘Rethinking Marxism,’’ University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 6 December 1996.

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‘‘Every social community reproduced by the functioning of institutions is imaginary . . . [which] comes down to accepting that, under certain conditions, only imaginary communities are real. In the case of national formations, the imaginary which inscribes itself in the real in this way is that of the

36

‘people.’ ’’ See Balibar, in Race, Nation, Class, by Balibar and Wallerstein, 93. Once again Anderson and Balibar are opposed. For Anderson racism is strictly internal to nationalism, and has nothing to do with imperialism. Balibar, by contrast, apprehends the nationalist and imperialist forms of racism as coextensiveness. See Balibar, in Race, Nation, Class, by Balibar and Wallerstein, 38–40. In creating a taxonomy of racisms Balibar approaches Michel Foucault’s argument in ‘‘About the Concept of the ‘Dangerous Individual’ in Nineteenth-Century Legal Psychiatry,’’ in Power: Essential Works of Foucault,

37

1954–1984, vol. 3, ed. James D. Faubion (New York: New Press, 2000), 176– 200. Feminists have suggested that the new reproductive technologies shatter the family as it has been traditionally constituted, redefine the reproductive function, and split maternity into three parts: social motherhood (rearing of the child), biological motherhood (donation of genetic material), and gestational motherhood (donation or sale of the womb and labor). See Michelle Stanworth, ‘‘Reproductive Technologies and the Deconstruction of Motherhood,’’ in Reproductive Technologies: Gender, Motherhood, and Medicine, ed. Stanworth (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1987), 10–35; Sarah Franklin, ‘‘Postmodern Procreation: A Cultural Account of Assisted Reproduction,’’ in Conceiving the New World Order, ed. Ginsburg and Rapp, 323–45; Marilyn Strathern, Reproducing the Future: Anthropology, Kinship, and the New Reproductive Tech-

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nologies (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1992); and Barbara Katz Rothman, Recreating Motherhood: Ideology and Technology in a Patriarchal Society (New York: W. W. Norton, 1989). Elsewhere I discuss the socialization of women’s reproductive labor power that has accompanied the proliferation of the new technologies and the hyperexploitation of the repro-

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ductive labor force. See ‘‘Marx, Irigaray, and the Politics of Reproduction,’’ Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 6.1 (1994): 98–128. On the market in babies and wombs see Elizabeth Landes and Richard Posner, ‘‘The Economics of the Baby Shortage,’’ Journal of Legal Studies 7.2 (1978): 323–48; and Carmel Shalev, Birth Power: The Case for Surrogacy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989). On the global market in reproductive by-products see Andrew Kimbrell, The Human Body Shop: The Engineering and Marketing of Life (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1994). 38

The term is Balibar’s.

39

Barbara Fields, ‘‘Ideology and Race in American History,’’ in Region, Race, and Reconstruction: Essays in Honor of C. Vann Woodward, ed. J. Morgan Kousser and James M. McPherson (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), 143–78. Other works that inform my thinking on maternity in slavery include Angela Y. Davis, ‘‘The Legacy of Slavery: Standards for a New Womanhood,’’ in Women, Race, and Class (New York: Vintage Books, 1981), 3–29; Hazel Carby, Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the AfroAmerican Woman Novelist (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 20– 39; Deborah Gray White, ‘‘Female Slaves: Sex Roles and Status in the Antebellum Plantation South,’’ in Half Sisters of History: Southern Women and the American Past, ed. Catherine Clinton (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1994), 56–75; Jacqueline Jones, ‘‘Race, Sex, and Self-Evident Truths: The Status of Slave Women During the Era of the American Revolution,’’ in Half

40

41

Sisters of History, ed. Clinton, 18–35; and Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches. On the reorganization of the black family during Reconstruction and the efforts of black people to gain recognition of and protection for their chosen family formations, see Laura F. Edwards, Gendered Strife and Confusion: The Political Culture of Reconstruction (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997). This theme pervades literature about baby swapping such as Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson, in which a slave mother passes her child out of the bonds of slavery by switching it with her master’s. See Carolyn Porter, ‘‘Roxana’s Plot,’’ in Susan Gillman and Forrest G. Robinson, eds., Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1990),

42

121–36; and Mark Patterson, ‘‘Surrogacy and Slavery: The Problematics of Consent in Baby M, Romance of the Republic, and Pudd’nhead Wilson,’’ American Literary History 8 (1996): 449–70. Tourgée wrote, ‘‘the preponderance of the blood of one race or another is im-

43

possible of ascertainment, except by careful scrutiny of pedigree.’’ Plessy v. Ferguson, 37. Harryette Mullen, ‘‘Optic White: Blackness and the Production of White-

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44

ness,’’ Diacritics 24.2–3 (1994): 80; and Amy Robinson, ‘‘Forms of Appearance of Value: Homer Plessy and the Politics of Privacy,’’ in Performance and Cultural Politics, ed. Elin Diamond (New York: Routledge, 1996), 237–61. Although the Supreme Court took the power of racial determination away from non–state actors by turning the question of racial classification back

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to state courts, the consistency with which it used concepts of descent, heritage, and pedigree to determine the existence of ‘‘black blood’’ in individuals suggests the extralegal pervasiveness of such genealogical belief systems. Indeed, de facto and de jure Jim Crow depended upon classification of blackness, on identification of ‘‘one drop of black blood,’’ and thus on genealogical ideas about the reproducibility of race. See Barbara Y. Welke, ‘‘When All the Women Were White, and All the Blacks Were Men: Gender, Class, Race, and the Road to Plessy, 1855–1914,’’ Law and History Review 13.2 (1995): 261–316; Christine B. Hickman, ‘‘The Devil and the One Drop Rule: Racial Categories, African Americans and the U.S. Census,’’ Michigan Law Review 95.5 (1997): 1161–265; and Davis, Who Is Black? 45

What is known is that Chopin’s husband, Oscar, was an active member of the powerful white supremacist organization the White League and that there is no record of her objection to his racist activism. See Heather Kirk Thomas, ‘‘The White League and Racial Status: Historicizing Kate Chopin’s Reconstruction Stories,’’ Louisiana Literature 14.2 (1997): 97–115; and Sandra Gunning, ‘‘Kate Chopin’s Local Color Fiction and the Politics of White Supremacy,’’ Arizona Quarterly 51.3 (1995): 61–86. I am grateful to Laura Wexler for discussions of Chopin and white supremacy and for convening the panel in which I participated at the American Studies Association meeting, Octo-

46

ber 2001. Ann Laura Stoler is among the few scholars who treats race in Foucault; although Hortense Spillers’s work also informs my discussion here. See Ann Laura Stoler, Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1995); and Hortense Spillers, ‘‘Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar

47 48

49

Book,’’ Diacritics 17.2 (1987): 65–81. Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, vol. 1, An Introduction (New York: Vintage Books, 1978). Michel Foucault, ‘‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History,’’ in The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow (New York: Pantheon, 1984), 76–100. Hereafter all citations will be made parenthetically in the text. Foucault is not the only poststructuralist to have read Nietzsche along these lines. See Alan D. Schrift, ‘‘Nietzsche’s Contest: Nietzsche and the Culture Wars,’’ in Why Nietzsche Still? Reflections on Drama, Culture, and Politics, ed. Allan D. Schrift (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 184–201; Douglas Smith, Transvaluations: Nietzsche in France, 1872–1972 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996); and Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, trans. Hugh Tomlinson (1962; New York: Columbia University Press,

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1983). Deleuze writes: ‘‘Genealogy means both the value of the origin and the origin of value. Genealogy is as opposed to absolute values as it is to relative or utilitarian ones. Genealogy signifies the differential element of values from which their value itself derives. Genealogy thus means origin or birth, but also difference or distance in the origin. Genealogy means nobility and base-

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ness, nobility and vulgarity, nobility and decadence in the origin. The noble and the vulgar, the high and the low—this is the truly genealogical and critical element. But understood in this way, critique is also at its most positive. The differential element is both a critique of the value of values and the positive element of a creation. This is why critique is never conceived by Nietzsche as a reaction but as an action’’ (2). 50

Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, ed. and trans. Walter Kaufmann (N.Y.: Vintage, 1967), 57. Hereafter all citations will be made paren-

51 52

I paraphrase Smith’s formulation. See Smith, Transvaluations, 19. Laura Doyle, Bordering on the Body: The Racial Matrix of Modern Fiction and

thetically in the text.

Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), quotes 36 and 38. When Foucault argues that, in the modern transition from a ‘‘system of alliance’’ to a ‘‘system of sex,’’ blood is transformed into race, he is identifying the same racialist residue within the eighteenth-century discourse of social hierarchy, stratification, and aristocratic genealogy that Doyle calls attention to in her work on romanticism. In short, Foucault reveals that nineteenth-century discourses on heredity and eugenics drew upon older discourses on genealogy, reproduction, and race. See Foucault, The History of Sexuality, 1:124–25. On the rise of German nationalism and its roots in eighteenth-century intellectual culture and literary and philosophical romanticism see James J. Sheehan, German History, 1770–1866 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), 324–88, especially 53

371–88. See Sander L. Gilman, ‘‘The Image of the Black in German Thought from Hegel to Nietzsche,’’ in On Blackness without Blacks: Essays on the Image of the Black in Germany (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1982), 93–118; Robert Bernasconi, ‘‘Who Invented the Concept of Race? Kant’s Role in the Enlightenment Construction of Race,’’ in Race, ed. Robert Bernasconi (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), 11–36; Susanne Zantop, Colonial Fantasies: Conquest, Family and Nation in Precolonial Germany, 1770–1870 (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1997), 68–70; David Theo Goldberg, ‘‘Modernity, Race, and Morality,’’ in Racist Culture (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993), 14–40; Cornel West, ‘‘A Genealogy of Modern Racism,’’ in Race Critical Theories, ed. Philomena Essed and David Theo Goldberg (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002), 90–112; and David Lloyd, ‘‘Race under Representation,’’ Oxford Literary Review 13.1–2 (1991): 62–94.

54

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55

In 1884–85 Germany claimed three African colonies, German Southwest Africa, German East Africa, Togo, and Cameroon, as well as German New Guinea in the Pacific. On German ideas about Africanness, see Sander Gilman, ‘‘Preface,’’ On Blackness without Blacks, xi. Also see Zantop, Colonial Fantasies, passim. See Sara Friedrichsmeyer, Sara Lennox, and Susanne Zantop, eds., The Imperialist Imagination: German Colonialism and Its Legacy (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998), especially Robert C. Holub, ‘‘Nietzsche’s

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Colonialist Imagination: Nueva Germanie, Good Europeans, and the Great Politics,’’ 33–50. On German women’s participation in colonialism, see Lora Wildenthal, German Women for Empire, 1884–1945 (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2001). 56

See Jacob Golomb, ed., Nietzsche and Jewish Culture (London: Routledge, 1997); Steven Aschheim, The Nietzsche Legacy in Germany, 1890–1990 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992); Siegfried Mandel, Nietzsche and the Jews: Exaltation and Denigration (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1998); and Douglas Smith, Transvaluations, especially chapter 3.

57

The debates about whether Nietzsche was an anti-Semite, an advocate of colonialism, or an Aryan supremacist have been persuasively settled by scholars such as Steven Aschheim and Robert Holub, among others. Aschheim writes, ‘‘There were, to be sure, many building blocks that went into conceiving and implementing genocide and mass murder but I would argue that this Nietzschean framework of thinking provided a crucial conceptual precondition and his radical sensibility a partial trigger for its implementation.’’ Steven Aschheim, ‘‘Nietzsche, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust,’’ in Nietzsche and Jewish Culture, ed. Golomb, 3–20, quote 15. Weaver Santaniello offers counter evidence and arrives at essentially the same conclusion as did Walter Kaufmann before her. See Weaver Santaniello, ‘‘A Post-Holocaust Re-Examination of Nietzsche and the Jews,’’ in Nietzsche and Jewish Culture, ed. Golomb, 21– 54; Walter Kaufman, Nietzsche (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968),

58

especially part 3; and Holub, ‘‘Nietzsche’s Colonialist Imagination,’’ 33–50. Gilroy develops the term ‘‘raciology’’ as a shorthand for the wide-ranging Euro-American discourse that invented modern notions of ‘‘race’’ and truths about human nature based upon these ideas. See Paul Gilroy, Against Race: Imagining Political Culture beyond the Color Line (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000), 58. On raciology in the transatlantic context see John S. Haller, Outcasts from Evolution: Scientific Attitudes of Racial Inferiority, 1859–1900 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971); Michael D. Biddis, ‘‘European Racist Ideology, 1850–1945: Myths of Blood,’’ Patterns of Prejudice 9.5 (1975): 11–18; Reginald Horseman, Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1981); Alfred Kelly, The Descent of Darwin: The Popularization of Darwinism in Germany, 1860–1914 (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1981); Nancy Stepan, The Idea of Race in Science: Great Britain, 1800–1960 (London: Macmillan, 1982); Stephen J. Gould, The Mismeasure of Man (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1984); George Stocking, Victorian Anthropology (New York: Free Press, 1987); Paul Weindling,

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Health, Race, and German Politics between National Unification and Nazism, 1870–1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Alexander Saxton, The Rise and Fall of the White Republic: Class Politics and Mass Culture in Nineteenth-Century America (London: Verso, 1990); Robert Proctor, ‘‘Eugenics among the Social Sciences: Hereditarian Thought in Germany and the

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United States,’’ in The Estate of Social Knowledge, ed. JoAnne Brown and David Van Keuren (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), 175– 208; Pat Shipman, The Evolution of Racism: Human Differences and the Use and Abuse of Science (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994); Robert Young, Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture, and Race (New York: Routledge, 1995); and Jacobson, Whiteness of a Different Color. 59 60

See McClintock, Imperial Leather, 52–53. The Irish were themselves purveyors of racism in their role as minstrels who donned blackface and as the rowdy spectators of such performances. In contrast to Irish abolitionists such as Daniel O’Connell, who saw a direct connection between Irish freedom (through an end to union with Britain) and black emancipation in America, many Irish immigrants were proslavery democrats who rejected the call to see blacks as brethren and embraced the idea that their whiteness entitled them to political rights and jobs that they had been denied through their association with blacks. This rhetoric was pronounced in the 1863 New York City Draft Riot, in which the Irish asserted themselves as aggrieved ‘‘whites’’ unwilling to fight against slavery. See Eric Lott, Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), especially 94–96, 148–49; David Roediger, Wages of Whiteness, especially 116–22, 134–37; and Jacobson, Whiteness of a

61 62

63 64

Different Color, 52–56. Jacobson, Whiteness of a Different Color, 48; and Lott, Love and Theft, 95. Roediger, Wages of Whiteness, 133–37. Also see Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, vol. 1, Racial Oppression and Social Control (London: Verso, 1994); Noel Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White (New York: Routledge, 1995); and Dale T. Knobel, Paddy and the Republic: Ethnicity and Nationality in Antebellum America (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1986). Quoted in Jacobson, Whiteness of a Different Color, 56. John Higham, Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism 1860–1925, 2d ed. (New York: Atheneum, 1963), 90. In literature that Chopin and Nietzsche may have read such ideas are rife. For example, Mark Twain’s Those Extraordinary Twins is about Italian Siamese twins, one of whom is blackened and accused of cold-blooded murder. Henry James’s Daisy Miller mingles fears and racial and sexual violence in its story of a dangerous liaison between an ‘‘American girl’’ and her devious Italian suitor. On Twain’s response to the intense anti-Italian violence he witnessed see Jacobson’s Whiteness of a Different Color, 61–62, and 56–62 the 1891 New Orleans lynchings. On the anti-Italian animus in James see Lynn Wardly, ‘‘Reassembling Daisy Miller,’’

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65

American Literary History 3.2 (1991): 232–54. Interestingly one strand of Irish nationalist discourse coincided with Nietzsche’s view. It emphasized Celts as a race separate from Anglo-Saxons, as a superior and decidedly ‘‘unmixed’’ race. See Jacobson, Whiteness of a Different Color, 49, 50–51.

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66

Other eighteenth- and nineteenth-century German writers, including Hegel, Marx, and Freud, also invoked the figure of the hieroglyph. Through orientalization, Egypt risked being erased as a historical source of Greek (read Western) civilization. As Martin Bernal has demonstrated, as the defensive whitening of Egypt proceeded, an autochthonous origins discourse about antiquity was consolidated. In light of these trends, it is possible to argue that Nietzsche used the hieroglyph not only as a fulcrum for orientalist fantasy but also as a critique of such a figuration. See Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon, 1978), 84–87; and Martin Bernal, ‘‘Black Athena: Hostilities to Egypt in the Eighteenth Century,’’ in The ‘Racial’ Economy of Science: Toward a Democratic Future, ed. Sandra Harding (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993), 47–63.

67 68

Young, Colonial Desire, 124–30. Nott and Gliddon quoted in Young, Colonial Desire, 128, 129.

69

The Latin, genus, has a variety of meanings, including stock, descent, origin, offspring, nationality, race, nation, and generation. It indicates high or noble birth, age, or type. In biology it refers to an order of living creatures (e.g., humankind), or to a group of inanimate ones of similar variety. The fact that genus means both race and nation is of interest as this is precisely the conflation that grounds racial nationalism: the Irish (like the Italians) are a genus,

70

a race characterized by a shared national origin. See David Croly, George Wakeman, and E. C. Howells, Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man and Negro (New York: H. Dexter, Hamilton, 1864), quote 16. All further citations will be made parenthetically in the text. On the history of the pamphlet see Sidney Kaplan, ‘‘The Miscegenation Issue in the Election of 1864’’ [1949], reprinted in Interracialism, ed. Sollors, 219–65. Croly and his colleagues crafted not only their signal term but a lexicon of related nonce words including ‘‘miscegen,’’ ‘‘miscegenate,’’ ‘‘miscegenetic,’’ ‘‘melaleukation,’’ ‘‘melaleukon,’’ and ‘‘melaleuketic’’—the last three of which are derived from the same Greek root (melas) that Nietzsche invokes in the course of examining the racial coding of morality.

71

On the pamphlet’s reception on both sides of the Atlantic, see Kaplan, ‘‘The Miscegenation Pamphlet and the Election of 1864,’’ 253. Although there is no way to know whether Nietzsche read this pamphlet, his library contained a number of the volumes on biology, cultural, and race on which the authors of the pamphlet drew. These include titles by Walter Bagehot, Francis Galton, John Lubbock, and Edward Tylor. In On the Genealogy of Morals Nietzsche mentions Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, and Thomas Henry Huxley, 21,

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27, and 79. On the contents of Nietzsche’s library and his views on the impure origins of ancient civilization, see Hubert Cancik, ‘‘ ‘Mongols, Semites and the Pure-Bred Greeks’: Nietzsche’s Handling of the Racial Doctrines of his Time,’’ in Nietzsche and Jewish Culture, ed. Golomb, 55–75. One rabid proslavery journalist, John H. Van Evrie, made this same point by

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taking issue with the pamphlet’s supposedly monogenecist argument and insisting upon the existence of superior and inferior races. Van Evrie coined the term ‘‘subgenation’’ to describe the naturalness of this hierarchical state of affairs: ‘‘Subgenation,’’ from sub, lower, and genus, race is defined as ‘‘the natural or normal relation of an inferior to a superior race.’’ A ‘‘Subgen’’ is a member of the inferior race ‘‘placed in their natural position.’’ Accordingly, great American men—including Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Henry, Adams, and Hamilton—are progeny ‘‘of a society based on Negro subgenation.’’ John H. Van Evrie, Subgenation: The Theory of the Normal Relation of the Race; An Answer to ‘Miscegenation’ (New York: J. Bradburn, 1864), quotes 34. Contra Croly et al., but in support of their true agenda, Van Evrie argues that the success of American democracy depends upon continued subgena73

tion, rather than miscegenation. Jacobson makes this useful distinction in Whiteness of a Different Color, 10.

