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“White Dorsality” Lecture from Dr. Wan-Chuan Kao
September 15, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Professor Wan-Chuan Kao (English, Washington & Lee University) will present a public lecture on “White Dorsality” on Thursday, September 15th at 4pm in 7191 Helen C White.
In this talk, Kao examines the imbrication of race and religion in the medieval romance The King of Tars, arguing that racialization and conversion interpellate the white Christian subject through a double inscription of violence on the material surface. But the forward trajectory towards white embodiment, Kao argues, is impossible without a backward turn to white enfleshment: the dorsality of whiteness is the structure of the flesh behind the contours of the body. The drive to fabricate and possess whiteness is what Kao terms the compulsion of habeas album: the production of the white melancholic body as flesh, thing, and property.