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The time and space of race: reflections on David Theo Goldberg's interrelational and comparative methodology

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Maldonado-Torres identifies and analyses key elements in the methodology of David Theo Goldberg's The Threat of Race, highlighting its relevance for ethnic studies, area studies and postcolonial studies generally, and for the study of race and ethnicity specifically. He focuses on Goldberg's conceptualization of the history or the time of race, as well as on the geopolitical and economic dimensions of race and racism. Goldberg's account of race as a 'foundational code' of modernity undergirds his perspective and the way in which these themes relate to each other, making his work relevant for the theorizing of race and racism at large, and not only for the theorization of race and neoliberalism today. To that extent, Maldonado-Torres interrogates Goldberg's view of the relation between racial naturalism and racial historicism, and his resistance to the concept of racialization. He also calls for a more detailed discussion of how racial historicism relates to ethnicity vis-a-vis race. As for the space of race, Goldberg makes substantial contributions to an interrelational understanding of contemporary racisms, going beyond typical divides between US ethnic studies and areas studies. Yet there is also work in these and other disciplines that can make further contributions to his thinking.

Keywords: David Theo Goldberg; The Threat of Race; antiracism; critical regionalisms; place; race; racism; space

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-02-01

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