2. Writing Feminist Genealogy 1

2 3 4

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: An Autobiography, intro. Ann J. Lane (1935; Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1963), 8. Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, ed. Walter Kaufman, trans. Walter Kaufman and R. J. Hollingdale (1887; New York: Vintage, 1967), 15. Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, trans. Hugh Tomlinson (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983), 2. See Susan S. Lanser, ‘‘Feminist Criticism, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper,’ and the Politics of Color in America,’’ Feminist Studies 15.3 (1989): 415–41; Mariana Valverde, ‘‘When the Mother of the Race Is Free’: Race, Reproduction, and Sexuality in First-Wave Feminism,’’ in Gender Conflicts: New Essays in Women’s History, ed. Franca Iacovetta and Mariana Valverde (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), 3–26; Gail Bederman, ‘‘ ‘Not to Sex—But to Race!’ Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Civilized Anglo-Saxon Womanhood, and the Return of the Primitive Rapist,’’ in Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural

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History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880–1917 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 121–69; Bernice L. Hausman, ‘‘Sex before Gender: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Evolutionary Paradigm of Utopia,’’ Feminist Studies 24.3 (1998): 489–510; Louise Newman, ‘‘Eliminating Sex Distinction from Civilization: The Feminist Theories of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Mary Roberts Smith Coolidge,’’ in White Women’s Rights: The Racial Origins of Feminism in the United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 132–57; Kristin Carter-Sanborn, ‘‘Restraining Order: The Imperialist Anti-violence of Charlotte Perkins Gilman,’’ Arizona Quarterly 56.2 (2000): 1–36. I am especially indebted to Ding Naifei and Amie Parry, who examine the celebration of Gilman’s novel Herland by the Taiwanese

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women’s movement. Their groundbreaking work cautions against the adoption of Gilman as a ‘‘foremother,’’ arguing that Herland’s modernity may be read as an essentially ‘‘fascistic undertaking’’ that in the Taiwanese context has been put to nationalist ends. See Amie Parry, ‘‘Penetrating Herland’’ (paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association, Seattle, 1998); an earlier version of this paper appeared as ‘‘From Herland to Queerland: The Homoerotic Longings of a Feminist Utopia,’’ trans. Chen Ting, Working Papers in Gender and Sexuality Studies 3–4 (Special Issue: Queer Politics and Queer Theory). Ding Naifei, ‘‘A Land Where Cats Do Not Sing’’ (paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association, Seattle, 1998); trans. Liu Jen-Peng, Working Papers in Gender and Sexuality Studies 3–4. I thank them for generously sharing their work 5

with me. On the imbrication of sex and gender systems and the pitfalls of conflation or analogy, see Gail Rubin, ‘‘The Traffic in Women: Notes on the ‘Political Economy’ of Sex,’’ in Toward an Anthropology of Women, ed. Rayna R. Reiter (New York: Monthly Review, 1975), 157–210; ‘‘Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality,’’ in The Gay and Lesbian Studies Reader, ed. Henry Abelove, Michèle Aiana Barale, and David Halperin (New York: Routledge, 1993), 3–44; Judith Butler, ‘‘Against Proper Objects’’ Differences 6.2–3 (1994): 1–24; and Miranda Joseph, ‘‘Analogy and Complicity: Women’s Studies, Lesbian/Gay Studies, and Capitalism,’’ in Women’s Studies

6

on Its Own, ed. Robyn Wiegman (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2002), 267–92, and Against the Romance of Community (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002), chapter 5, especially 157–58. Gilman’s book-length nonfiction manuscripts first appeared in The Forerunner. For further bibliographic information see Gary Scharnhorst, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a Bibliography (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1985). Explaining her commitment to this project, Gilman wrote: ‘‘as time passed there was less and less market for what I had to say, more and more of my stuff was declined. Think I must and write I must, the manuscripts accumulated far faster than I could sell them, some of the best, almost all—and finally I

7

8

9

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10

announced: ‘If the editors and publishers will not bring out my work, I will!’ And I did’’ (Gilman, The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 304). On the reception of Gilman’s work, see Joanne Karpinski, ed., Critical Essays on Charlotte Perkins Gilman (New York: G. K. Hall, 1992), 1, 39, and 70; quote 56. Gale expressed these thoughts in the posthumous preface to The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (xxvii); she is the person whom Gilman originally asked to write her biography. Gilman’s autobiography sold 808 copies and though reviewed was not critically assessed. It did not reappear until thirty years later. Gilman, quoted in Ann J. Lane’s introduction to Herland: A Lost Feminist

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Utopia (New York: Pantheon, 1979), ix. The novel was first serialized in The 11

Forerunner (1915); all further references are to the Pantheon edition. See Ann J. Lane, To Herland and Beyond: The Life and Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (New York: Pantheon, 1990), quotes 353. Also see Mary A. Hill, Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Making of a Radical Feminist, 1860–1896 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1980), 6–8; and Larry Ceplair, ed., Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Non-Fiction Reader (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991), 5.

12

Gilman, The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1, 2.

13

Critics disagree over whether Gilman was, strictly speaking, Darwinian. Bederman and Newman suggest the influence of American popularizers of Darwin, especially Lester Frank Ward; Hausman argues that Gilman blended Darwin with Spencer; Valverde suggests that most Anglo-American feminists explicitly reworked Darwin; and Mark Pittenger argues that Gilman combined social and biological evolution in a unique blend of ‘‘Lamarckian feminism.’’ See Bederman, Manliness and Civilization, 126–28; Newman, White Women’s Rights, 142–44; Hausman, ‘‘Sex before Gender,’’ 493, 498– 500; Valverde, ‘‘When the Mother of the Race Is Free,’’ 7–15; and Pittenger, American Evolutionists and Evolutionary Thought, 1870–1920 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993), 72.

14

Gilman’s distinction between new and old immigrants coincides with the ideology of restrictionism. Restrictionists advocated limited immigration of particular national groups to the United States. As John Higham explains, ‘‘The major theoretical effort of restrictionists in the twentieth century consisted precisely in . . . transformation of relative cultural differences into an absolute line of cleavage, which would redeem the Northwestern Europeans from the charges once leveled at them and explain the present danger of immigration in terms of the change in its sources.’’ See Higham, Send These to Me: Immigrants in Urban America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975), 44.

15

As one seventeenth-century source explains, ‘‘Robert, brother to Richard III was never married; but being charmed with the graceful mien of a young woman named Arlotta (whence ’tis said cam the word harlot) a skinner’s daughter . . . took her for his mistress and by her had this William.’’ See Paul Sieveking, ed., The British Biographical Archive, 1601–1929 (London: K. G. Saur, 1984), microfiche 1170; and The Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 21 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1917), 293–301.

16 17

Gilman, The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 2 (emphasis added). Shortly after the entrance of the United States into World War I, African Americans, poor whites from the rural South, Mexicans, and French Cana-

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dians began to fill urban industrial jobs that had been previously occupied by immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe and East Asia, whose arrival had been severely curtailed by restrictive immigration legislation (only 23,068 people entered the country in 1933 and 28,470 in 1934, the year Gilman com-

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pleted her autobiography). A decade later, the contraction of the economy that accompanied the onset of the depression led to an astronomical rise in unemployment and a parallel (if not causally related) rise in discrimination against the recently transfigured labor force. Although few people emigrated to the United States in the late twenties and early thirties (in 1930 President Hoover instructed consulates to deny visas to people who might become unemployed candidates for public relief) intense fear about internal migration was pervasive. See Leonard Dinnerstein and David Reimers, Ethnic Americans: A History of Immigration and Assimilation (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1975), 73; Ronald Takaki, ed., A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America (Boston: Little, Brown, 1993); Higham, Send These to Me, 57–60; and Stephen Brier et al., eds., Who Built America? Working People and the Nation’s 18

Economy (New York: Pantheon, 1992), 2:317–34. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, ‘‘My Ancestors,’’ The Forerunner 4 (1913), quotes 73, 74.

19

The first restrictive immigration legislation enacted by Congress (1875) banned prostitutes and convicts from entering the country. The Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), the first legislation proscribing the entrance of a nationally defined group, was followed by additional restrictions based on national origin. In 1924, for example, the Johnson-Reed Act set rigid quotas based on statistics gathered from the 1890 census. A commission created by the act concluded that there were 94.8 million whites in the population; and that of these, 41.3 million were of ‘‘colonial stock’’ and 53.5 million of ‘‘postcolonial’’ stock. The ‘‘Western Hemisphere’’ was excluded from all immigration acts enacted prior to 1965, when the United States began to actively curtail immigration from Mexico, Central and South America, and Canada. The entrance of the United States into war in 1917 coincided with a surge in nativist and restrictionist fervor. The Ku Klux Klan, which claimed over 4 million members at its height, was the largest nativist organization of the period. See Dinnerstein and Reimers, Ethnic Americans; Ronald Takaki, ed., From a Different Shore: Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987); Stephen Steinburg, The Ethnic Myth: Race, Ethnicity, and Class in America (Boston: Beacon Press, 1981); Oscar Handlin, ed., Immigration as a Factor in American History (Englewood Cliff, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1959); and John Higham, Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860–1925, 2d. ed. (New York: Athenaeum, 1967).

20

‘‘Foreign immigration into this country,’’ Walker wrote, amounts ‘‘not to a re-enforcement of our population, but to a replacement of native by foreign stock. . . . [N]o one surely can be enough of an optimist to contemplate with-

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out dread the fast rising flood of immigration now setting in upon our shores.’’ See Francis Amasa Walker, ‘‘Immigration and Degradation,’’ The Forum 11 (1891): 642–43. Walker based his analysis on that of E. A. Ross; both argued that natives were unwilling to bring children into the world to compete with

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immigrants; consequently native laborers were emasculated in the factory and the bedroom. See also Thomas F. Gossett, Race: The History of an Idea in America (New York: Oxford, 1963), 168–72. 21

Linda Gordon, Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Con-

22

trol in America (New York: Grossman, 1976), 136–58. E. A. Ross was the nephew of Lester Frank Ward, the prominent sociologist. Gilman met Ross through Ward and maintained contact with both men throughout her life. Ross included Gilman in a chapter of his autobiography entitled ‘‘Celebrities I Have Known’’; and Gilman wrote that Ward was ‘‘quite the greatest man I have ever known. He was an outstanding leader in Sociology . . . and his Gynaecocentric Theory is the greatest single contribution to the world’s thought since Evolution.’’ Gilman, The Living, 187. Here Gilman

23

refers to Ward, ‘‘Our Better Halves,’’ Forum 6 (1888): 266–75. E. A. Ross, ‘‘The Causes of Race Superiority,’’ Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 18–23 (1901): 67–89, quotes 72, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88. The discourse of racial degeneration, of which ‘‘race suicide’’ forms a part, reserves a special place for East Asians in that Chinese and Japanese are specifically identified as belonging to overly evolved or decadent civilizations long past their prime. Gilman follows Ross in viewing Chinese as especially degenerate. As Lanser argues, the color yellow in ‘‘The Yellow Wallpaper’’ symbolizes Gilman’s anxiety about ‘‘Yellow Peril.’’ See Valverde, ‘‘When the Mother of the Race Is Free,’’ 14; and Lanser, ‘‘Feminist Criticism,’’ 425–27.

24

Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur answers his own query as follows: America is a place where ‘‘individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men’’; an American is a ‘‘new man’’ containing that ‘‘strange mixture of blood that you will find in no other country.’’ See Letters from an American Farmer (1782;

25

London: Penguin, 1986), 69–70. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, ‘‘Is America Too Hospitable?’’ The Forum 70 (1923): 1983–89, reprinted in Ceplair, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 288–94,

26

quotes 289, 290. Gilman specifies that European ‘‘mongrelization’’ is pronounced among peoples from the Levant, and singles out Poles as one of the least assimilable

27

28

of all groups. Elsewhere she focuses on the ‘‘mongrel’’ Irish and invokes Jews as a ‘‘race’’ eager to mix adversely with other races. Werner Sollors discusses Kallen’s and Zangwill’s development of the trope of the ‘‘melting pot’’ in Beyond Ethnicity: Consent and Descent in American Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 66–101. Gilman, ‘‘Is America Too Hospitable?’’ 291. Gilman often relies upon examples drawn from the animal kingdom. Invoking ‘‘Genus canis,’’ she pro-

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ceeds by analogy: ‘‘If dogs are left to themselves, in some canine asylum or ‘melting pot,’ they are cheerfully promiscuous, but do not produce a superdog. On the contrary they tend to revert to the ‘yaller dog,’ the jackal type so far behind them’’ (291).

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29

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, ‘‘A Suggestion on the Negro Problem,’’ American

30

Journal of Sociology 14 (1908): 78. Merrill D. Peterson, ed., Thomas Jefferson: Writings (1785; New York: Library of America, 1984), quotes 264, 270. For discussion of the contradictions that pervade Jefferson’s colonization scheme, see David Kazanjian, The Colonizing Trick: National Culture and Imperial Citizenship in Early America (Minneapo-

31

lis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003), 89–138. Gilman, ‘‘A Suggestion on the Negro Problem,’’ 83.

32

Gilman proposes that blacks become a reserve army of labor capable of performing the work done by immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe and Asia—especially Chinese and Japanese. The mobilization of an ‘‘enlisted’’ black labor force therefore renders importation of foreign labor unnecessary.

33

Gilman, ‘‘Immigration, Importation and Our Fathers,’’ The Forerunner 5 (1914): 117–19, all quotes 118 (emphasis added).

34

Susan Lanser’s work on ‘‘The Yellow Wallpaper’’ and Kristin Carter San-

35

born’s treatment of Herland stand out as exceptions to this general point. Ann J. Lane, ‘‘The Fictional World of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’’ in The Charlotte Perkins Gilman Reader (New York: Pantheon, 1980), ix–xlii. Lane expresses similar views in the introduction to her 1990 biography: Gilman’s ‘‘racist, anti-Semitic, and ethnocentric ideas . . . must reside primarily in the psychological realm, because the racist and nativist views that she held did not fit with the vision she espoused of radical social and political transforma-

36

37

tion.’’ Lane, To Herland and Beyond, 255. Mary Jo Deegan and Michael Hill, eds., With Her in Ourland: Sequel to Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1997), 6. Ourland was first serialized in The Forerunner in 1916. Herland adheres to established criteria for feminist utopian literature by contrasting the present with an idealized society, regarding patriarchy as the cause of social ills, and casting women as the principal arbiters of their reproductive function. See Libby Falk Jones, ‘‘Gilman, Bradley, Piercy, and the Evolving Rhetoric of Feminist Utopia,’’ in Feminism, Utopia, and Narrative, ed. Libby Falk Jones and Sarah Webster Goodwin (Knoxville: University of

38

Tennessee Press, 1990), 116. The first quote is from Laura E. Donaldson, ‘‘The Eve of De-struction: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Feminist Re-creation of Paradise,’’ Women’s Studies 16 (1989): 379. Elizabeth Keyser argues that Herland offers a ‘‘blueprint’’ for contemporary feminism in ‘‘Looking Backward: From Herland to Gulliver’s Travels,’’ Studies in American Fiction 11.1 (1983): 44. The last quote is from E. Ann Kaplan, Motherhood and Representation: The Mother in Popular

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39

Culture and Melodrama (New York: Routledge, 1992), 131. See among others, Frances Bartkowski, Feminist Utopias (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989); Dorothy Berkson, ‘‘ ‘So We All Became Mothers’: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and the New World of

Notes

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Feminist Culture,’’ in Feminism, Utopia, and Narrative, 100–115; Val Gough, ‘‘Lesbians and Virgins: The New Motherhood in Herland,’’ in Anticipations: Essays on Early Science Fiction and Its Precursors, ed. David Seed (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1995), 195–215; Amanda Graham, ‘‘Herland: Definitive Ecofeminist Fiction?’’ in A Very Different Story: Studies on the Fiction of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, ed. Val Gough and Jill Rudd (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1998), 115–28; Bridget Bennett, ‘‘Pockets of Resistance: Some Notes towards an Exploration of Gender and Genre Boundaries in Herland,’’ in A Very Different Story, ed. Gough and Rudd, 38–53; Lou-Ann Matossian, ‘‘A Woman-Made Language: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Herland,’’ Women and Language 10:2 (1987): 16–20; and Laura E. Donaldson, ‘‘The Eve of De-struction.’’ In writing Herland Gilman anticipates feminist sci-fi greats such as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Suzy McKee Charnas, Ursula K. Le Guin, Vonda McIntyre, Sally Gearhart, Marge Piercy, Joanna Russ, and Octavia Butler. See Sarah Lefanu, In the Chinks of the World Machine: Femi40

nism and Science Fiction (London: Women’s Press, 1988), 53. Gough, ‘‘Lesbians and Virgins,’’ quotes 196, 208, and 197. Gough notes that ‘‘white, middle-class lesbian feminism of the late 1970s’’ was racist and clas-

41

sist, but does not extend this in relation to Gilman. The first quote is from Gough, ‘‘Lesbians and Virgins,’’ 206; the second from

42

Bennett, ‘‘Pockets of Resistance,’’ 38–53. The act of anthropologization resonated for turn-of-the-century feminists. As Bederman has demonstrated, the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition was a battleground for opposing sides in the debate over the relative degree of civilization achieved by women. Rather than being situated inside the ‘‘civilized’’ section of the fair (entitled the ‘‘White City’’), the Woman’s Building was placed across from the exit to the ‘‘uncivilized’’ section of the fair (the ‘‘Midway’’), where native peoples and exotic artifacts were displayed. See Bederman, Manliness and Civilization, 33–40. Apparently aware of the struggle over the placement of the women’s exhibit, Gilman crafts Herland as equal to the ‘‘White City’’ of technology, science, and civilization; she has one of the male intruders remark upon entry that Herland is ‘‘like an Exposition . . . too pretty

43

44

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45

to be true’’ (19). The first two quotes are from Elizabeth Keyser, ‘‘Looking Backward,’’ 32– 34; the third is from Christopher Wilson, ‘‘Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Steady Burghers: The Terrain of Herland,’’ Women’s Studies 12 (1986): 271, 283. Sandra Gilbert, ‘‘Rider Haggard’s Heart of Darkness’’; and Susan Gubar, ‘‘She in Herland: Feminism as Fantasy,’’ in Coordinates: Placing Science Fiction and Fantasy, ed. George E. Slusser, Eric S. Rabkin, and Robert Scholes (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1983), 124–38, 138–58. These are the monstrous and/or angelic visions of femininity that Gilbert and Gubar examine in The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979).

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46

Gubar, ‘‘She in Herland,’’ 140.

47

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak analyzes this configuration in Gilbert and Gubar’s analysis of Jane Eyre in ‘‘Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism,’’ in Race, Writing, and Difference, ed. Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986), 262–80. My reading is indebted to hers.

48 49

Gubar, ‘‘She in Herland,’’ 149. Gilman discusses the suffragists’ struggle to make Nevada into a ‘‘white’’ state on ‘‘the impressive map issued by the women suffragists.’’ In the suffragists’ color-coded imaginary, black states were those that atavistically resisted the cause. This cartography evinces the feminist imperialism discussed above. See ‘‘Working to Make Black into White,’’ The Forerunner 5 (February 1914):

50

33–34. Wilson, ‘‘Steady Burghers,’’ 271.

51

On racism, imperialism, colonialism, and feminist complicity, see Anna Davin, ‘‘Imperialism and Motherhood,’’ History Workshop 5 (1978): 9–65; Angela Davis, Women, Race, and Class (New York: Vintage Books, 1981); Jenny Sharpe, Allegories of Empire: The Figure of Woman in the Colonial Text (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993); and Vron Ware, Beyond the Pale: White Women, Racism, and History (London: Verso, 1992); Laura Wexler, Tender Violence: Domestic Visions in an Age of U.S. Imperialism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000); and Amy Kaplan,

52

‘‘Manifest Domesticity,’’ American Literature 70.3 (1998): 581–606. Fifteen dissertations on Gilman have been written in the last decade. There are two new scholarly editions of Women and Economics: Amy Aronson and Michael Kimmel, eds., Women and Economics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998); and a reprint with intro. by Sheryl Meyering, Women and Economics (Mineola, N.Y.: Dover, 1998). Anthologies, critical studies, and casebooks include Jill Rudd and Val Gough, eds., A Very Different Story, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Optimist Reformer (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press,1999); Sheryl Meyering, ed., Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Woman and Her Work (Ann Arbor: umi Research Press, 1989); Carol Farley Kessler, Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Her Progress toward Utopia with Selected Writings (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1995); Catherine Golden, ed., The Captive Imagination: A Casebook on ‘‘The Yellow Wallpaper’’ (New York: Feminist Press, 1992); and Karpinski, ed., Critical Essays. Gilman’s novels The Crux, Mag-Marjorie, Won Over, Benigna Machiavelli, Unpunished, With Her in Ourland, and Moving the Mountain have all been recently republished. Gilman’s diaries, love letters, poetry, and nonfiction have been anthologized for the

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first time; see Denise D. Knight, ed., The Abridged Diaries of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998), The Diaries of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, vols. 1 and 2 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1994), and The Later Poetry of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Newark: University of Delaware Press; London: Associated University Press, 1996);

Notes

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Mary Hill, ed., Journey from Within: The Love Letters of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1897–1900 (Lewisburg, Pa.: Bucknell University Press, 1995); and Ceplair, Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The list of journal articles is equally substantial. 53

Kimmel and Aronson, introduction to Women and Economics, viii. Kimmel and Aronson situate themselves as Carl Degler’s inheritors; his 1968 edition of Women and Economics also presented budding feminists with a foremother. See Degler’s introduction to Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Women and Economics, ed. Carl Degler (New York: Harper & Row, 1966).

54 55

Kimmel and Aronson, ‘‘Introduction’’ to Women and Economics, lxix. See Rudd and Gough, Optimist Reformer, quotes xii; and Lisa GanobcsikWilliams, ‘‘The Intellectualism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Evolutionary Perspective on Race, Ethnicity, and Class,’’ in Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Optimist Reformer, ed. Rudd and Gough, 16–44. Ganobcsik-Williams’s contribution stands out in the context of the volume but is nonetheless familiar. In it she regards racism and nationalism as unfortunate adjuncts of Gilman’s ‘‘total commitment to the idea of human progress,’’ side effects of a noble social uplift project (16–17). Moreover, she views Gilman’s nationalism and nativism as post-hoc rationalizations of another set of compensatory, psychological concerns (22).

56

57

58 59 60

Lane, ‘‘Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Rights of Women: Her Legacy for the 1990s,’’ in Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Optimist Reformer, ed. Rudd and Gough, 4, 5, 6. Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, ‘‘Fecundate! Discriminate!: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Theologizing of Maternity,’’ in Optimist Reformer, ed. Rudd and Gough, 215. Minna Doskow, ed., Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Utopian Novels (Cranbury, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1999), 79. Gilman, With Her in Ourland, 109, 143. Gilman prefigures this novel’s argument in an earlier essay in which she advocates a union of mothers as a check to the advance of ‘‘the man-made world.’’ Here she explicitly crafts a strategy for white women’s reproduction of the globe’s citizenry. As she explains on behalf of the New Mothers: ‘‘We are tired of men’s wars. We are tired of men’s quarrels. We are tired of men’s competition. We are tired of men’s crimes and vices and the disease they bring upon us. . . . The pressure of population shall cease. We will marry only clean men, fit to be fathers. . . . We will breed a better stock on earth by proper selection— that is a mother’s duty! . . . We will work together, the women of the race, for a higher human type. . . . We will be the New Mothers of a New World.’’ Not

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61

all women are included in Gilman’s ‘‘We,’’ as it is only white women who can reproduce ‘‘purified’’ stock, imperialistically imposing a ‘‘pure’’ genealogy on the globe. See ‘‘The New Mothers of a New World,’’ The Forerunner 4 (June 1913), quote 149. Gough’s article on Moving the Mountain parenthetically notes the novel’s ‘‘po-

272

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litically incorrect messages’’ in a similar fashion. See Val Gough, ‘‘ ‘In the Twinkling of an Eye’: Gilman’s Utopian Imagination,’’ in A Very Different Story, ed. Rudd and Gough, 129–43. 62

See Deegan and Hill, introduction to With Her in Ourland, quotes 5, 9, 6, 30,

63

14, 46. Michel Foucault, ‘‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History,’’ in The Foucault Reader,

64

ed. Paul Rabinow (New York: Pantheon, 1984), 88. When scholars mention Herlandian sexuality, as does Val Gough, it is invariably treated as a prototype of seventies-style ‘‘woman culture’’—as Gough concedes, it is lesbianism without sex, a form of woman-centered heterosexual culture. Similarly, Bridget Bennett observes: Herland is ‘‘a lesbian pocket of women identified women who live and work together harmoniously’’ and who are part of a ‘‘lesbian continuum.’’ See Gough, ‘‘Lesbians and Virgins,’’ 197; and Bennett, ‘‘Pockets of Resistance,’’ 50. Notably, Bennett regards her article as an intervention into the 1995 conference on Gilman at

65

Liverpool University, U.K., where she found herself confronted by ‘‘considerable uneasiness about discussing Gilman’s sexuality’’ (50). On sexualization as speciation and/or ethnocization see Siobhan Somerville, ‘‘Scientific Racism and the Invention of the Homosexual Body,’’ in Queering the Color Line: Race and the Invention of Homosexuality in American Culture (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2000), 15–38; Jennifer Terry, ‘‘The United States of Perversion,’’ in An American Obsession: Science, Medicine, and Homosexuality in Modern Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), 74–119; and Rubin, ‘‘Thinking Sex,’’ 16. Among others, Karen Lystra, Searching the Heart: Women, Men, and Romantic Love in Nineteenth-Century America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), contests the ‘‘passion-

66 67 68 69 70

lessness’’ paradigm. Gilman, Women and Economics, ed. Degler, 339 (emphasis added). Gilman, ‘‘Immigration, Importation and Our Fathers,’’ 118. On the sexuality of ‘‘New Women’’ see Terry, ‘‘United States of Perversion,’’ 97–100. Parry, ‘‘Penetrating Herland,’’ 9. See Adolf Loos, ‘‘Ornament and Crime’’ [1908], in Adolf Loos: Pioneer of Modern Architecture, ed. Lüdwig Münz and Gustav Künstler (New York: Praeger, 1966), 226–31; Thorstein Veblen, ‘‘The Economic Theory of Women’s Dress,’’ Popular Science Monthly 46 (1894): 198–205, and ‘‘The Barbarian Status of

71

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72

Women,’’ American Journal of Sociology 4 (1899): 503–14; and chapter 4, 157–58. Ding Naifei, ‘‘A Land Where Cats Do Not Sing,’’ 12. Lauren Berlant and Elizabeth Freeman, ‘‘Queer Nationality,’’ in The Queen of America goes to Washington City, ed. Lauren Berlant (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1997), 202. Originally printed in Michael Warner, ed., Fear of a Queer Planet (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993), 193– 229.

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73

Michael Warner, introduction to Fear of a Queer Planet, xxvi.

74

My use of the term draws on Kimberlé Crenshaw’s important formulations in ‘‘Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color,’’ in Race Critical Theory, ed. Crenshaw et al. (New

75

York: New Press, 1995), 357–83. Michael Warner and Lauren Berlant, ‘‘Sex in Public,’’ Critical Inquiry 24.2

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(1998): 550. Berlant and Warner, ‘‘Sex in Public,’’ 554.

77

Janet R. Jakobsen, ‘‘Queer Is? Queer Does? Normativity and the Problem of

78

Resistance,’’ GLQ 4.4 (1998): 520. From one perspective Herland is the antithesis of the activist organization Queer Nation. As Berlant and Freeman argue, ‘‘Queer Nation has taken up the project of coordinating a new nationality’’ that involves inventing ‘‘collective rituals of resistance, mass cultural spectacles, an organization, and even a lexicon to achieve these ends’’ (148). In analyzing Queer Nation’s political strategies, they hope to extend ‘‘queer nation’s contestation of existing cultural spaces’’ and to ‘‘reopen the question of nationalism’s value as an infidel model of transgression and resistance’’ (149). As they explain, ‘‘Queer culture’s consent to national normativity must itself be made more provisional’’ (165). And yet, as Gayatri Gopinath correctly observes, Berlant and Freeman neglect the troubled relationship of queers of color ‘‘to the disciplinary and regulatory mechanisms of the . . . nation’’ and thus the ‘‘limitations of any nationalist project, however transgressive’’ (121). See Berlant and Freeman, ‘‘Queer Nationality,’’ in The Queen of America goes to Washington City, 145– 73; and Gayatri Gopinath, ‘‘Funny Boys and Girls: Notes on a Queer South Asian Planet,’’ in Asian American Sexualities: Dimensions of the Gay and Lesbian Experience, ed. Russell Leong (New York: Routledge, 1996), 119–27.

3. Engels’s Originary Ruse 1

Friedrich Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, intro. Michèle Barrett (1884; London: Penguin Classics, 1985), 35. I thank

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Scott Baker for assistance in checking the translations used throughout this chapter. Also see Friedrich Engels, ‘‘Der Ursprung der Familie, des Privateigentums und des Staats. 4. Auflage,’’ in Marx/Engels Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 29 (Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1990), 125–271. All further references to the English edition will be made parenthetically in the text. Origin, which was based on Marx’s account of Morgan’s work as recorded in notebooks compiled between 1880 and 1881, was written in a remarkably short period of time (between March and May). See The Ethnological Notebooks of Karl Marx, transcribed, ed., and intro. L. Krader (Assen, Netherlands: Van Gorcum, 1972). On the differences between Marx’s Notebooks and Origin, see Maurice Bloch, Marxism and Anthropology: The History of a Relationship (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983), 43–62.

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2

This formulation is indebted to Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, who frequently talks about doing transformative political work ‘‘from within the pores of feminism.’’

3

See Rosalind Coward, ‘‘The Woman Question and the Early Marxist Left,’’ in Patriarchal Precedents (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983), 163–87; Barbara Taylor, Eve and the New Jerusalem: Socialism and Feminism in the Nineteenth Century (New York: Pantheon, 1983); Jeffrey Weeks, Sex, Politics, and Society: The Regulation of Sexuality since 1800 (London: Longman, 1981); August Bebel, Woman under Socialism, trans. Daniel de Leon (1904; New York: Source Book Press, 1970); Alexandra Kollentai, Selected Writings, trans. Alix Holt (Westport, Conn.: Lawrence Hill, 1977); Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays (New York: Dover, 1969); Clara Zetkin, Selected

4

Writings, ed. Philip Foner (New York: International Publishers, 1984). Lenin, Collected Works, 30:473, also quoted in Michèle Barrett’s introduction to Origin, 13.

5

I use ‘‘Marxist’’ and ‘‘socialist’’ feminism interchangeably. By contrast, Donna Landry and Gerald MacLean argue that socialist feminism is an Americanized version of Marxist feminism, which is in turn a British intellectual and political formation. See Landry and MacLean, Materialist Feminisms (London: Blackwell, 1993), 19–41.

6

See Veronica Beechey, Unequal Work (London: Verso, 1987), quote 53. On the operationalization of Engels in China, see Delia Davin, ‘‘Engels and the Making of Chinese Family Policy,’’ in Engels Revisited: New Feminist Essays, ed. Janet Sayers et al. (London: Tavistock, 1987), 145–63; on the codification of Engels in the Soviet Union and former Soviet bloc, see Maxine Molyneux, ‘‘Socialist Societies Old and New: Progress towards Woman’s Emancipation,’’

7

Feminist Review, no. 8 (summer 1981): 3–28. Rayna Rapp, ‘‘Gender and Class: An Archaeology of Knowledge Concerning the Origin of the State,’’ Dialectical Anthropology 2.4 (1977): 309–16,

8

quote 309. On Origin’s relation to earlier texts, see Zillah Eisenstein, ‘‘Developing a Theory of Capitalist Patriarchy and Socialist Feminism,’’ in Capitalist Patri-

9

archy and the Case for Socialist Feminism, ed. Eisenstein (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1979), 5–40. See Eleanor Burke Leacock, introduction to The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State in Light of the Researches of Lewis H. Morgan (New York: International Publishers, 1972); the essays collected in Toward an Anthropology of Women, ed. Rayna R. Reiter (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1975), especially Gayle Rubin, ‘‘The Traffic in Women: Notes

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on the ‘Political Economy’ of Sex,’’ 157–210, Karen Sacks, ‘‘Engels Revisited: Women, the Organization of Production, and Private Property,’’ 211– 34, and Judith K. Brown, ‘‘Iroquois Women: An Ethnohistoric Note,’’ 235– 51; Olivia Harris and Kate Young, ‘‘Engendered Structures: Some Problems in the Analysis of Reproduction,’’ in The Anthropology of Pre-Capitalist Soci-

Notes

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eties, ed. Joel Kahn and Joseph R. Llobera (London: Macmillan Press, 1981), 109–45; and Sylvia J. Yanagisako and Jane F. Collier, ‘‘The Mode of Reproduction in Anthropology,’’ in Theoretical Perspectives on Sexual Difference, ed. Deborah L. Rhode (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990), 131–41. 10

Among a group of influential works that either develop or move beyond the ‘‘dual systems approach,’’ see Eisenstein, Capitalist Patriarchy and the Case for Socialist Feminism; Maxine Molyneux, ‘‘Beyond the Domestic Labour Debate,’’ New Left Review, no. 116 (July–August 1979): 3–28; Michèle Barrett, Women’s Oppression Today: Problems in Marxist Feminist Analysis (London: Verso, 1980 [fifth impression 1985]); Lydia Sargent, ed., The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism: A Debate on Class and Patriarchy (London: Pluto Press, 1981) [originally published as Women and Revolution], especially Heidi Hartmann, ‘‘The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism: Toward a More Progressive Union,’’ 1–41, and Iris Young’s, ‘‘Beyond the Unhappy Marriage: A Critique of Dual Systems Theory,’’ 43–69; Sayers et al., Engels Revisited; Nancy Hartsock, Money, Sex, and Power: Toward a Feminist Historical Materialism (New York: Longman, 1983); Lise Vogel, Marxism and the Oppression of Women: Toward a Unitary Theory (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1983); Christine Delphy, Close to Home: A Materialist Analysis of Women’s Oppression, trans. D. Leonard (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1984); Veronica Beechey, Unequal Work (London: Verso, 1987); and the array of articles that appeared in Socialist Review, Femi-

11

12

nist Review, Feminist Studies, and Signs throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. Gloria Josephs, ‘‘The Incompatible Ménage à Trois: Marxism, Feminism, and Racism,’’ in The Unhappy Marriage, ed. Sargent, 91–107, quote 92. All further references will be made parenthetically. The Collective began meeting in 1974 and penned their statement in 1977; it was included for publication in Capitalist Patriarchy in 1979. It has been reprinted in Barbara Smith, ed., Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology (New York: Kitchen Table, Women of Color Press, 1983), in Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, eds., This Bridge Called My Back (Watertown, Mass.: Persephone Press, 1981), and in Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell Scott, and Barbara

13

Smith, eds., All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, but Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies (Old Westbury, N.Y.: Feminist Press, 1982), among others. See Angela Davis, Women, Race, and Class (New York: Vintage Books, 1981); Smith, Home Girls; Moraga and Anzaldúa, This Bridge Called My Back; Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Ann Russo, and Lourdes Torres, eds., Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press,

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1991); Swasti Mitter, Common Fate, Common Bond: Women in the Global Economy (London: Pluto Press, 1986); Maria Mies, Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale: Women in the International Division of Labor (London: Zed Press, 1986); Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, In Other Worlds (New York: Routledge, 1987), especially part 3, and ‘‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’’ in Marxism

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and the Interpretation of Culture, ed. Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg 14

(Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1988), 171–216. Michèle Barrett, ‘‘Introduction to the 1988 Edition,’’ Women’s Oppression Today: The Marxist Feminist Encounter (London: Verso, 1988), vii–xxxvi,

15

quote xxiv. Landry and MacLean suggest that Barrett’s transformation be interpreted as a response to a fundamental shift in Western philosophy. While Barrett’s project was rerouted by continental theory, viewing this as the principal catalyst of change downplays the impact of work by women of color on the trajectory of Marxist and socialist feminism and tends to foreclose analysis of the embrace of poststructuralism as itself an engagement with race. See Landry and MacLean, Materialist Feminism, 6–7.

16

See Barrett and McIntosh, ‘‘Ethnocentrism and Socialist Feminist Theory,’’ Feminist Review, no. 20 (June 1985): 23–47. Barrett cites this work in the foreword (1985) added to the 1980 edition of Women’s Oppression, there identify-

17 18

ing it as an attempt to rectify past wrongs. Michèle Barrett, The Politics of Truth: From Marx to Foucault (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991). For examples of materialist feminism see, among others, Rosemary Hennessy, Materialist Feminism and the Politics of Discourse (New York: Routledge, 1993); Teresa Ebert, Ludic Feminism and After: Postmodernism, Desire, and Labor in Late Capitalism (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996); Harriet Fraad, Stephen Resnick, and Richard Wolff, Bringing It All Back Home: Class, Gender, and Power in the Modern Household (London: Pluto Press, 1994); Barrett, The Politics of Truth; and Landry and MacLean, Materialist Feminisms. Donna Haraway’s ‘‘Manifesto for Cyborgs’’ constitutes the apogee of the linguistic turn within Marxist feminism. Haraway celebrates the cyborg, the ‘‘illegitimate offspring’’ of ‘‘patriarchal capitalism,’’ as ‘‘a socialist feminist invention,’’ who often appears as ‘‘a woman of color.’’ Though this last formulation has been criticized, it instructively reveals the pervasive awareness within socialist feminism of the need to clear space for considerations of race. See Donna Haraway, ‘‘A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s,’’ Socialist Review 80 (1985): 65– 107; and Paula M. L. Moya, ‘‘Postmodernism, ‘Realism,’ and the Politics of Identity: Cherríe Moraga and Chicana Feminism,’’ in Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures, ed. M. Jacqui Alexander and Chandra

19

Talpade Mohanty (New York: Routledge, 1997), 125–50, especially 128–35. Though Ebert claims the title ‘‘materialist feminist’’ (and is thus listed in the previous note), it is useful to differentiate the present approach from hers

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since she too calls for a return to Marx and Engels. Ebert derides ‘‘ludic feminism’’ for becoming preoccupied with language to the neglect of material exploitation. She instead favors ‘‘new red feminism,’’ which refuses discursive reductionism and idealism, and focuses on objective historical realities that precede linguistic determination. While I too advocate a return to Marx

Notes

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and Engels, I make frequent recourse to the poststructuralist and feminist theorists whom Ebert condemns. Following Landry and MacLean I am suggesting that ‘‘a more adequately materialist feminist reading of the texts of Marx than has usually been attempted will require reading them as texts.’’ See Ebert, Ludic Feminism and After; and Landry and MacLean, Materialist Feminisms, 65. 20

Morgan’s first work on kinship was a comparative study of the systematic ordering of various Indian societies. First published as Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family (1870), this work was later incorporated into Ancient Society (1877). All further references are to Ancient Society: Researches in the Lines of Human Progress from Savagery through Barbarism to Civilization, foreword by Elisabeth Tooker (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1985). On Morgan’s contribution to the intellectual work of the Bureau of American Ethnology, see Curtis M. Hinsley, The Smithsonian and the American Indian: Making a Moral Anthropology in Victorian America (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981), chapter 5; on Morgan’s development of kinship studies, see Thomas R. Trautmann, Lewis Henry Morgan and the Invention of Kinship (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987); on the intersection of Morgan’s scholarly and political activities, see Robert E. Bieder, Science Encounters the Indian, 1820–1880 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986), chapter 6; on Morgan’s collaboration with Parker, see Scott Michaelsen, ‘‘Ely S. Parker and Amerindian Voices in Eth-

21

22

nography’’ American Literary History 8.4 (1996): 615–38. See Linda Nicholson, ‘‘Feminism and Marx: Integrating Kinship with the Economic,’’ in Feminism as Critique, ed. Seyla Benhabib and Drucilla Cornell (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 16–30; and Gender and History: The Limits of Social Theory in the Age of the Family (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986). Throughout I follow Morgan’s use of ‘‘primitive,’’ ‘‘savage,’’ and ‘‘barbarian.’’ As Helen Carr notes, in popular nineteenth-century usage the preferred term was ‘‘savage,’’ as it best connoted racial otherness. By contrast, ‘‘primitive’’ and ‘‘barbarian’’ were more often used as geographical and temporal markers.

23

See Helen Carr, Inventing the American Primitive: Politics, Gender, and the Representation of Native American Literary Traditions, 1789–1936 (New York: New York University Press, 1996), 2. On Marx’s and Engels’s views on the national question, see Ian Cummins, Marx, Engels, and National Movements (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1980); and Cedric Robinson, ‘‘Socialist Theory and Nationalism,’’ in Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition (London: Zed Press, 1983),

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60–91. Robinson argues that Marx and Engels were committed to the democratization of Germany through reunification and that such a project entailed a quasi-supportive stance toward German nationalism in the period between 1849 and Bismarck’s assumption of power in Prussia in 1862. In particular, Robinson cites Engels’s reaction to the outbreak of war in 1859. In

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an anonymously published pamphlet, Po und Rhein, Engels argued that Germany needed to stake its claim against Austria, territorial and symbolic, at the Po River. In so doing, Engels expressed his belief that Germany’s nationalist movement was a genuine movement of the people against Louis Bonaparte and the traditions of the First French Empire. Robinson infers that Engels viewed nationalism as an inevitable result of the logic of capitalist development, and the nation as the product of bourgeois rule. By contrast with Marx, who maintained contradictory views on the question, Engels was persuaded by the need for nationalist movements and remained so after writing Origin. 24

See Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology, trans. and intro. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976), 141–64, quote 144–45, and Spivak’s preface, lxxi.

25 26

See Bloch, Marxism and Anthropology, 10. Although Engels never mentions Maine in Origin, Marx treats Maine extensively in the Ethnological Notebooks. On Maine see Rosalind Coward, Patriarchal Precedents: Sexuality and Social Relations (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul,1983),17–26, 43–45; and Adam Kuper, The Invention of Primitive Society: Transformations of an Illusion (New York: Routledge, 1988), 17–41; and Carol Pateman’s critique of Coward’s reading in The Sexual Contract (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988), 26–28.

27

28

See Johann Jakob Bachofen, Myth Religion, and Mother Right: Selected Writings of J. J. Bachofen, trans. Ralph Manheim (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967). Adrienne Rich offers an enduring critique of Bachofen’s sentimentalism. See Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution (New York: W. W. Norton, 1986), 86–89. Engels observes that Bachofen’s use of the term ‘‘hetaerism’’ reveals his dearth of insight into Greek sources. The Greeks invented the term to describe extramarital sexual intercourse, often prostitution (61). Later in Origin, Engels also corrects Morgan’s use of the term, rendering it consonant with his own: ‘‘By ‘hetaerism’ Morgan understands the practice, coexistent with monogamous marriage, of sexual intercourse between men and unmarried women outside of marriage, which, as we know, flourishes in the most varied forms throughout the whole period of civilization and develops more and more into open prostitution. . . . Thus the heritage which group marriage has bequeathed to civilization is double-edged. . . . [H]etaerism is as much a social institution as any other; it continues the old sexual freedom—to the advantage of the

29

men’’ (97). Summarizing Morgan’s divisions, Engels specifies, ‘‘Savagery—the period in which man’s appropriation of products in their natural state predomi-

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nates. . . . Barbarism—the period during which man learns to breed domestic animals and to practice agriculture, and acquires methods of increasing the supply of natural products by human activity. Civilization—the period in which man learns a more advanced application of work to the products of nature, the period of industry proper and of art’’ (57).

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30

As mentioned previously, kinship forms became evident to Morgan through study of the terms used to designate degrees of relatedness. Though kin terms are shaped by what Morgan euphemistically labels ‘‘systems of marriage,’’ they do not change as easily as these systems. The time lag is reflected in language, such that the language of kinship indexes the history of kinship. Insofar as Engels works within Morgan’s framework, he adopts Morgan’s reflectionist understanding of the relationship between language and reality. See Kuper, The Invention of Primitive Society, 58–59. I return to this point at the end of this chapter.

31

Engels uses the term ‘‘marriage’’ to describe various social organizations that have nothing to do with legal contract or religion. Rather, ‘‘marriage’’ is a euphemism for sex that allows him to omit discussion of homosexuality and nonprocreative heterosexuality. Despite Engels’s awareness of the constructedness of sexual morality, his choice of the term ‘‘marriage’’ underscores the heteronormative pull in his work.

32

Gradually, prohibitions that first emerge between colateral siblings are extended to all brothers and sisters, and eventually to group members of increasingly remote degrees of kinship. As discussed in the next chapter, Freud offers another version of this origin story in his account of the so-called primal horde and the origin of the incest taboo. On nineteenth-century theories of the taboo on incest, see Carl Degler, ‘‘The Case of the Origin of the Incest Taboo,’’ in In Search of Human Nature: The Decline and Revival of Darwinism

33

in American Social Thought (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 245– 69; and Rosalind Coward, ‘‘The Patriarchal Family in Freudian Theory,’’ in Patriarchal Precedents, 188–220. See Johannes Fabian, Time and the Others (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983), 1. I paraphrase one of Fabian’s formulations above: ‘‘Time,’’ he writes, ‘‘is a form through which we define the content of relations between the Self and the Other’’ (ix).

34

35

On ‘‘concept metaphors’’ see Jacques Derrida, ‘‘White Mythology: Metaphor in the Text of Philosophy,’’ in Margins of Philosophy, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), 207–72, especially 262–64; and my discussion of Benedict Anderson’s and Freud’s concept metaphors in chapters 1 and 4 respectively. On the competing terms that nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century scientists used to denote ‘‘the hereditary substance inside cells,’’ see Ruth Hubbard, ‘‘Genes as Causes,’’ in Biopolitics, ed. Vandana Shiva and Ingunn Moser (London: Zed Press, 1995), 38–39. Hubbard notes the designation ‘‘germ plasm’’ alongside such favorites as ‘‘stirp,’’ ‘‘idioplasm,’’ ‘‘ids,’’ and Darwin’s

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36

preferred moniker, ‘‘gemmules.’’ Evidently Wilhelm Johanssen’s 1909 term ‘‘gene’’ stuck. Also see Nathaniel C. Comfort, ‘‘Are Genes Real?’’ Natural History (June 2001): 28–37. On Morgan’s use of ideas of genealogy and the connections between ‘‘the channels of blood’’ that connect people and the channels that link the riverine

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communities of beavers that he studied in and around Marquette, Michigan, see Gillian Feely-Harnik, ‘‘The Ethnography of Creation: Lewis Henry Morgan and the American Beaver,’’ in Relative Values: Reconfiguring Kinship Studies, ed. Sarah Franklin and Susan McKinnon (Durham, N.C.: Duke Uni37

versity Press, 2001), 54–84. Such would be Althusser’s point of entry with his theory of ‘‘Ideological State Apparatuses,’’ or isas, the most important of which is the family/school dyad. See Louis Althusser, ‘‘Ideological State Apparatus,’’ in Lenin and Philosophy, trans. Ben Brewster (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1971), 127–88.

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Carr, Inventing the American Primitive, 40–41. Reginald Horsman, Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1981),

40

passim. See Carr, Inventing the American Primitive, 9, 159; Morgan, quoted in Carr, 159.

41

On the place of American Indians (southern and northern) in the German racial imaginary, see Susanne Zantop, Colonial Fantasies: Conquest, Family, and Nation in Precolonial Germany, 1770–1870 (Durham, N.C.: Duke Univer-

42

sity Press, 1997), 43–45, 85–87, 90–97. See Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities (London: Verso, 1983); and

43

my discussion of Anderson in chapter 1. Engels claims that a carryover of gentile constitution also characterized feudal

44 45 46

England and France (Origin, 193). Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein, Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities (London: Verso, 1991), 100. This is Barrett’s term; see her introduction to Origin, 18. This argument coincides with Stevens’s suggestion that the state is the form of political society that invents the family in order to naturalize itself. See Jacqueline Stevens, Reproducing the State (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), 106–10. When Stevens insists that germanische Staat (state) and germanische Stamm (tribe) both refer to the German nation, she follows Engels in conflating kinship systems and political societies.

4. Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis 1

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2

See Frank Sulloway, Freud: Biologist of the Mind (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992); and Lucille B. Ritvo, Darwin’s Influence on Freud (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990). Circumstance compelled Freud to realize the demise of Austrian liberalism and the ideals of the Enlightenment. In 1895, on his thirty-ninth birthday, he made a clear statement about his Jewish identity by joining the B’nai B’rith Lodge in Vienna, where he spent every other Tuesday evening until emigrating to England. On the context in which Freud wrote, see Peter Pulzer, The Rise of Political Anti-Semitism in Germany and Austria (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard

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University Press, 1988); Carl E. Schorske, Fin-de-Siècle Vienna (New York: Vintage Books, 1961), especially chapters 3 and 4; William O. McCagg Jr. A History of Hapsburg Jews, 1670–1918 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989); Earl A. Grollman, Judaism in Sigmund Freud’s World (New York: Bloch Publishers, 1965); Peter Gay, Freud, Jews, and Other Germans (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978); H. G. Adler, The Jews in Germany: From the Enlightenment to National Socialism (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1969); and Dennis B. Klein, Jewish Origins of the Psychoanalytic Movement (New York: Praeger, 1981), chapters 1 and 3. On the relationship between German nationalism and scientific thought, see Paul Weindling, Health, Race, and German Politics between National Unification and Nazism, 1870–1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989). On the response of German Jewish scientists to anti-Semitism and racial science, see John Maurice Efron, ‘‘Defining the Jewish Race: The Self-Perceptions and Response of Jewish Scientists to Scientific Racism in Europe, 1882–1933’’ (Ann 3

4

Arbor: umi; Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, 1991). Charles Darwin, On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, intro. Ernst Mayr (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1964). On the social and political dissent generated by Origin, see Robert Young, Darwin’s Metaphor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985); on responses to Origin by members of Darwin’s scientific community, see David L.

5

6

Hull, Darwin and His Critics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973). Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, intro. John Tyler Bonner and Robert M. May (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981), 404. Hereafter all references to this work will be given parenthetically in the text. As Darwin explains, extension of his argument from animals and plants to human beings was inevitable: ‘‘As soon as I had become . . . convinced that species were mutable productions, I could not avoid the belief that man must come under the same law.’’ Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, ed. Nora Barlow (New York: W. W. Norton, 1958), 130.

7

Michael Ruse’s review of Darwin scholarship, which does not treat a single work on Descent, offers a case in point. See Michael Ruse, ‘‘The Darwin Industry: A Guide,’’ Victorian Studies 39.2 (1996): 217–34. Both Cynthia Eagle Russett, The Sexual Science: The Victorian Construction of Womanhood (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1989), and Adrienne L. Zihlman, ‘‘Misreading Darwin on Reproduction: Reductionism in Evolutionary Theory,’’ in Conceiving the New World Order: The Global Politics of Repro-

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duction, ed. Faye Ginsberg and Rayna Rapp (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 425–39, focus on gender alone. Nancy Stepan’s The Idea of Race in Science: Great Britain, 1800–1960 (London: Macmillan, 1982) constitutes an exception to the feminist trend. On pre-Darwinian theories of racial mixing, see Harriet Ritvo, ‘‘Barring the Cross: Miscegenation and Purity in

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Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain,’’ in Human All Too Human, ed. 8

Diana Fuss (New York: Routledge, 1996), 37–58. This two-part process accounts for sexually specific variations in secondary sexual characteristics, and for differential inheritance among the male and female members of the same species: ‘‘variations of the same general nature have often been taken advantage of and accumulated through sexual selection . . . [and] the modifications acquired through sexual selection are [thus] often so strongly pronounced that the two sexes have frequently been ranked as distinct species’’ (Descent, 2:398–99). Lacking an understanding of Mendelean genetics—that inheritance of traits is based upon the equal distribution of genetic material among male and female offspring—Darwin, along with the majority of nineteenth-century naturalists, believed that the ‘‘law of inheritance’’ was based upon same-sex transmission, and that traits acquired by one sex were passed on to ‘‘one and the same sex’’ (2:398). As Lucille Ritvo argues, Freud, like Darwin, remained committed throughout his life to Lamarkian ideas of inheritance, and thus argued that psychic changes were passed on from generation to generation. In particular, Freud believed that the experiences of the so-called primal horde had been passed down to contemporaries in the form of the incest taboo. See Ritvo, Darwin’s Influence on Freud, 31–59, 64–73, 99–109.

9

Wallace’s rejection of sexual selection was so widely accepted that it held sway for nearly a century; only recently has the theory been resurrected. See Helena Cronin, The Ant and the Peacock: Altruism and Sexual Selection from Darwin to Today (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 113–64; Michael Ruse, The Darwinian Revolution: Science Red in Tooth and Claw (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979), 208–9; Alfred R. Wallace, ‘‘The Origin of Human Races and the Antiquity of Man Deduced from the Theory of ‘Natural Selection,’ ’’ Anthropological Review 2 (1864):158–87; and Bettyann Kevles, Females of the Species: Sex and Survival in the Animal Kingdom (Cambridge,

10 11

Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1986). Marx, quoted in Adrian Desmond and James Moore, Darwin (New York: W. W. Norton, 1991), 485. Havelock Ellis, Studies in the Psychology of Sex: Analysis of the Sexual Impulse (Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Publishing, 1903), 21. Ellis’s next sentence reveals that his theory of sexual attraction is no less invested in naturalization of social convention than Darwin’s: ‘‘The female responds to the stimulation of the male at the right moment just as the tree responds to the stimulation of the warmest days in spring.’’ One volume of Ellis’s work on the psychology of sex, Sexual Selection in Man (1905) is broadly devoted to an investigation

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12 13

of sexual selection. See Russett, The Sexual Science, 80. A. S. Byatt, Angels and Insects (New York: Vintage Books, 1992), offers an imaginative interpretation of the pervasiveness of sexual selection motifs in Victorian mores and sartorial culture.

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14

According to Darwin, sexual selection among human beings was operative at the earliest period of human history, when females exercised decisive choices that influenced the characteristics of entire populations (read ‘‘races’’): ‘‘It deserves particular attention that with mankind all the conditions for sexual selection were much more favorable, during a very early period, when man had only just attained the rank of manhood, than during later times’’ (2:383).

15

This last worry was provoked by New Women and first-wave feminists. As Olive Schreiner and Charlotte Perkins Gilman reiterated, among the most important aspects of woman’s emancipation was the freedom to reclaim the role of sexual selector. See Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Women and Economics, intro. Carl Degler (1898; New York: Harper & Row, 1966); and Olive Schreiner, Women and Labor (1911; London: Virago, 1978).

16

The eighteenth-century Scottish physician John Hunter described primary traits, apparent at birth, and secondary traits, which appear at maturity. In Descent, Darwin redefines Hunter’s categories: ‘‘primary traits’’ involve re-

17

production; ‘‘secondary traits’’ are for attracting mates. Darwin’s distinction persists today. See Bettyann Kevles, Females of the Species, 4. On the figure of the ‘‘savage’’ in evolutionary thought, see George Stocking, Victorian Anthropology (New York: Free Press, 1987); and Nancy Stepan, The Idea of Race in Science, especially chapters 1–3. On the dilemma Darwin confronted when he jumped between ‘‘primeval man’’ and living ‘‘savages,’’ see Rosemary Jann, ‘‘Darwin and the Anthropologists: Sexual Selection and Its

18 19

Discontents,’’ Victorian Studies 37.2 (1994): 287–306. Londa Schiebinger, Nature’s Body: Gender and the Making of Modern Science (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993), 129. Darwin argued that men’s height, weight, strength, musculature, and beard were all gained through sexual selection, which also accounts for the fact that men are ‘‘bolder and fiercer,’’ have ‘‘greater courage and pugnacity,’’ and are ‘‘superior in mental endowment’’ (2:325–29).

20

21 22

Here Darwin cites Mantegazza, the travel writer and sexologist whom Freud claimed supplied Dora (one of his famous hysterical patients) with the sexual knowledge that catalyzed her symptoms. Freud and Darwin’s shared interest in Mantegazza constitutes an as of yet unexplored connection. Darwin argues that the ancient Jews tattooed their bodies and were thus akin to ‘‘savages’’ (2:339). Chapter 20 contains several apparently contradictory passages that suggest that among human beings sexual selection is occasionally effected by males: ‘‘There are, exceptional cases in which the males, instead of having been the selected, have been the selectors. We recognize such cases by the females

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having been rendered more highly ornamented than the males,—their ornamental character having been transmitted exclusively or chiefly to their female offspring. One such case has been described in the order to which man belongs, namely, with the Rhesus monkey’’ (2:371). In other instances it seems that males and females might be sexual selectors: ‘‘results would follow in a

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still more marked manner if there was selection on both sides; that is if the more attractive and at the same time the more powerful men were to prefer and were preferred by, the more attractive women’’ (2:375). Although such passages suggest the reversal or sharing of the role of selector, Darwin was nonetheless wed to the notion of predominant female choice. He concludes that it is only within ‘‘civilized’’ or highly ‘‘advanced’’ cultures that women 23

ornament themselves, for in such societies evolutionary processes cease. Darwin rejects both the idea of dark skin as an evolutionary defense against miasma and the belief that dark skin emerges over the life span of an individual (2:242 and 318). On pre-Darwinian theories of racial difference, see Schiebinger, Nature’s Body, 115–42.

24

On the conflation of ideas of race and nation within Victorian science, see Stepan, The Idea of Race in Science, chapter 3. On nationalism’s dependence on Darwinism and the notion of the family of man, see Anne McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race and Gender in the Colonial Contest (New York: Rout-

25

ledge, 1995), 36–47, 357–60. A parodic rewriting of the theory of sexual selection published shortly after Descent tells the story of female gorillas and their love of hairless apes (read white men). In so doing it takes issue with the idea of female choice as an evolutionary force by suggesting that the only choices of which females are capable are those that lead to degeneration. See Richard Grant White, The Fall of Man, or The Loves of the Gorillas: A Popular Scientific Lecture upon the

26

27

Darwinian Theory of Development by Sexual Selection (London: G. W. Carleton, 1871). Adolf Loos, ‘‘Ornament and Crime’’ [1908], in Adolf Loos, Pioneer of Modern Architecture, ed. Lüdwig Münz and Gustav Künstler (New York: Praeger, 1966), 228. See Thorstein Veblen, ‘‘The Economic Theory of Woman’s Dress,’’ Popular Science Monthly 46 (1894): 198–205, ‘‘Dress as an Expression of the Pecuniary Culture,’’ in The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899; New York: Penguin Books, 1967), 167–87; and ‘‘The Barbarian Status of Women,’’ American Journal of Sociology 4 (1899): 503–14.

28

See Charlotte Perkins Gilman, ‘‘Women’s Hair and Men’s Whiskers,’’ The Forerunner 7 (1916): 64–65; and ‘‘The Dress of Women,’’ The Forerunner 6 (serialized 1915). Gilman also touches upon these issues in Women and Economics, in a section entitled ‘‘The Peacock’s Tail,’’ in which she conflates sexual and natural selection: ‘‘If the peacock’s tail were to increase in size and splendor till it shone like the sun and covered an acre,—if it tended so to increase, we will say,—such excessive sex-distinction would be so inimi-

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29

cal to the personal prosperity of that peacock that he should die, and his tail tendency would perish with him’’ (3). Such is the state of the excessively and hence fatally feminine human female. Bert Bender treats the impact of sexual selection on nineteenth-century cultural production, arguing that ‘‘contrary to accepted literary history . . .

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writers began a vigorous response to Darwinian thought in the early 1870s.’’ Bender analyzes novels by William Dean Howells, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Sarah Orne Jewett, Kate Chopin, and Charles Chestnutt. Other scholars examine sexual selection in works by Edith Wharton, George Meredith, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner, Elizabeth Blackwell, Frances Willard, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Frank Lester Ward. See Bert Bender, The Descent of Love: Darwin and the Theory of Sexual Selection in American Fiction, 1871–1926 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996); Gail Bederman, ‘‘ ‘Not to Sex—But to Race!’ Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Civilized Anglo-Saxon Womanhood, and the Return of the Primitive Rapist,’’ in Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880–1917 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 121– 69; Gillian Beer, Darwin’s Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Fiction (London: ark, 1983); Joseph Carroll, Evolution and Literary Theory (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1995); Mariana Valverde, ‘‘ ‘When the Mother of the Race Is Free’: Race, Reproduction, and Sexuality in First-Wave Feminism,’’ in Gender Conflicts, ed. Franca Iacovetta and Mariana Valverde (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), 3–26; Marysue Schriber, ‘‘Darwin, Wharton, and ‘The Descent of Man’: Blueprints of American Society,’’ Studies in Short Fiction 17.1 (1980): 31–38; Jonathan Smith, ‘‘ ‘The Cock of Lordly Plume’: Sexual Selection in the Egoist,’’ Nineteenth-Century Literature 50.1 (1995): 51–77; and Sandra Siegel,

30

‘‘Literature and Degeneration: The Representation of ‘Decadence’,’’ in Degeneration, ed. Sander Gilman (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985), 199–219. Freud wrote this in response to a letter of inquiry from the antiquary Hinter-

31

berger. See Ernst Freud, ed., Letters of Sigmund Freud (New York: Basic Books, 1960), 269. Ritvo concludes that ‘‘the ideas considered most basic to Darwin’s theory have turned out to be basic to Freud’s theory’’ (189). In her treatment of Freud’s sociohistorical texts, Totem and Taboo, Moses and Monotheism, Civilization and its Discontents, and Group Psychology, Ritvo suggests that Freud drew upon Darwin to support the idea that feelings of the ‘‘primal horde’’— guilt over the murder of the father and the consequent taboo on incest—were passed down to subsequent generations. Ritvo also explores Freud’s interactions with the natural historian Carl Claus, who was brought to Vienna to establish a modern zoology department based on Darwinian principles. Claus was Freud’s teacher and the German translator of Darwin’s Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle. He visited Darwin at Down in 1871, the year that Descent

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32

was published. The German popularizer of Darwin, Ernst Haeckel, and director of the psychiatric clinic at the University of Vienna, Theodor Meynert, also influenced Freud. See Ritvo, Darwin’s Influence on Freud, 118–45, 13–30, 170–87. Sulloway writes, ‘‘It is my contention that many, if not most, of Freud’s fun-

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damental conceptions were biological by inspiration as well as by implication. . . . Freud stands squarely within an intellectual lineage where he is, at once, a principal scientific heir of Charles Darwin . . . and a major forerunner of the ethnologists and sociobiologists of the twentieth century.’’ See Sulloway, Biologist of the Mind, quotes 5 and 252, on sexual selection 252–57, on Darwinism 239–76. On Sulloway’s neglect of race, see Sander Gilman, Freud, 33

Race, and Gender (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 5. Living in a literary culture attuned to reading symbols, Freud’s contribution was to make this form of reading into a science. In this sense, psychoanalysis

34

suggests we are all authors who can learn to read unconscious writing. This paper was originally delivered before the Verein für Psychiatrie und Neorologie in 1896 and published later that year. See Sigmund Freud, ‘‘The Aeti-

35

ology of Hysteria,’’ in Complete Works, 3:191–221. The German word Freud repeatedly uses for ‘‘uncover,’’ enthüllen, has sexual overtones, as it often connotes the unveiling or exposure of scandalous sexual secrets. See Sigmund Freud, ‘‘Zur Ätiologie der Hysterie,’’ in Gesammelte Werke, Erster Band aus den Jahren 1892–1899 (London: Imago Publishing, 1952), 427–59. I am indebted to Robert Weston for help with translation

36

throughout this section. In the second half of the nineteenth century, spectacular train accidents causing commotion, concussion, paralysis, aphasia, and amnesia were thought to catalyze mental illness, especially hysteria. Additionally, the high velocity at which trains traveled caused trauma that was passed on in a Lamarkian fashion to future generations. Charcot helped develop these theories in the mid1880s, immediately prior to Freud’s study with him. Freud’s example effectively challenges Charcot. See Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, Remembering Anna O.: A Century of Mystification (New York: Routledge, 1996), 57–59; Sander Gilman, ‘‘The Image of the Hysteric,’’ in Hysteria beyond Freud, ed. Sander Gilman et al. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 417–18; and

37

Sulloway, Biologist of the Mind, 37–39. In the early works this chapter treats, Freud had not yet moved away from the ‘‘seduction theory’’—his belief that actual trauma lay at the root of psychical symptoms. As Freud states in ‘‘The Aetiology of Hysteria,’’ patients ‘‘mention details, without laying any stress on them, which only someone of experience in life can understand and appreciate as subtle traits of reality. Events of this sort strengthen our impression that the patients must really have experienced what they reproduce under the compulsion of analysis as scenes from their childhood’’ (emphasis added, 205). Eventually the ‘‘seduction theory’’ gave way under pressure of implausibility to that of fantastical trauma. See Sullo-

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way, Biologist of the Mind, 206–14; and Charles Bernheimer’s introduction to Bernheimer and Claire Kahane, eds., In Dora’s Case: Freud—Hysteria—Feminism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985), especially 11–15. Freud’s theoretical reorientation is documented in his correspondence with Wilhelm Fliess. In letters exchanged February through May 1897, he is wedded to

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the idea of actual abuse; in a letter written on 21 September 1897 he suggests the fantasmatic nature of such events; by 15 October 1897 he formulates the theory of parental seduction and begins to theorize infantile desire and fantasy—ideas that would eventually lead to formulation of the Oedipus theory. See Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, trans. and ed., The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887–1904 (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1985), especially 238–49, 264–66, 270– 73. I am grateful to David Kazanjian for guiding me through the Freud/Fliess exchange. 38

Freud uses verzweigte (branch), here translated as ‘‘ramify,’’ thus enforcing the arboreal image.

39

I echo Michel Foucault in ‘‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History,’’ in The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow (New York: Pantheon, 1984), 76–100; see my extended discussion of genealogy in chapter 1.

40

For the three other uses of the genealogical metaphor, see Freud, ‘‘Zur Ätiologie der Hysterie,’’ 432–33. As Jay Geller suggests, syphilis was coded as a form of Jewish ‘‘blood sin’’ in this period. Thus it is possible to suggest that it is not only through invocation of incestuous genealogy but through comparison of the siblings of whom Freud writes to syphilitics that marks those twins as Jewish. See Jay Geller, ‘‘Blood Sin: Syphilis and the Construction of

41

42

Jewish Identity,’’ Faultline 1 (1992): 21–48. On the German reliance on arboreal metaphors in discussions of ancestry, origins, and blood, see Uli Linke, Blood and Nation: European Aesthetics of Race (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), 58–62. Freud explains that ‘‘heimlich is a word the meaning of which develops in the direction of ambivalence, until it finally coincides with its opposite, unheimlich. Unheimlich is in some way or other a sub-species of heimlich.’’ The mother’s womb is the overdetermined figure for the uncanny, the place we have all been, and to which we are always returning. See Sigmund Freud, ‘‘The

43

44

‘Uncanny,’ ’’ in The Complete Works 17:219–56, especially 226, 245. On ‘‘concept metaphors,’’ see Jacques Derrida, ‘‘White Mythology: Metaphor in the Text of Philosophy,’’ in Margins of Philosophy, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), 207–72, especially 262–64; and my discussion of Benedict Anderson’s and Lewis Henry Morgan’s use of concept metaphors in chapters 1 and 3 . Derrida and Cixous have both observed this of Freud’s work. Cixous argues that ‘‘the Uncanny’’ proceeds as its own metaphor, ‘‘as if one of Freud’s repressions acted as the motor re-presenting at each moment of the analysis the repression which Freud was analyzing’’ (526). Similarly, Derrida ob-

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serves that mastery of the maternal body (the spool tossed from the cot and returned) in the fort/da episode is as visible in the content of the analysis as in Freud’s writing, in the demarche of his text. See Jacques Derrida, ‘‘Freud’s Legacy,’’ The Postcard, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), 292–337; and Hélène Cixous, ‘‘Fiction and Its Phantoms: A

288

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Reading of Freud’s Das Unheimliche (The ‘‘Uncanny’’), New Literary History 45

7 (1978): 525–48. On nineteenth-century middle-class Jewish marriage patterns, see Marion Kaplan, The Making of the Jewish Middle Class (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 85–116; on the incidence of endogamy among Jews in Europe and the Middle East, see Raphael Patai and Jennifer Patai Wing, The Myth of the Jewish Race (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1975), 204–8; on the Christian preoccupation with levirate marriage, see Sander L. Gilman, The Case of Sigmund Freud (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), 183–84.

46

See Christina von Braun, ‘‘Blutschande: From the Incest Taboo to the Nuremburg Racial Laws,’’ in Encountering the Other(s): Studies in Literature, History, and Culture, ed. Gisela Brinkler-Gabler (Albany: State University of New

47

York Press, 1995), 127–48; and Gilman, The Case of Sigmund Freud, 182–83. See Gilman, The Case of Sigmund Freud, 173; ‘‘The Image of the Hysteric,’’ 405–6; Freud, Race, and Gender, 100; and Kraft-Ebing, cited in Efron, ‘‘De-

48

fining the Jewish Race,’’ 34. On the production of false evidence for the high rate of Jewish hysteria, see Gilman, Freud, Race, and Gender, 94–95. In ‘‘Sibling Incest, Madness and the ‘Jews,’ ’’ Jewish Social Studies 4.2 (1998): 157–79, Gilman elaborates these ideas with reference to sibling incest and the corresponding idea that inbreeding allowed Jews to maintain economic hege-

49

mony. Letter quoted in Ernst Freud, Letters of Sigmund Freud, 185. While in Paris Freud translated Charcot into German, for which labor he was rewarded with a leather-bound edition of his mentor’s work, and a more intimate relationship. To Leçons sur les maladies du système nerveux (1887) Freud added sixtytwo unauthorized footnotes, some of which contradicted Charcot’s findings and allowed Freud to venture his own theory of hysteria. See Wayne Koestenbaum, ‘‘Privileging the Anus: Anna O. and the Collaborative Origin of Psychoanalysis,’’ Genders 3 (1988): 60; and Sulloway, Biologist of the Mind,

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31–32. As Freud explains in one of his earliest essays on heredity and neurosis, according to Charcot, ‘‘nervous heredity . . . is the sole true indispensable cause of neurotic affections, and the other aetiological influences can aspire only to the name of agents provocateurs.’’ See Sigmund Freud, ‘‘Heredity and the Aetiology of the Neuroses,’’ in Complete Works 3:143–56 [1896, original essay in French].

51

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52

Until the 1980s, little information on Charcot was available; Charcot’s views only surfaced in scholarly discussion in accounts of his tutelage of Freud. On Charcot, see Mark S. Micale, Approaching Hysteria: Disease and Its Interpretations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), 88–97; on Charcot’s views on Jews, see Gilman, ‘‘The Image of the Hysteric,’’ 345–452; on Freud’s work at the Salpêtrière, see Sulloway, Biologist of the Mind, 28–49. Grammar of Science by British eugenicist Karl Pearson contains several passages about scientific objectivity that Freud underlined prominently. One

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reads, ‘‘Scientific law is a description, not a prescription’’; another adds, ‘‘The Universal validity of science depends upon the similarity to the perspective and reasoning faculties in normal, civilized men’’ (Pearson, quoted in Gilman, The Case of Sigmund Freud, 52). On ‘‘standpoint epistemology,’’ see Sandra Harding, The Science Question in Feminism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986), 136–62, and Whose Science? Whose Knowledge? (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991); and Donna Haraway’s critique of Harding, ‘‘Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective,’’ in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women (New York: Routledge, 1991), 53

183–202. Most discussions of the feminization of Jews treat Otto Weiniger’s infamous work Sex and Character (1903; London: William Heinemann, 1910), which conflates Jewish degeneracy and effeminacy. See Nancy Horrowitz and Barbara Hyams, eds., Jews and Gender: Responses to Otto Weiniger (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995).

54 55

Gilman documents the image of the Jew as black, Negroid, and African in Freud, Race, and Gender, 19–20. See Ann Pellegrini, Performance Anxiety: Staging Psychoanalysis, Staging Race (New York: Routledge, 1997), 29; Daniel Boyarin, ‘‘Épater l’Embourgeoisement: Freud, Gender, and the (De)Colonized Psyche,’’ Diacritics 24.1 (1994): 38; and Zillah Eisenstein, Hatreds: Racialized and Sexualized Conflicts in the Twentieth Century (New York: Routledge, 1996), 38.

56

57

Pellegrini notes that in Freud’s hands the Jewish hysteric Ida Bauer (or ‘‘Dora’’) fades ‘‘into the figure of a ‘‘whitened’’ femininity. From this figure, femininity emerges as a form of racial passing. The Jewish woman passes for —is posed as—the feminine tout court, and Jewish men are thereby relocated on the side of the universal term: the masculine’’ (Performance Anxiety, 28). For instance, Jay Geller argues that in the Schreber case Freud refuses to acknowledge Schreber’s feminine passive desire to reproduce a new race of men, effectively severing the connection between Schreber’s racialized reproductive fantasy and his castration anxiety, and thus rescuing the theory of paranoia from Jewish taint. See Jay Geller, ‘‘Freud v. Freud: Freud’s Reading of Daniel Paul Schreber’s Denkwürdigkeiten eines Nervenkranken,’’ in Reading Freud’s Reading, ed. Sander Gilman et al. (New York: New York University Press, 1994), 180–210. Daniel Boyarin expands this argument by suggesting that homoerotic and passive female reproductive fantasies are repressed by Freud in the interest of creating psychoanalysis as a universal science free of queer Jewish masculinity: ‘‘For Freud recognition of the positive attraction that . . . being transformed into a female held for Daniel Schreber would have

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involved the psychological necessity for him of facing again his own unresolved desires for femaleness, which in his culturally conditioned eyes was equivalent to homosexuality.’’ This was impossible since feminization and homosexuality were ‘‘ ‘Jewish diseases’ that Freud was anxious to overcome.’’ See Boyarin, ‘‘Freud’s Baby, Fliess’s Maybe: Homophobia, Anti-Semitism,

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and the Invention of Oedipus,’’ GLQ 2.1–2 (1995): 115–47, quote 138. Though Boyarin elsewhere notes the problem with reading psychoanalysis as a reaction formation (‘‘Épater l’Embourgeoisement,’’ 28–33), here he psychoanalyzes Freud’s treatment of the stigma of Jewishness. 58 59

Gilman, Freud, Race, and Gender, 88. The passage in ‘‘The Aetiology of Hysteria’’ that corresponds to that in ‘‘Heredity and the Aetiology of the Neuroses’’ reads: ‘‘sexual relations in childhood occur precisely between brother and sisters . . . supposing, then, ten or fifteen years later several members of this younger generation of a family are found to be ill, might not this appearance of a family neurosis naturally lead to the false supposition that a hereditary disposition is present where there is only a pseudo-hereditary one and where in fact what has taken place

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is a handing-on, an infection in childhood?’’ (209). For example Pellegrini restores Ida Bauer—whom Freud strips of her Jewishness by calling her ‘‘Dora’’—to the text. See Pellegrini, Performance Anxieties,

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25–28; on Freud’s use of this pseudonym, see Hannah Decker, Freud, Dora, and Vienna, 1900 (New York: Free Press, 1991), 131–47. Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud, Studies on Hysteria, ed. James Strachey (New York: Basic Books, 1957). Hereafter all references to this text will be given parenthetically.

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Borch-Jacobsen argues that Studies advances one of the greatest myths of our time: Anna O.’s cure was faithfully narrated, and her hysteria cured. ‘‘The case of Anna O., far from being the empirical origin of Freud’s and Breuer’s new theory of hysteria, came to illustrate it after the fact, through a self-serving revisionism that was anything but innocent. . . . [M]odern psychotherapy, with its emphasis on the curative powers of narration and memory, has as its founding narrative the biased rewriting of an older narrative, one that tells only made-up stories.’’ According to Borch-Jacobsen ‘‘right at the heart of the modern myth of remembering’’ is a ‘‘false memory.’’ Borch-Jacobsen’s conclusion, to which I am indebted, is that psychoanalysis is a fiction whose central conceit is founded upon false evidence. Of course this renders this fiction no less powerful. See Borch-Jacobsen, Remembering Anna O., quote 60.

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Freud’s early work (1875–92) is depicted as slow and laborious, and Studies is a turning point: ‘‘a change in personality, one of several in his life, seems to have come over him in the early nineties. . . . [T]hree months after the Studies was published, we find Breuer writing to their friend Fliess: ‘Freud’s intellect is soaring at its highest. I gaze after him as a hen at a hawk.’ ’’ This is one among many instances in which Studies is construed as originating psychoanalysis’s greatness. See Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud,

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ed. Lionel Trilling and Steven Marcus (New York: Basic Books, 1961), 157. Feminist readings of ‘‘Anna O.’’ inform my argument throughout this section. See Ann Douglas Wood, ‘‘ ‘Fashionable Diseases’: Women’s Complaints and Their Treatment in Nineteenth-Century America,’’ in Clio’s Consciousness Raised: New Perspectives on the History of Women, ed. Mary S. Hart-

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man and Louis Banner (New York: Harper & Row, 1974), 1–22; Carroll Smith Rosenberg, ‘‘The Hysterical Woman: Sex Roles and Role Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America,’’ in Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian America (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985), 197–216; Diane Hunter, ‘‘Hysteria, Psychoanalysis, and Feminism: The Case of Anna O.,’’ in The (M)other Tongue: Essays in Feminist Psychoanalytic Interpretation, ed. Shirley Nelson Garner, Claire Kahane, and Madelon Sprengnether (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985), 89–115; Elaine Showalter, The Female Malady: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 1830–1980 (New York: Pantheon, 1985), 155–57; Mary Jacobus, ‘‘Anna (Wh)O’s Absences: Readings in Hysteria,’’ in Reading Woman: Essays in Feminist Criticism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), 197–228; and Diane Price Herndl, ‘‘The Writing Cure: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Anna O., and Hysterical Writing,’’ NWSA Journal 1.1 (1988): 52–74. As I discuss shortly, of these, Rachel Bowlby’s ‘‘A Happy Event: The Births of Psychoanalysis,’’ in Shopping with Freud (New

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York: Routledge, 1993), 72–81, and Koestenbaum’s ‘‘Privileging the Anus’’ are most important to the present argument. Throughout I use the pseudonym ‘‘Anna O.’’ in order to emphasize that I am not talking about a real woman but about the hysteric constructed within Freud and Breuer’s text. In rare instances, as in this paragraph, I discuss Anna

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O.’s life outside the text and refer to her as Bertha Pappenheim. On Bertha Pappenheim and other female patients, see Lisa Appignanesi and John Forester, Freud’s Women (New York: Basic Books, 1992); on the German-Jewish feminist organization that Pappenheim founded, see Marion Kaplan, The Jewish Feminist Movement in Germany (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1979).

67

On Freud and Breuer’s split, see Jones, The Life and Work, 165–67, and 146– 74 passim. Sulloway takes exception to Jones and argues that Breuer recognized sexuality’s role in neurosis, and that Breuer and Freud’s break had more to do with individual temperament and scientific style and with Breuer’s unwillingness to make sweeping claims about sexuality. See Sulloway, Biologist of the Mind, 70–100, especially 78–80. My reading contests Sulloway’s, but this is not my principal point. Whether or not Breuer denied the sexual etiology of hysteria, what matters is that Freud painted Breuer as holding this prudish position. Freud accounts for his split with Breuer in his correspondence with Fliess. See Masson, The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to

68 69

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Wilhelm Fliess. Koestenbaum argues that Freud transferred homoerotic feelings from Breuer to Fliess. See ‘‘Privileging the Anus,’’ 72–77. Jones, The Life and Work, 148. In turning to this note I follow Rachel Bowlby, whose genius it was to go back to the recorded exchange about the Anna O. case in order to interpret it. See Bowlby, ‘‘A Happy Event,’’ passim. The passages to which Strachey’s citation lead corroborate his insinuations. Jones writes: ‘‘It would seem that Breuer had developed what we should

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nowadays call a strong counter-transference to his interesting patient. At all events he was so engrossed that his wife became bored at listening to no other topic, and before long jealous. She did not display this openly, but became unhappy and morose. It was long before Breuer, with his thoughts elsewhere, divined the meaning of her state of mind. It provoked a violent reaction in him, perhaps compounded of love and guilt, and he decided to bring the treatment to an end. He announced this to Anna O., who was by now much better, and bade her good-bye. But that evening he was fetched back, to find her in a greatly excited state, apparently as ill as ever. The patient, who according to him had appeared to be an asexual being and had never made any allusion to such a forbidden topic throughout the treatment, was now in the throes of a hysterical childbirth (pseudocyesis), the logical termination of a phantom pregnancy that had been invisibly developing in response to Breuer’s ministrations. Though profoundly shocked, he managed to calm her down by hypnotizing her, and then fled the house in a cold sweat.’’ Jones foregrounds Breuer’s desire for Anna O. by describing his fear of his feelings for her; effectively he renders the relationship shameful and implies irresponsible action on Breuer’s part. As in Freud’s narrative, a matter of conjecture is cast as fact. See Jones, The Life and Work, quote 147–48; and Freud, ‘‘On the History of the Psychoanalytic Movement,’’ in The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement, ed. Philip 71 72

Rieff (New York: Collier Books, 1963), 46–47. Ernst Freud, Letters of Sigmund Freud, 413 (emphasis added). See Ernst Freud, The Letters of Sigmund Freud, 413. As Ernst Freud points out, ‘‘the door to the Mothers’’ is an allusion to Goethe’s Faust, act 2. Leslie Camhi suggests that ‘‘the Mothers’’ was a common euphemism used from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century to designate the suffocating feeling of the ‘‘rising womb,’’ a common hysterical symptom. She offers as precedence King Lear’s lines about his waning reason: ‘‘O how this mother swells up toward my heart! / Hysterica passio, down, thou climbing sorrow, / Thy element’s below’’ (Shakespeare, King Lear, act 2, scene 3, lines 56–58). See Leslie Camhi, ‘‘Prisoners of Gender: Hysteria, Psychoanalysis, and Literature in Fin de Siècle Culture’’ (Ph.D. diss., Yale University, 1991), 49.

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As was widely known to Freud readers, ‘‘hysteria’’ derives from the Greek word for womb, an etymological fact to which many physicians to whom Freud presented his work retreated in an attempt to either argue against a psychogenic interpretation of the disease, or against the idea that men could be hysterical. See Jones, The Life and Work, 149–51. Koestenbaum and Bowlby both read ‘‘Anna O.’’ as evidence of the aspirations of the men who authored it. According to Koestenbaum, male-male

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collaboration is an erotically productive act that involves appropriation of the reproductive function and creation of textual progeny. In such creative processes, the anus is regarded as the site of conception and the maternal body elided. Like Koestenbaum, Bowlby argues that the paternal appropriation of the maternal role allows the birth of psychoanalysis to be narrated

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as a fathering rather than a mothering. She focuses on Freud’s fantasy of insemination by three of the fathers of psychoanalysis (Charcot, Breuer, and later Chrobak) and on his belief that he gestated the theory of hysteria. In Koestenbaum’s analysis the homoerotic birth of psychoanalysis is privileged; in Bowlby’s, Anna O.’s phantom pregnancy vies with Freud’s conception for pride of place. See Koestenbaum, ‘‘Privileging the Anus’’; and Bowlby, ‘‘A 75

Happy Event.’’ Trillat, quoted in Elaine Showalter, ‘‘Hysteria, Feminism, and Gender,’’ in Hysteria beyond Freud, ed. Gilman et al., 291.

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Breuer writes that ‘‘in one of these states she [was] . . . relatively normal. In the other state she was . . . ‘naughty’—that is to say, she was abusive, used to throw cushions at people, so far as the contractures at various times allowed, tore buttons off her bed clothes and linen with those of her fingers which she could move, and so on’’ (24).

77

Sander L. Gilman, The Jew’s Body (New York: Routledge, 1991), 12.

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Wagner, quoted in Mark Anderson, Kafka’s Clothes: Ornament and Aestheticism in the Hapsburg Fin de Siècle (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), 197. Schorske argues that Schönerer’s anti-Semitism was imitative of U.S. racism

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and notes that Schönerer turned to U.S. legislative models (in particular the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882) as prototypes for his own racism and nativ80

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ism. See Schorske, Fin-de-Siècle Vienna, 129. See Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer, Studien über Hysterie (Frankfurt: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1970), 23. Mary Jacobus was the first to note the Jewish coding of Anna O.’s ‘‘jargon.’’ See Jacobus, ‘‘Anna Wh(O)’s Absences,’’ 209. Bertha Pappenheim translated the Memoirs of Glückl von Hameln (a German Jewess who married at the age of fourteen and bore thirteen children), the Mayse Bukh (a collection of medieval folk tales and Talmudic stories), and the Ze’enah U’Ree’nah, or woman’s bible (a popular version of the Books of Moses, the Five Megillot, and Haftorot), as well as Mary Wollstonecraft’s A

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Vindication of the Rights of Women. See Kaplan, The Jewish Feminist Movement, 41, 49–50; and Jacobus, ‘‘Anna Wh(O)’s Absences,’’ 209. On the transformation of Jewish voice and speech into a racial mark, see Sander L. Gilman, ‘‘The Jewish Voice: Chicken Soup, or The Penalties of Sounding Too Jewish,’’ in The Jew’s Body, 10–37; Anderson, ‘‘ ‘Jewish’ Music? Otto Weiniger and ‘Josephine the Singer,’ ’’ in Kafka’s Clothes, 194–216; and Weindling, Health, Race, and German Politics, 58.

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84

See Hortense Spillers, ‘‘ ‘All the Things You Could Be by Now If Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother’: Psychoanalysis and Race,’’ boundary 2 23.3 (1996): 75–141, quote 89. Unfortunately Spillers too quickly dismisses the possibility that her insight is germane to the Jewishness of psychoanalysis. As she insists, psychoanalysis does not interrogate the ‘‘ ‘race’/culture orbit.’’ See Lucille B. Ritvo’s discussion of Freud’s use of Darwin’s idea of the ‘‘primal horde,’’ Darwin’s Influence on Freud, 99–109, quote 99; and Carl Degler,

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‘‘The Case of the Origin of the Incest Taboo,’’ in In Search of Human Nature: The Decline and Revival of Darwinism in American Social Thought (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 245–69.

5. Reproducing Racial Globality 1

Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning

2

of Liberty (New York: Pantheon, 1997). See Francis Amasa Walker, ‘‘Immigration and Degradation,’’ Forum 11 (1891): 637–44; E. A. Ross, ‘‘The Causes of Race Superiority,’’ Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 18–23 (1901): 67–89; and Linda Gordon, Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America (New York: Grossman, 1976), 135–58. On Ross’s eugenic thought, see Thomas F. Gossett, Race: The History of an Idea in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 144–75.

3 4

Ross, ‘‘Causes of Race Superiority,’’ 85. D. Clinton Guthrie, ‘‘Race Suicide,’’ Pennsylvania Medical Journal 15 (1909– 10): 858.

5

W. E. B. Du Bois, Dusk of Dawn: An Essay Toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept, reprinted in Du Bois: Writings, 549–801 (New York: Library of America, 1986), 656. All further references will be made parenthetically in

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the text. See Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein, Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities (London: Verso, 1991), 93. By contrast to Benedict Anderson, who cast the nation as an imagined community, Balibar suggests that all communities are imagined. Here I follow him and suggest that the United States imagines itself as a racially homogenous, reproducible entity. As Balibar puts it, it is in the ‘‘ ‘race of its children’ that

8 9

the nation . . . [comes] to contemplate its own identity in a pure state.’’ See Race, Nation, Class, 93. See chapter 1, 34–39. Joy James argues that although Du Bois was outspoken on women’s issues, especially suffrage, his portraits of women were invariably masculinist, and he was unable to acknowledge the contributions to his thinking of the most important women of his day, including Anna Julia Cooper and Ida B. Wells. Farah Jasmine Griffin follows James in excavating Du Bois’s masculinism and in contextualizing his views on black women. See Joy James, ‘‘Profeminism and Gender Elites: W. E. B. Du Bois, Anna Julia Cooper, and Ida B. WellsBarnett,’’ in Transcending the Talented Tenth: Black Leaders and American Intellectuals (New York: Routledge, 1997), 35–36; and Farah Jasmine Griffin, ‘‘Black Feminists and Du Bois: Respectability, Protection, and Beyond,’’ Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 568 (2000):

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28–53. Other articles that treat Du Bois’s representations of women include

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Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, ‘‘The Margin as Center of a Theory of History: African-American Women, Social Change, and the Sociology of W. E. B. Du Bois,’’ in W. E. B. Du Bois: On Race and Culture, ed. Bernard R. Bell, Emily R. Grosholz, and James B. Stewart (New York: Routledge, 1996), 111– 40; Nellie Y. McKay, ‘‘The Souls of Black Women Folk in the Writings of W. E. B. Du Bois,’’ in Reading Black, Reading Feminist: A Critical Anthology, ed. Henry Louis Gates Jr. (New York: Meridian, 1990), 227–43, and ‘‘W. E. B. Du Bois: The Black Women in His Writings—Selected Fictional and Autobiographical Portraits,’’ in Critical Essays on W. E. B. Du Bois, ed. William L. Andrews (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1985), 230–52; Manning Marable, ‘‘Grounding with My Sisters: Patriarchy and the Exploitation of Black Women,’’ in How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America: Problems in Race, Political Economy and Society (Boston: South End Press, 1983), 82–83; Bettina Aptheker, ‘‘On ‘The Damnation of Women’: W. E. B. Du Bois and a Theory for Women’s Emancipation,’’ in Woman’s Legacy: Essays on Race, Sex, and Class in American History, ed. Bettina Aptheker (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1982), 77–88; Patricia Morton, ‘‘The All-Mother Vision of W. E. B. Du Bois,’’ in Disfigured Images: The Historical Assault on Afro-American Women (New York: Greenwood Press, 1991), 55–65; Nagueyalti Warren, ‘‘Deconstructing, Reconstructing, and Focusing Our Literary Image,’’ in Spirit, Space, and Survival: African American Women in (White) Academe, ed. Joy James and Ruth Farmer (New York: Routledge, 1993), 99–117; Beverly Guy Sheftall, Daughters of Sorrow: Attitudes toward Black Women, 1880–1920 (New York: Carlson, 1990), 161–62; and Claudia Tate, ‘‘Race and Desire: Dark Princess, a Romance, by William Edward Burghardt Du Bois,’’ in Psychoanalysis and Black Novels: Desire and the Protocols of Race (New York: Oxford University 10 11

Press, 1998), 47–85. Hazel Carby, ‘‘The Souls of Black Men,’’ in Race Men (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998), 9–44. Daylanne English, ‘‘W. E. B. Du Bois’s Family Crisis,’’ American Literature 72.2 (2000): 291–319. English reads Du Bois’s editorial selection of photographs for the Crisis in the context of the prevailing discourses of ‘‘racial uplift’’ and eugenics, and she suggests that Du Bois bridged the distance between a politics of the individual and that of the collective by producing a distinctively biosocial understanding of racial uplift in which questions of the reproduction of fit black families by fit black men figured prominently. English builds upon Kevin Gaines’s work in Uplifting the Race: Black Leadership, Politics, and Culture in the Twentieth Century (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996).

12

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13

Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, in W. E. B. Du Bois: Writings (New York: Library of America, 1986), 357–548. All further references will be given parenthetically in the text. See Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993), 115.

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14

Du Bois, ‘‘The Freedom of Womanhood,’’ in The Gift of Black Folk: The

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Negroes in the Making of America (Boston: Stratford, 1924), 268. On the optical foundations of racism see Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Mask (1952; London: Pluto Press, 1967), especially chapter 5; Lewis R. Gordon, Her Majesty’s Other Children: Sketches of Racism from a Neocolonial Age (Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997), 25–88; Collette Guillaumin, Racism, Sexism, Power, and Ideology (New York: Routledge, 1995), 29–60; Cornel West, ‘‘A Genealogy of Modern Racism,’’ in Race Critical Theories, ed. Philomena Essed and David Theo Goldberg (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002), 90–112; and Harryette Mullen, ‘‘Optic White: Blackness and the Production of Whiteness,’’ Diacritics 24.2–3 (1994): 71–89.

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Susan Mizruchi treats the color-coded symbols and figures Du Bois deploys. See Mizruchi, ‘‘Neighbors, Strangers, Corpses: Death and Sympathy in the Early Writings of W. E. B. Du Bois,’’ in Centuries’ Ends, Narrative Means, ed. Robert Newman (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996), especially 192,

17

196–97, 202. Dickson D. Bruce Jr. identifies two meanings of double consciousness similarly. I take exception to his third definition: ‘‘By double consciousness Du Bois referred . . . to an internal conflict in the African American individual between what was ‘‘African’’ and what was ‘‘American’’ (301). The conflict that Du Bois explores is between racial and national identity. See Bruce, ‘‘W. E. B Du Bois and the Idea of Double Consciousness,’’ American Literature 64.2

18

(1992): 299–309. Here I offer an alternative to Anthony Appiah’s claim that Du Bois remained wed to a nineteenth-century scientific conception of race throughout his life. See Appiah, ‘‘The Uncompleted Argument: Du Bois and the Illusion of Race,’’ in ‘‘Race,’’ Writing, and Difference, ed. Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), 21–37. Appiah’s critics include Lucius Outlaw, ‘‘ ‘Conserve’ Races? In Defense of W. E. B. Du Bois,’’ in W. E. B. Du Bois, ed. Bernard W. Bell et al., 15–38; Robert Gooding-Williams, ‘‘Outlaw, Appiah, and Du Bois’s ‘The Conservation of Races’,’’ in W. E. B. Du Bois, ed. Bernard W. Bell et al., 39–56; Priscilla Wald, Constituting Americans: Cultural Anxiety and Narrative Form (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1995), 207–9; and Tommy Lott, ‘‘Du Bois’s Anthropological Notion of Race,’’ in Race, ed. Robert Bernasconi (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), 59–83. I treat Appiah’s position more fully in the coda.

19

David Lloyd provides insight into the racial economy of the enlightenment idea of a universal aesthetic. Through a reading of Kant he argues that racism depends on the recognition of difference, the positing of a lack of identity

Tseng 2004.2.26 08:09

in the object seen; at the same time, the racialized object is the condition of possibility for the instantiation of the universal norm against which this lack becomes visible. See David Lloyd, ‘‘Race under Representation,’’ Oxford Literary Review 13.1–2 (1991): 62–94; and West, ‘‘A Genealogy of Modern Racism.’’

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20

The term is Balibar’s; see Race, Nation, Class, 60.

21

On Nina Gomer Du Bois, see David Levering Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868–1919 (New York: Henry Holt, 1993) and W. E. B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919–1963 (New York: Henry Holt, 2000); and Arnold Rampersad, The Art and Imagination of W. E. B. Du Bois (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976).

22

See McKay, ‘‘The Souls of Black Women Folk,’’ 239–41; Gilroy, The Black Atlantic, 138; and Wald, Constituting Americans, 228.

23

Wald, Constituting Americans, 284.

24

There are old and new versions of this interpretation of Du Bois’s work on the sorrow songs; see, for example, Alain Locke, ‘‘The Negro Spirituals,’’ in The New Negro: An Interpretation, ed. Alain Locke (New York: Albert and Charles Boni, 1925), 199; Anne Carroll, ‘‘More than Words: Representing Blackness as American,’’ Centennial Review 41.3 (1997): 471–78; and Shamoon Zamir, Dark Voices: W. E. B. Du Bois and American Thought, 1888–

25

1903 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), 173–81. As Eric Sundquist and Kevin Thomas Miles have argued, albeit differently, Du Bois used the musical epigraphs in Souls to reveal the universal significance of the sorrow songs, and to point out to readers that which cannot be known—that which resides at the limit of understanding, or what Miles calls the ‘‘Promethean limit,’’ ‘‘the boundary between two worlds’’ (201). See Eric Sundquist, ‘‘Black and Unknown Bards: A Theory of the Sorrow Songs,’’ in

26

To Wake the Nations, 525–39; and Kevin Thomas Miles, ‘‘Haunting Music in the Souls of Black Folk,’’ boundary 2 27.3 (2000): 199–214. As Harryette Mullen points out, Du Bois was not the only one to depict the sorrow songs as a matrilineal inheritance. In The Autobiography of an ExColored Man James Weldon Johnson recalls his mother holding him ‘‘close, softly crooning some old melody without words,’’ and Frederick Douglass also attributed his knowledge of the songs to his mother. See Mullen, ‘‘Optic

27

White,’’ 87. Du Bois, Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil (New York: ams Press, 1969), 34, 51.

28

Du Bois, ‘‘The Negro Mind Reaches Out,’’ in The New Negro, ed. Locke,

29

385–414. On Du Bois’s anti-imperialism and emergent global vision, see John Carlos Rowe, ‘‘W. E. B. Du Bois’s Critique of U.S. Imperialism,’’ in Empire: American Studies, ed. John G. Blair and Reinhold Wagnleitner (Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlage, 1997), 145–66; Robin D. G. Kelley, ‘‘ ‘But a Local Phase of a World Problem’: Black History’s Global Vision, 1883–1950,’’ Journal of American

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History 86.3 (1999): 1045–77; Nikhil Pal Singh, Black Is a Country: Race and the Unifinished Struggle for Democracy (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004); Brent Hayes Edwards, The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003), especially the prologue; and Susan Gillman,

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Blood Talk: American Race Melodrama and the Culture of the Occult (Chicago: 30

Chicago University Press, 2003). Du Bois, Dark Princess, intro. Claudia Tate (Jackson, Miss.: Banner Books, 1995). All further references will be made parenthetically in the text. Available criticism on the novel—none of which treats reproduction—includes: Arnold Rampersad, ‘‘Du Bois’s Passage to India,’’ in W. E. B. Du Bois: On Race and Culture, ed. Bernard W. Bell, Emily R. Grosholz, and James B. Stewart, 161– 76; Ross Posnock, Color and Culture: Black Writers and the Making of the Modern Intellectual (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998), 146–83; Hanna Wallinger, ‘‘Secret Societies and Dark Empires: Sutton E. Grigg’s Imperium in Imperio and W. E. B. Du Bois’s Dark Princess,’’ in Empire: American Studies, ed. John Blair and Reinhold Wagnleintner,197–208; Gilroy, The Black Atlantic, 140–45; Herman Beavers, ‘‘Romancing the Body Politic: Du Bois’s Propaganda of the Dark World,’’ Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 568 (2000): 250–64; Tate, ‘‘Race and Desire’’; and Bill V.

31 32

Mullen, ‘‘Du Bois, Dark Princess, and the Afro-Asian International,’’ Positions 11.1 (2003): 217–40. Du Bois makes this claim in Dusk of Dawn, 752. Robin Kelley points out that black communists of the period often rewrote classic spirituals as songs of liberation. Here, Du Bois’s protagonist likewise produces his song as one of liberation and international solidarity. See Robin Kelley, Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class (New York:

33

Free Press, 1994), 118. In part, propagandistic elements have led critics to regard Dark Princess as lacking in literary merit. For instance, at first Rampersad dismissed it; later he revised his opinion and positioned the novel as central despite artistic flaws. Beavers comes to terms with shortcomings similarly. See Rampersad, The Art and Imagination of W. E. B. Du Bois, 202–18, and ‘‘Du Bois’s Passage to India’’; and Beavers, ‘‘Romancing the Body Politic,’’ 256.

34

Du Bois, ‘‘Criteria for Negro Art,’’ The Crisis (October 1926), reprinted in W. E. B. Du Bois: Selections, ed. David Levering Lewis (New York: Henry Holt, 1995), 509.

35

Du Bois’s ideas about romance challenge those of scholars as diverse as Leslie Fielder, Doris Sommer, and Amy Kaplan. All view national romance novels, nation building, and (in Kaplan’s case) U.S. imperialist projects that shore up the nation as mutually abetting, even coextensive. By contrast, Du Bois views romance as internationalist rather than nationalist, and as conciliatory of antagonistic interests only insofar as it forges alliances among those who might not otherwise recognize their common plight. Brent Edwards has sug-

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gested that Du Bois’s use of romance may not be so transparent; indeed, it may involve ‘‘melodramatic farce and sly self-parody.’’ See Leslie Fielder, Love and Death in the American Novel, rev. ed. (New York: Stein & Day, 1966); Doris Sommer, Foundational Fictions: The National Romances of Latin America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991); Amy Kaplan, ‘‘Romancing

Notes

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the Empire: The Embodiment of American Masculinity in the Popular Historical Novel of the 1980s,’’ American Literary History 2.4 (1990): 659–90; and Edwards, The Practice of Diaspora, 234. 36

Rampersad argues that Du Bois’s knowledge of India built on a long orientalist tradition within American thought that includes Whitman, Emerson, Thoreau, and T. S. Eliot. He also suggests that the portrait of Matthew’s mother may have been informed by Radhakrishnan’s extremely popular book, The Hindu View of Life (1927), a racist tract in which Kali is cast as a non-Aryan goddess. See Rampersad, ‘‘Du Bois’s Passage to India,’’ 163–64.

37

By contrast with Du Bois’s celebratory and mythologizing account, see that of Elise Johnson McDougald, whose contemporaneous, ‘‘Negro Womanhood,’’ treats women’s labor and hardship in a sociological, realist idiom. McDougald, ‘‘The Task of Negro Womanhood,’’ in The New Negro, ed. Locke, 369–82.

38

In Marxism and Literature Williams uses the concept to denote the articulation of forms of consciousness that emerge from historical conflicts that are not fully understood, and thus expressed inchoately. Such forms of consciousness correspond to the apprehension of residual hegemonic tendencies rather

39

than dominant ones. Here I modify Arnold Rampersad’s suggestion that for Wright the black

40

woman was the world’s metaphor. As Harold Isaacs explains, this coalition was made possible by Du Bois’s erasure of hostilities between Japan and China. Du Bois persisted in regarding Japan’s attacks on China as a prelude to a Japanese-Chinese block against the white world as late as the Manchurian invasion in 1931. See Isaacs, ‘‘Du Bois and Africa,’’ Race 2.1 (1960): 14–15.

41 42

See Stuart Hall, ‘‘Race, Articulation, and Society Structured in Dominance,’’ Sociological Theories: Race and Colonialism (Paris: unesco, 1980), 305–45. See Lenin, ‘‘Draft Theses on the National and Colonial Question’’ (1920), in V. I. Lenin, Selected Works (New York: International Publishers, 1967), 3:422–27. For discussion of the Afro-Asian dimensions of this debate see Mullen, ‘‘Du Bois, Dark Princess, and the Afro-Asian International.’’ I am

43

grateful to Bill Mullen for sharing his work with me when it was still in manuscript form. See John Patrick Haithcox, Communism and Nationalism in India: M. N. Roy and Comintern Policy, 1920–1939 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971), 11–19; M. N. Roy, ‘‘Original Draft of Supplementary Theses on the National and Colonial Question,’’ reprinted in Selected Works of M. N. Roy, vol. 1, 1917–1922, ed. Ray Sibnarayan (Oxford: Oxford University Press,

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1987), 165–68; and M. N. Roy, ‘‘On the National and Colonial Question,’’ reprinted in Selected Works of M. N. Roy, vol. 2, 1923–1927, ed. Ray Sibnarayan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), 291–306. The debates among party members about how to assess Garvey’s black nationalism are directly related

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to Roy’s concerns. See Harry Haywood, Black Bolshevik: Autobiography of an 44

Afro-American Communist (Chicago: Liberator Press, 1978), 110–12, 127–28. Reed objected to Lenin because he felt that Garveyism’s failure suggested blacks’ desire for national inclusion, and because he regarded separate black movements as divisive to working-class solidarity. See ‘‘Speech by John Reed at IInd Congress of Communist International on Negro Question,’’ reprinted in American Communism and Black Americans: A Documentary History, 1919– 1929, ed. Philip Foner and James Allen (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987), 5–8.

45

On McKay’s and Huiswood’s participation in the 1922 Comintern debate of the ‘‘Black Belt thesis’’ see Mullen, ‘‘Du Bois, Dark Princess, and the AfroAsian International,’’ 228–29; and William J. Maxwell, New Negro, Old Left: African-American Writing and Communism between the Wars (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999), chapter 2.

46

The declaration is reprinted in Foner and Allen, eds., American Communism and Black Americans, 28–30. On the debates over the ‘‘Negro Question,’’ see Cedric J. Robinson, Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition (London: Zed Press, 1983), 302–25; Roger E. Kanet, ‘‘The Comintern and the ‘Negro Question’: Communist Policy in the United States and Africa, 1921– 1941’’ Survey 19.4 (1973): 86–122; Foner and Allen, American Communism and Black Americans, vii–xvi; and Harry Haywood, Black Bolshevik, 81–176, 223–27.

47 48

49

Rose Pastor Stokes, ‘‘The Communist International and the Negro,’’ reprinted in American Communism and Black Americans, ed. Foner and Allen, 29–31. On the Sixth World Congress and the ‘‘Negro Question,’’ see Haywood, Black Bolshevik, 227– 35, especially 232 and 259–280; and Foner and Allen, American Communism and Black Americans, 163–200. Harold Isaacs concludes his reading of Dark Princess with this remark. Isaacs, ‘‘Du Bois and Africa,’’ 17.

50 51

Du Bois, Dusk of Dawn, 639–40. David Levering Lewis underscores this when he announces by way of clever subtitle to his authoritative biography that it is not only Du Bois’s story but

52

It is often assumed that Du Bois first articulated the problem of the twentieth century as the problem of the color line in Souls. This is not the case; he first formulated it in 1901 in an address given before the Pan-African congress—a

the ‘‘biography of a race.’’

fact that suggests that Du Bois saw the problems of racism in the United States as linked to problems of imperialism and colonialism throughout the world from the outset. See Nikhil Pal Singh, ‘‘Toward an Effective Antiracism,’’ in

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Beyond Pluralism: The Conception of Groups and Group Identities in America, ed. Wendy F. Katkin, Ned Landsman, and Andrea Tyree (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998), 221; and Brent Hayes Edwards, The Practice of Diaspora, 1–3.

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53

Luisa Muraro discusses the differences between vertical and horizontal genealogies in the context of Luce Irigaray’s writing. See Muraro, ‘‘Female Genealogies,’’ in Engaging with Irigaray: Feminist Philosophy and Modern European Thought, ed. Carolyn Burke, Naomi Schor, and Margaret Whitford (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), 324–25. Though she does not discuss racism or nationalism, I find her terms useful in the present context.

54

‘‘A New England Boy and Reconstruction’’ also contains genealogical information. In this earlier instance it is presented as family history rather than as a detailed sketch of belonging. The chapter begins by repeating verbatim several lines from Souls that announce that Du Bois ‘‘was born by a golden river and in the shadow of two great hills’’ (559) and then follows with familiar lore about the Great Barrington Burghardt clan.

55

By contrast, at Fisk Du Bois recalls being surrounded by those who dealt with ‘‘the problem of race . . . openly’’ and ‘‘strenuously denied’’ any notion of ‘‘natural inferiority’’ (Dusk of Dawn, 625).

56

Du Bois makes a similar point when relating his failed attempt to gain membership in the Massachusetts Society of the Sons of the American Revolution based on his great-great-grandfather’s record of military and period service. The secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, A. Howard Clark, wrote in response to his request that unless ‘‘proof of the marriage of the ancestor of Tom Burghardt and the record of the birth of a son’’ could be provided, membership would be denied. As Du Bois comments, Clark of course knew ‘‘that the

57

58 59

birth record of a stolen African slave could not possibly be produced’’ (Dusk of Dawn, 638). Revealing the stakes of such a narration, Du Bois relates how the legal advisers to his publisher wrote, ‘‘ ‘We may assume as a general proposition that it is libelous to state erroneously that a white man or woman has colored blood’ ’’ (Dusk of Dawn, 632). See Kelley, Race Rebels, 118.

60

Du Bois makes a similar argument when he famously asserts ‘‘that a black man is someone who rides Jim Crow in Georgia’’ (Dusk of Dawn, 666). See Countée Cullen, ‘‘Heritage,’’ Survey Graphic (March 1925): 674–75. This

61

New Negro, ed. Locke, 250–53. Cullen was for a brief time Du Bois’s son-inlaw, his daughter Yolanda’s first husband. On Du Bois’s relationship to Africa, see Herbert Aptheker, ‘‘W. E. B. Du

first edition of the poem was later republished with several changes in The

Bois and Africa,’’ Pan-African Biography, ed. Robert A. Hill (copublished by Los Angeles: American Studies Center UCLA and Crossroads Press, African Studies Association, 1987), 97–117; Anthony Monteiro, ‘‘Being an African in

Tseng 2004.2.26 08:09

62 63

the World: The Du Boisian Epistemology,’’ Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 568 (2000): 220–34; and Harold Isaacs, ‘‘Du Bois and Africa.’’ See Appiah, ‘‘The Uncompleted Argument.’’ Of course in repeating his genealogical narrative in each autobiographical text

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Du Bois casts it as a form of narration, as a story told and retold. As origins proliferate the solidity of scientific or biological notions of racial origination become necessarily tenuous.

Coda 1

Anthony Appiah, ‘‘The Uncompleted Argument: Du Bois and the Illusion of Race,’’ in ‘‘Race,’’ Writing and Difference, ed. Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), 21–22.

2

As has been pointed out the ‘‘map’’ metaphor of dna problematically harbors the positivist notion that mapping is an impersonal and objective activity that directly reflects ‘‘nature.’’ See Mary Rosner and T. R. Johnson, ‘‘Telling Stories: Metaphors of the Human Genome Project,’’ Hypatia 10 (fall 1995): 104–23.

3

See Susan Gubar, Critical Condition: Feminism at the Turn of the Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000); and Walter Benn Michaels, Our America: Nativism, Modernism, and Pluralism (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1995). Other books that might be added to this list include Ross Posnock, Color and Culture: Black Writers and the Making of the Modern Intellectual (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998); Rogers Smith, Civic Ideals: Conflicting Visions of Citizenship in U.S. History (New Haven:

4

Yale University Press, 1997); and David Hollinger, Postethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism (New York: Basic Books, 1995). See, for example Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Genes, Peoples, and Languages (New York: North Point Press, 2000); Matt Ridley, Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters (New York: Harper Collins, 1999); Steve Jones, The Language of Genes: Solving the Mysteries of Our Genetic Past, Present, and Future (New York: Anchor Books, 1993), 10–11; Kelly Owens and Mary

5

6

Claire Kind, ‘‘Genomic Views of Human History,’’ Science 286 (15 October 1999): 451. Barbara Katz Rothman makes a similar point in The Book of Life: A Personal and Ethical Guide to Race, Normality, and the Implications of the Human Genome Project (Boston: Beacon Books, 2001), 92. Also see Priscilla Wald, ‘‘Future Perfect: Grammar, Genes, and Geography,’’ New Literary History 31.4 (2000), 702–6. Heléna Ragoné’s first book on surrogacy explores its racial logic. Her more recent work suggests that when surrogates gestate unrelated genetic material, racial differences between the surrogate and social parents are deemed irrelevant. Far from such a formation contravening the point I make here, it suggests its enduring power: Connections between progeny and parents that count are those that are genetic. See Heléna Ragoné, Surrogate Motherhood: Conception in the Heart (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1994) and ‘‘Of Likeness

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and Difference: How Race Is Being Transfigured by Gestational Surrogacy,’’ in Ideologies and Technologies of Motherhood: Race, Class, Sexuality, National-

Notes

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ism, ed. Heléna Ragoné and France Winddance Twine (New York: Routledge, 7

2000), 56–75. See Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (New York: Pantheon, 1997), 251.

8

Deborah R. Grayson, ‘‘Mediating Intimacy: Black Surrogate Mothers and the Law,’’ Critical Inquiry 24.2 (1998): 525–46.

9

Dion Farquhar exits from this paradigm by suggesting that demonization of technology (what she dubs the ‘‘fundamentalist stance’’) and neutralization of it (the ‘‘liberal stance’’) need not be viewed as the only options. Rather, she reads reproductive technologies as at once liberatory and oppressive; the difference lies in technological practice, not in the technology itself. See Farquhar, The Other Machine: Discourse and Reproductive Technologies (New

10

York: Routledge, 1996), especially 179–92. On the curtailment and naturalization of the potentially radical racial formation of artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and related practices (zift and gift), see Charis Cussins, ‘‘Producing Reproduction: Techniques of Normalization and Naturalization in Infertility Clinics,’’ in Reproducing Reproduction: Kinship, Power, and Technological Innovation, ed. Sarah Franklin and Heléna Ragoné (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998), 66–101; and Sarah Franklin, Embodied Progress: A Cultural Account of Assisted Conception (New York: Routledge, 1997). Production of racially homogenous families has also been a long-standing issue within debates about

11

interracial adoption. This quote is from a promotional pamphlet advertising the public programs and events related to the exhibit, including a gallery talk that I led together with University of Washington colleagues Janelle Taylor and Celia Lowe. Such public programs were funded by the Animating Democracy Initiative (adi), a programmatic initiative of Americans for the Arts funded by the Ford Foundation. Notably, many of the artists included in ‘‘Gene(sis)’’ had contributed

12 13

14

work to similar nationally celebrated exhibitions including ‘‘Paradise Lost’’ at the Exit gallery in New York. Steven Henry Madoff, ‘‘The Wonders of Genetics Breed a New Art,’’ New York Times, 26 May 2002, sec. 2, pp. 1, 30. ‘‘Onco-Mouse,’’ a creature invented to aid in cancer research, is the most famous transgenic mouse. See Haraway, Modest [email protected] Millennium, 79–85. This argument was underscored by the curator’s and publicist’s decision to showcase Lee’s work in the promotional materials for ‘‘Gene(sis)’’—members of the court appeared on the cover of the Henry’s spring newsletter, on the

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program for the symposium that opened the exhibit, on brochures and flyers available at the museum, and on a souvenir bookmark—rather than those artworks more directly focused on human genomics. In this way Lee’s work was situated as on topic, even though its express concern was hybridity, not genomics.

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15

This sentence is reported in an article that describes Kac’s Web posting after a previous showing of Genesis. Such a post-exhibit ‘‘translation’’ of the passage was not available for the Henry Gallery installation. See Steve Tomasula, ‘‘(Gene)sis,’’ in Eduardo Kac: Telepresence, Biotelematics, Transgenic Art, ed. Eduardo Kac (Ljubljana, Slovenia: Association for Culture and Education, 2000), 93.

16 17

Madoff, ‘‘The Wonders of Genetics,’’ 30. Gayatri Spivak, ‘‘Translator’s Preface,’’ in Of Grammatology, by Jacques Derrida (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974), xii. Rosher and John-

18

son also cite Spivak thus. Thomas Fogel, ‘‘Information Metaphors and the Human Genome Project,’’ Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 38.4 (1995): 540. Here Fogel discusses the

19

work of H. Atlan and M. Koppel. My argument is not about Kac’s intent, but is rather a deliberate reading that interprets Genesis to particular anti-determinist, anti-essentialist ends. I underscore this point because in interviews Kac expresses contradictory ideas about his mastery over life forms he creates on the one hand, and his desire to undermine ideas of biological determinism on the other. See Lisa

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Lynch, ‘‘Trans-Genesis: An Interview with Eduardo Kac,’’ New Formations 49 (Spring 2003): 75–89, especially 84–6.

Notes

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Index ‘‘Aetiology of Hysteria’’ (Freud), 159–164, 168–171, 177, 185, 287 n.37, 291 n.59 Africa: Du Bois on, 199, 207, 219– 220, 222–225 African Americans, 18–23, 37, 40– 42, 71–72, 74–76, 187–226; Kate Chopin on, 15–23, 40–42; W. E. B. Du Bois on, 187–226; Charlotte Perkins Gilman on, 74–76; and Plessy v. Ferguson, 40–43; and ‘‘Race Suicide,’’ 71–72, 188–189 Amalgamation, 57. See also Miscegenation American Studies, 5, 11 Ancient Society (Morgan), 115–116, 125–133 Anderson, Benedict: criticism of, 24–25, 255 n.26; Imagined Communities, 26–33; on miscegenation, 29–31; on nationalism, 24–33, 35–37, 39, 107, 139, 295 n.7; on racism, 30–33, 257 n.36, on ‘‘The True Born English-Man’’ (Defoe), 26–27 ‘‘Anna O.,’’ 10, 171–173, 175–186, 291 nn.62, 74, 294 n.76; Freud’s revision of, 175–177, 183; hysterical pregnancy (pseudocyesis) of, 171, 175, 177–178, 182, 293 n.70; language use of, 172, 178–181; as

origin story, 184–186; and talking cure, 171–173, 178. See also Breuer, Josef; Freud, Sigmund; Pappenheim, Bertha Anthropology, 2, 12, 110, 116, 119; Friedrich Engels’s use of, 9, 110, 116–119, 122–125, 132–133, 135, 142–143, 279 nn.28–29; of Lewis Henry Morgan, 125–133, 230. See also Morgan, Lewis Henry Anti-Semitism, 52–55, 159, 165–171, 179–186, 217; and Josef Breuer, 179–183; and Martin Charcot, 166, 219; and Freud, 10, 146– 147, 159, 165–170, 181–186, 217, 281 n.2, 290 n.57; and Nietzsche, 52–53, 261 n.57. See also Jews Appiah, Kwame Anthony, 225, 227–229, 297 n.18 Arendt, Hannah, 180 Bachofen, Johann Jakob, 120–122, 141, 279 n.28 Balibar, Etienne, 106, 187, 189; on kinship, 38, 141–142; on nation, 34–41, 295 n.7; on race, 34– 38, 142, 189, 256 n.30, 257 n.36; on racism and nationalism as ideologies, 34–35, 39, 142; on reproduction, 37, 257 n.34; on sexism, 36–39

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Barrett, Michèle, 113–115 Beddoe, John, 53–54, 56 Bederman, Gail, 88; on Columbian Exposition, 269 n.42 Bellamy, Edward, 89 Berlant, Lauren, 101, 103–104, 274 n.78 Binswanger, Otto, 165 Biological determinism, 244, 246 Biology: as essence of race, 37, 129– 132, 137, 199, 224–225, 227–229, 244, 246; and genetics, 227–228, 242–244; reproduction as a form of, 1–2, 28, 129–132, 139–140. See also Race; Racial science Bowlby, Rachel, 178, 294 n.74 Breuer, Josef, 10, 159–160, 175–179, 181–182, 292 n.67, 293 n.70; on ‘‘Anna O.,’’ 171–173, 176–183, 294 n.76; and anti-Semitism, 179–183; relationship with Freud, 171–173, 175–179, 181–182, 292 n.67, 293 n.70; and talking cure, 172–173, 178. See also ‘‘Anna O.’’

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Carby, Hazel, 191 Carr, Helen, 136–137, 278 n.22 Chalmers, Catherine, 236–239; ‘‘Rhino Mouse’’ (photograph), 237, 238 Charcot, Martin, 166, 173, 219, 287 n.36, 289 nn.49–51; anti-Semitism of, 166, 219 Chopin, Kate, 8, 11–12, 53, 58–59, 162, 233; ‘‘Désirée’s Baby,’’ 15–20, 22–23, 26, 34, 37–38, 40–43, 46– 47, 60, 233; genealogy as methodology of, 8, 16–18, 42–43, 47, 59–60; as local colorist, 15, 43; on Reconstruction, 18–19, 22–23; on slavery, 20–23, 40–41, 252 n.4 Colonialism, 11, 83–88, 90–91, 201– 202, 209–211, 221–226; Comintern (Communist International)

debate on, 209–211; of feminism, 83–88, 90–91, 96; German, 49, 52–53, 55 Combahee River Collective Statement, 111–112. See also Feminism: Marxist and socialist Comintern (Communist International), 208–211 Concept metaphor(s), 30, 126, 130– 133, 163, 255–256 n.23 Conrad, Joseph, 86 Coward, Rosalind, 120 ‘‘Criteria of Negro Art’’ (Du Bois), 201–202 Croly, David. See Miscegenation: 1864 pamphlet Cullen, Countée, 223–225 Cyborgs, 236 ‘‘Damnation of Women’’ (Du Bois), 207 Dark Princess (Du Bois), 11, 12, 190, 200–214, 222, 225; black maternity in, 201, 205–209, 212–214; Marxism in, 208–211; ‘‘National and Colonial Question’’ in, 209– 211; racial globality in, 10, 190, 208–215; sorrow songs in, 201, 206 Darwin, Charles, 6, 9–12, 145–159; Darwinian (evolutionary) theory, 9–10, 145–159; Darwinism, 2, 116, 145, 266 n.3, 286 n.29, 287 n.32; Descent of Man, 10, 147–154; on natural selection, 145, 148, 285 n.28; Origin of the Species, 147– 148; on race, 10, 145, 147–148, 151–156, 159; relationship with Alfred Russell Wallace, 149; on reproduction, 153–156; on sexual selection, 10, 145, 147–155, 171, 283 nn.8, 11, 284 nn.14, 22, 285 n.28; on women’s sexual agency, 145, 149–156, 159

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de Crèvecoeur, J. Hector St. John, 72 Deegan, Mary Jo, 78 Defoe, Daniel: ‘‘The True Born English-Man,’’ 26–27 Derrida, Jacques: on ‘‘concept metaphors,’’ 164, 255 n.23; on ‘‘the supplement,’’ 118; on ‘‘The Uncanny,’’ 288 n.44 Descent of Man (Darwin), 10, 147– 154 ‘‘Désirée’s Baby’’ (Chopin), 15–20, 22–23, 26, 34, 37–38, 40–43, 46–47, 60, 233 dna, 245. See also Gene(sis) Doyle, Laura, 51 ‘‘The Dress of Women’’ (Gilman), 157–158 Du Bois, W. E. B., 10–11, 187–229; on Africa, 199, 207, 219–220, 222–225; anti-imperialism of, 11, 201–202, 208–215, 221–226; on black maternity, 188–190, 192–193, 195–198, 201, 205–209, 213–214, 225; ‘‘Criteria of Negro Art,’’ 201–202; ‘‘Damnation of Women,’’ 207; Dark Princess, 11– 12, 190, 200–214, 222, 225; on death of son Burghardt, 191–197, 208, 213–214; on double consciousness, 194–195, 297 n.17; Dusk of Dawn, 11, 190, 215–225; feminist criticism of, 190–191, 295 n.9; and Marxism, 199–201, 209–212; personal genealogy of, 215–226, 302 nn.54, 56; on racial globality, 10, 190, 199–226; on Reconstruction, 189–190, 192– 193; on Romance as form, 201– 202, 300 n.35; on sorrow songs, 198–199, 201, 206–208, 222– 223, 298 nn.25–26; The Souls of Black Folk, 11, 190–199, 201, 206, 208, 213, 215, 222; on the ‘‘Veil,’’

194–196, 206; wife Nina Gomer, 196. See also Dark Princess Dusk of Dawn (Du Bois), 11, 190, 215–225 Ebert, Teresa, 277 n.19 Egypt, 55–59; in 1864 miscegenation pamphlet, 57–58; Nietzsche on, 49, 55–58; orientalized, 58–59, 263 n.66 Ellis, Havelock, 149–150, 283 n.11 Engels, Friedrich, 6, 9–12, 106–144; on Johann Jakob Bachofen, 120– 122, 279 n.28; feminist reactions to, 107–108, 110–115; on German nation formation, 117–118, 139– 141; on Iroquois, 122–125, 133, 137; on kinship, 115–119, 122–125, 128, 135–137, 141–142; on Henry Maine, 119–121; on J. F. McLennan, 120–122; on Lewis Henry Morgan, 9, 110, 116–119, 122–125, 132–133, 135–136, 142–143, 279 nn.28–29, 280 n.30; on ‘‘National Question,’’ 278 n.23; The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, 9, 106–110, 115–125, 132–144; on state formation, 117, 133–141; treatment of race, 106, 117–118, 128–129, 135–141. See also Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State English, Daylanne, 191, 296 n.11 ‘‘Ethnical Periods’’ (Morgan), 126– 128, 132 Eugenics, 6, 156–157, 191, 296 n.11. See also Racial science Evolution. See Darwin, Charles Fabian, Johannes, 126–127 Feminism: and anti-racism, 62–65, 87–93, 107, 111–115, 140–144; French, 3, 82; genealogies of, 62– 65, 77–78, 81–92, 107–115; of

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Feminism (continued ) Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 61– 105; Marxist and socialist, 3–4, 9, 107, 110–115, 124, 140–141, 143– 144, 277 n.15; materialist, 107, 112–115, 277 nn.18–19; maternalist, 8–9, 62, 78–81, 87, 91, 272 n.60; second-wave, 8, 62–65, 77–92, 107–115; and theories of nationalism, 24–25, 64, 140–144. See also Gilman, Charlotte Perkins Fermin de Vargas, Pedro, 29–30 Fields, Barbara, 41 Foucault, Michel, 8, 11, 43–49, 63, 91, 113–114, 144, 217; on ‘‘effective history,’’ 44–45, 217; on ‘‘episteme,’’ 47–48, 249 n.9; genealogical method of, 8, 43–44, 46, 59–60, 91; History of Sexuality, 43–44; on Nietzsche, 44–49, 91; ‘‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History,’’ 44–48; on sexuality, 43–44; treatment of race, 45, 48, 144, 260 n.52. See also Nietzsche, Friedrich Frazier, Franklin, 208 Freeman, Elizabeth, 101, 274 n.78 French Revolution, 51 Freud, Sigmund, 9–11, 145–186, 189, 217, 219, 288 n.42; ‘‘Aetiology of Hysteria,’’ 159–164, 168–171, 177, 185, 287 n.37, 291 n.59; ‘‘Anna O.,’’ 10, 171, 175–177, 181–185, 291 n.62, 293 n.70, 294 n.74; and Darwin, 10, 145, 147, 158– 159, 170–171, 184, 283 n.8, 286 n.31; use of genealogical metaphor, 161–164; on hysteria, 10, 147, 159–167, 170–184, 293 n.73; on incest, 161–165, 182–184; and Jews, 10, 146–147, 159, 165–170, 181–186, 281 n.2, 290 n.57; on Oedipus complex, 184–186; on primal horde, 184, 186; relationship with Josef Breuer, 171–173,

342

175–179, 181–182, 291 n.63, 292 n.67, 293 n.70; relationship with Martin Charcot, 166, 173, 219, 289 nn.49–50; on ‘‘seduction theory,’’ 174, 287 n.37; Studies in Hysteria, 164, 171–173, 175, 178, 291 n.62. See also ‘‘Anna O.’’; Anti-Semitism Frye, Marilyn, 83 Gale, Zona, 65 Galton, Francis, 157 Gellner, Ernest, 24–26, 30–33, 35– 36, 39, 107, 255 n.25; on nationalism as false consciousness, 26–27, 30, 35; on race, 30, 32–33, 256 n.29 Genealogy, 8–11, 17–23, 36–46, 59– 65, 190–218; as critical methodology, 8, 43–49, 59–60, 160–161, 191–193, 215–218, 234, 259 n.49; W. E. B. Du Bois on, 191–193, 215–226; of feminism, 62–65, 77–78, 81–92, 107–115; Michel Foucault on, 8, 43–46, 59–60, 91; Freud on, 161–164; horizontal, 218; Jews and, 161–166; of nation, 37, 61–62, 80, 188–189, 193–199, 218; Nietzsche on, 8, 44–45, 48–49, 60, 63–64 Genesis: book of, 242–243 Gene(sis): Henry Gallery exhibition, 233–246, 305 n.14. See also Chalmers, Catherine; Kac, Eduardo; Lee, Daniel Genesis: installation by Kac, Eduardo, 239–246, 305 n.19 Genetics: and contemporary art, 233–246; and race, 227–228, 230–231, 234–236, 238–239, 242, 246. See also Gene(sis) The German Ideology (Marx), 108 Germany, 132–141, 146–147, 219; Engels on, 117–118, 139–141, 278

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n.23; gender relations of, 133, 140–141; imperialism of, 49, 52– 53, 135; nation, 46, 117–118, 135, 139–141, 278 n.23; Nietzsche on, 45–46, 50–53, 55; race of, 138– 139; and Romanticism, 51; state formation of, 133–141 Gilbert, Sandra, 86–87, 89. See also Gubar, Susan Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, 8, 12, 61–105, 107, 162; and colonialism, 83–88, 90–91, 96; and Darwinism, 67, 266 n.13, 285 n.28; ‘‘The Dress of Women,’’ 157–158; feminist criticism on, 61–62, 64–65, 77–78, 81–85; The Forerunner, 65, 189; Herland, 77–105, 129; on immigration, 67–70, 72–74, 76–77, 89–90, 266 n.14; imperialism of, 83–88, 90–91, 96, 266 n.14; ‘‘Is America Too Hospitable?’’ 72– 74; The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 61–62, 65–69; maternalist feminism of, 8–9, 62, 78–81, 129, 272 n.60; ‘‘My Ancestors,’’ 68–69; ‘‘The New Mothers of a New World,’’ 272 n.60; personal genealogy of, 61, 65–70; on race mixing, 61, 70–71, 74–75, 77– 78, 93–97, 245, 268 nn.26, 28; relationship to Beecher family, 67, 69; and E. A. Ross, 70, 72–73, 90, 268 n.22; on sexuality, 62– 64, 79–80, 82–83, 92–105; ‘‘A Suggestion on the Negro Problem,’’ 74; With Her in Ourland, 89–91; Women and Economics, 65, 82, 88, 93–94, 285 n.28; ‘‘The Yellow Wallpaper,’’ 77, 82. See also Herland Gilman, Sander L., 52, 166–170, 179–184; on anti-Semitism, 167, 179–180; on Freud, 167, 169, 179–180; on gender, 167–168;

on incest, 169–170, 182–184; on Jewish language, 167, 179–180 Gilroy, Paul: and ‘‘Black Atlantic,’’ 13; and ‘‘raciology,’’ 53, 55–56, 247 n.4 Gliddon, George, 56–57 Goldberg, David Theo, 52 Gough, Val, 82–83, 273 n.64 Gramsci, Antonio, 13 Grant, Madison, 72, 188 Gubar, Susan, 86–87, 89, 228. See also Gilbert, Sandra Haggard, Rider, 86 Hall, Stuart, 13–14, 209 Haraway, Donna, 277 n.18 Harris, Cheryl, 20–21 Hartmann, Heidi, 111 Hegel, G. W. F., 48, 52 Hennessy, Rosemary, 114–115 Herland (Gilman), 77–105, 129; colonialism in, 83–88, 90–91, 96; eugenics in, 90, 93–98; feminist criticism on, 81–85; origin story of, 79–80; patriarchy in, 81, 83, 85–86; race in, 78–87, 94–100; rape scene in, 95–97; reproduction in, 79–80, 129; sexuality in, 93–105. See also Gilman, Charlotte Perkins History of Sexuality (Foucault), 43–44 Horsman, Reginald, 136–137 Howells, William Dean, 65, 158 Huiswood, Otto E., 210 Human Genome Project, 228 Hunter, Robert, 70 Hybridity, 56–57, 236, 238. See also Lee, Daniel; Miscegenation Imagined Communities (Anderson), 26–33 Immigration: restriction against, 70–74, 76–77, 188–189, 229–

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Immigration (continued ) 230, 245, 266 n.14, 267 n.19; to United States, 53–54, 70–71, 75– 77, 266 n.17, 267 n.20; ‘‘Yellow Peril,’’ 72 Imperialism: and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 83–91, 96; Lenin on, 209–210; treatment by Benedict Anderson, 32; treatment by W. E. B Du Bois, 11, 199–202, 208–215, 221–226 Incest: Freud on, 161–165, 182–186. See also Engels, Friedrich: on kinship; Morgan, Lewis Henry: on kinship Irigaray, Luce, 82 Irish: Nietzsche on, 53–55; as purveyors of racism, 262 n.60; racialization of, 54–55, 263 n.69 Iroquois: Friedrich Engels on: 122, 137; Lewis Henry Morgan on, 121–123, 129–133, 136–137. See also Native Americans ‘‘Is America Too Hospitable?’’ (Gilman), 72–74 Italians: Nietzsche on, 53–55; racialization of, 54–55, 262 n.64, 263 n.69

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Jacobson, Matthew Frye, 21 Jakobson, Janet, 104 James, Joy, 191, 295 n.9 Jargon. See Jews: language of Jefferson, Thomas, 75 Jews, 10, 146–147, 165–171, 179– 186; Freud and, 10, 146, 159, 165, 169–171, 174–175, 184– 186, 281 n.2, 290 n.57; hysteria of, 165–166, 170–171, 174–175, 178, 181; language of (Yiddish, Jargon, Mauscheln), 167, 178– 181; Nietzsche and, 52–55, 261 n.57; racialization of, 146, 165, 169–171, 180–181; sexuality of,

165–166, 169–171, 181–182. See also Anti-Semitism Jim Crow Laws, 41–42, 199, 223, 259 n.44 Jones, Ernest, 159, 175–176, 293 n.70 Josephs, Gloria, 111–112 Kac, Eduardo: Genesis, 239–246, 305 n.19; and translation, 243– 246 Kinship: Etienne Balibar on, 38, 141– 142; Friedrich Engels on, 115–119, 122–125, 128, 135–137, 141–142; Donna Haraway on, 226; Lewis Henry Morgan on, 117, 119, 121–123, 128–133, 135–137; and national identity, 133–136, 141– 142, 144, 189; and racial identity, 38, 104–105, 135–137, 141–142, 189, 212–215. See also Genealogy: of nation, nationalism Knox, Robert, 56 Koestenbaum, Wayne, 178, 294 n.74 Krafft-Ebing, Richard von, 166 Kristeva, Julia, 82, 255 n.20 Lane, Ann J., 77–78, 89 Lee, Daniel, 234–236, 238–239 Lenin, V. I. (Vladimir Ilyich), 209– 210 Lévi-Strauss, Claude, 116 The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Gilman), 61–62, 65–69 Lloyd, David, 52 Loos, Adolf, 100, 157–158 Luxemburg, Rosa, 107 Maine, Henry, 119–121 Malthus, Thomas, 6–7 Marcus, Steven, 43 Marr, Wilhelm, 181 Marx, Karl, 6, 110, 149, 274 n.1; and Friedrich Engels, 106–144; feminist responses to, 106–107,

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140; The German Ideology, 108; on Lewis Henry Morgan, 116– 117, 140–141; on the ‘‘National Question,’’ 210, 278 n.23. See also Engels, Friedrich; Origin of the Family Private Property and the State Marxism, 1, 13, 34–36, 106–144; and ‘‘black belt’’ thesis, 211–212; W. E. B. Du Bois and, 199–201, 209–212; and feminism, 3–4, 9, 106–117, 140–141, 143–144. See also Comintern (Communist International); Engels, Friedrich; Marx, Karl Maternal body, 4, 16–17, 21–23, 40–41, 166, 176–178, 188–198, 201, 204–209, 212–215, 218, 225; hysterical, 166, 176–178, 293 n.73; racialization of, 17, 21, 23, 40–41, 188–190, 192–193, 195– 198, 201, 204–209, 212–215, 218, 225. See also Reproduction Matriarchal theory, 120–125. See also Morgan, Lewis Henry: on kinship Mauscheln. See Jews: language of McClintock, Anne, 24–25 McKay, Claude, 210 McLennan, J. F., 120–122, 141 ‘‘Melting Pot,’’ 74 Michaels, Walter Benn, 228 Miller, Larry, 233 Miscegenation, 17, 29–31, 57–58, 74–75, 93–94, 163, 188, 192–193, 198, 238–239; as crime, 20, 251 n.4; and Egypt, 56–58; 1864 pamphlet on, 57–58, 263 nn.70–71; etymology of, 57–58, 238–239; Gilman on, 74–75, 93–94; laws against, 18–19; ‘‘subgenation’’ as contra, 264 n.72 Modern episteme, 47–48, 239, 246, 249 n.9

Morgan, Lewis Henry, 9, 103, 115– 133, 135–137, 140–141; Ancient Society, 115–116, 125–133; Friedrich Engels on, 9, 110, 115–119, 122–125, 133–137, 142–143; on ethnical periods, 126–128, 132; on Iroquois, 121–123, 129–133, 136– 137; on kinship, 117, 119, 121–123, 128–133, 135–137, 140–143; on private property, 123–125; treatment of race, 126–133; treatment of time, 126–128. See also Engels, Friedrich; Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State Mosse, George, 24 Mullen, Harryette, 42, 187 ‘‘My Ancestors’’ (Gilman), 68–69 Naifei, Ding, 101, 264 n.4 Nation, 11–13; Kate Chopin on, 16– 23; Friedrich Engels on, 117–118, 139–141; etymology of, 28–29; genealogy of, 37, 61–62, 80, 188– 189, 193–199, 218; racialization of, 16–19, 22–23, 30–43, 61–62, 70–77, 118, 134–136, 138–140, 188–189, 192–193; as white, Anglo-Saxon, 21–23, 40–43, 189, 204. See also Anderson, Benedict; Balibar, Etienne; Gellner, Ernest; Nationalism Nationalism: Benedict Anderson on, 24–33, 35–37, 39, 295 n.7; Etienne Balibar on, 34–41, 295 n.7; conjoined with racism, 8, 31– 39, 62–63, 104–105, 188–189, 193, 196–197; conjoined with sexism, 36–39; feminist theories of, 24– 25, 64, 140–144; Gellner, Ernest on, 24–26, 30–33, 35–36, 39. See also Nation Native Americans, 12, 37, 71, 107, 122, 125–131; Friedrich Engels on, 122, 137; Lewis Henry Morgan

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Native Americans (continued ) on, 121–123, 125–133, 135–137; nationalist discourse and, 136–137 ‘‘The New Mothers of a New World’’ (Gilman), 272 n.60 ‘‘New Women,’’ 78–80, 90–93, 284 n.15 Nicholson, Linda, 117 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 8, 11–12, 15, 43–55, 63–64, 217; and antiSemitism, 52–53, 261 n.57; on Egypt, 55–58; Foucault on, 44–49; genealogical method of, 8, 44–46, 48–49, 60, 63–64; on Germany, 45–46, 50–53, 55; on Irish, 53–55; on Italians, 53–55; on Jews, 52– 53, 261 n.57; On the Genealogy of Morals, 48–51, 55–56, 58; on race, 45–46, 48, 51–55, 263 n.71 ‘‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History’’ (Foucault), 44–48 Nott, Josiah, 56–57

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On the Genealogy of Morals (Nietzsche), 48–51, 55–56, 58 Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (Engels), 9, 106– 110, 115–125, 133–144; Iroquois in, 122–125; kinship in, 9, 115– 118, 122–125, 134–135, 140–143; Marx in, 106, 116–117; matriarchal gens in, 119, 122–125, 128, 133, 144; matriarchal theory in, 120–125; Lewis Henry Morgan in, 110, 116–119, 122–125, 132–133, 136–137; patriarchy in, 108–110, 124–125; state formation in, 117, 133–141; treatment of nation in, 117–118, 139–141; treatment of race in, 117–118, 128–129, 135–141. See also Engels, Friedrich Origin of the Species (Darwin), 147– 148

Pace v. Alabama, 18 Pan-Africa, 204–205, 208, 222. See also Dark Princess: ‘‘racial globality’’ Pan-Asia, 204–205, 208, 222. See also Dark Princess: racial globality in Pappenheim, Bertha, 172, 178, 180, 294 n.81. See also ‘‘Anna O.’’ Parker, Ely S., 116 Parry, Amie, 99, 264 n.4 Patriarchal theory, 119–121 Patriarchy: Friedrich Engels on, 108–110, 124–125 Pellegrini, Ann, 167–168, 290 n.56 Plessy v. Ferguson, 18–19, 41–42, 258 n.42, 259 n.44 Post-structuralism, 113–115, 245 Psychoanalysis, 9–10, 159–186; birth of, 159–160, 171–173. See also Breuer, Josef; Freud, Sigmund Queer Nation, 101, 274 n.78. See also Herland: sexuality in Queer sexuality, 92–93, 95–105, 111–112, 232 Race: Etienne Balibar on, 34– 35, 189, 256 n.30; as biological essence, 35, 37, 189, 225, 227– 229; Darwin on, 10, 145, 147–148, 151–156, 159; W. E. B. Du Bois on, 186–226; Friedrich Engels on, 106, 117–118, 128–129, 135– 141; Michel Foucault on, 45, 48, 144, 260 n.52; Ernest Gellner on, 32–33; and genomics, 227– 231, 236–246; Irish as, 54–55, 263 n.69; Italians as, 54–55, 262 n.64, 263 n.69; Jews as, 146, 165, 169–171, 180–181; as legal construct, 18–22, 41–42, 259 n.44; Lewis Henry Morgan on, 126– 133; Nietzsche on, 45–46, 48,

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51–55, 263 n.71; in relation to nation, 16–19, 22–23, 30–43, 61– 62, 70–77, 118, 134–136, 138–140, 188–189, 192–193; as reproducible essence, 4, 16–23, 70–74, 94–97, 118, 132, 153–156, 188– 189, 192–193, 196–199, 212–214, 229–232. See also Miscegenation; ‘‘Race/reproduction bind’’ Race mixture. See Gilman, Charlotte Perkins: race mixing; Micegenation ‘‘Race/reproduction bind,’’ 5–7, 17– 18, 24–25, 34, 36, 47, 64, 91, 105, 107, 145–146, 148–149, 186, 189, 215, 223–226, 229–232, 239, 242, 246 Race suicide, 57–59, 70–77, 90, 188–189, 204. See also Ross, E. A.; Walker, Francis Amasa Racial globality. See Du Bois, W. E. B. Racial science: nineteenth century, 8, 32, 48, 53–55, 145–146, 167, 188, 217–220, 223–224 Racism: Benedict Anderson on, 30– 33, 257 n.36; Etienne Balibar on; 34–38, 142, 189, 257 n.36; conjoined with nationalism, 8, 31–39, 62–63, 104–105, 140–144, 188– 189, 193, 196–197; conjoined with sexism, 36–39 Rapp, Rayna, 108 Reconstruction, 8, 18–19, 22, 37, 189–190, 192–193; black family during, 41, 207–209 Reed, John, 210, 301 n.44 Renan, Ernest, 15 Reproduction: Etienne Balibar on, 37, 257 n.34; as biological process, 1–2, 28, 129–132, 139–140; Darwin on, 153–156; feminist theories of, 3–4; as keyword, 2–3; as labor, 3, 4, 108–109; as modern

concept, 1–2, 4, 209; of race, 4, 16–23, 70–74, 94–97, 118, 132, 153–156, 188–189, 192–193, 196– 199, 212–214, 229–232. See also Maternal body; Miscegenation; ‘‘Race/reproduction bind’’ Reproductive technologies, 4, 39, 230–234, 244, 257 n.37 Rich, Adrienne, 3, 82, 279 n.27 Ritvo, Lucille, 158, 286 n.31 Roach, Joseph, 15 Robb, Susan, 223 Roediger, David, 21 Rogers, Daniel, 12 Rome, Roman, 122, 134–135 Roosevelt, Theodore, 70 Ross, E. A., 70–73, 90, 188–189 Roy, M. N., 210 Rubin, Gayle, 92 Saks, Eva, 20–21 Sanger, Margaret, 6 Santayana, George, 25–26 Schönerer, Georg von, 180 Schorske, Carl, 180 Slavery (U.S.), 40–41, 134, 204– 208; Kate Chopin on, 40–41, 252 n.4; W. E. B. Du Bois on, 204– 208; Charlotte Perkins Gilman on, 75–77; maternity in, 206–208 ‘‘Sorrow songs’’ (Du Bois), 198– 199, 201, 206–208, 222–223, 298 nn.25–26 The Souls of Black Folk (Du Bois), 11, 190–199, 201, 206, 208, 213, 215, 222 Spencer, Herbert, 157 Spillers, Hortense, 183 Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty, 112– 113, 245, 275 n.2 Stoddard, Lothrop, 72, 188 Stokes, Rose Pastor, 211 Strachey, James, 175–176, 181, 293 n.70

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Strauss, Claude-Levi, 116 Studies in Hysteria (Breuer and Freud), 164, 171, 173, 175, 178, 291 n.62. See also ‘‘Anna O.’’ ‘‘A Suggestion on the Negro Problem’’ (Gilman), 74 Sulloway, Frank, 158–159, 287 n.32 Surrogacy: gestational, 231, 304 n.6 Transatlantic, 7, 12–14, 233, 242, 244, 250 n.11 Transgenics, 236–246. See also Chalmers, Katherine; Kac, Eduardo Translation, 242–246. See also Freud, Sigmund: use of genealogical metaphor; Kac, Eduardo ‘‘The True Born English-Man’’ (Defoe), 26–27 United States: citizenship of, 21, 23, 218; nationalism, 16–17, 20, 22–25, 188–189, 217–219; racial formation of, 16–17, 21, 23–25, 188–189, 204, 218–220

189, 204, 218; as property, 20–21, 253 n.10 Williams, Raymond, 2–3, 252 n.6; on keywords, 2–3, 247 n.2; on the structure of feeling, 208–209, 223, 300 n.38 William the Conqueror, 67–68 With Her in Ourland (Gilman), 89–91 Women and Economics (Gilman), 65, 82, 88, 93–94, 285 n.28 Woodward, C. Van, 19, 22 World systems theory, 31–32, 35–36; and Wallerstein, Immanuel, 34–35 Wright, Richard, 209 ‘‘Yellow Peril,’’ 72 ‘‘The Yellow Wallpaper’’ (Gilman), 77, 82 Yiddish. See Jews: language of

Veblen, Thorstein, 65, 100, 157–158

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Wald, Priscilla, 197 Walker, Francis Amasa, 70–71, 188, 267 n.20 Wallace, Alfred Russell, 149 Wallerstein, Immanuel, 34–35 Warner, Michael, 102–104 Westermarck, Edward, 184 Whiteness: and imperialism, 199– 200; legal valuation of, 20–21, 41–42; as basis of nation, national belonging, 21–23, 40–43, 188–

348

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Chapters 2 and 5 are revised and expanded versions of previously published articles. Chapter 2 appeared as ‘‘Writing Feminist Genealogy: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Racial Nationalism and the Reproduction of Maternalist Feminism,’’ in Feminist Studies 27.2 (Summer 2001): 271–302. Chapter 5 appeared as ‘‘Reproducing Racial Globality: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism,’’ in Social Text 67 (Summer 2001): 15–41. Reprinted by permission.

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Alys Eve Weinbaum is an assistant professor of English at the University of Washington. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Weinbaum, Alys Eve Wayward reproductions : genealogies of race and nation in transatlantic modern thought / by Alys Eve Weinbaum. p. cm. — (Next wave) Includes bibliographical references and index. isbn 0-8223-3303-1 (cloth : alk. paper) isbn 0-8223-3315-5 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Race—Philosophy. 2. Race awareness—History. 3. Genealogy (Philosophy) 4. Human reproduction— Social aspects. I. Title. II. Series. ht1523.w45 2004

305.8'001—dc22

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2003022989