goto Appendx main menu Emancipation Theory : Milton S. F. Curry
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In "Resistance to Theory," Paul de Man derides critical arsenals that attempt to dismiss "the other" by way of falsification: 
    It is a recurrent strategy of any anxiety to defuse what it considers threatening by magnification or minimization, by attributing to it claims to power of which it is bound to fall short. If a cat is called a tiger it can easily be dismissed as a paper tiger; the question remains however why one was so scared of the cat in the first place. The same tactic works in reverse: calling the cat a mouse and then deriding it for its pretense to be mighty. Rather than being drawn into this polemical whirlpool, it might be better to try to call the cat a cat . . .13 
Architectural theory, it would seem, might be able to learn from this rather cogent writing to 

A new way of approaching "the text" is to think of the text and textual tropes as concomitantly related to architecture- not as applique, but as transformative means of accomplishing similar tasks in architectural context.

avert the obfuscation of black experience or lesbian experience or Native American experience (intentional or not) within existing white, colonial, or otherwise deficient and impoverished categories of theoretical production and critique. If not averted, the promulgation of the types  of discourse mentioned above will result in something akin to white abolitionist production dating to the 1830s, in which black experience had to be subjugated to white literary codes for inclusion in published texts solicited by the abolitionists. There, in that tumultuous time, black experience—partly because of its misrepresentation—was characterized by sanctioned stories that reiterated acts done to the slaves and thus portrayed the slave as disproportionately helpless physically, spiritually, and mentally in the face of everyday terror. This passage by John Sekora is worth noting: 
    Most white sponsors of slave narratives from 1760 to 1865 seem to have believed that all important aspects of a slave could be told by recounting what was done to him or her. White power over black lives was so great, so disproportionately great that the slave was recipient/victim—at most re-actor. Under the heading of "Slave Narrative," antislavery periodicals frequently reprinted portions of Weld's American Slavery As It Is; particularly favored was the story of slaveholders for sport tying several large cats about the neck of a bound slave, then goading the animals until they scratched and clawed the slave to death. This self-absorbed psychology was embodied in the language of abolition as a whole. Because abolitionists did not think beyond white institutional categories, they could not reason without reasoning falsely.Appendx 1 page break 74 | 7514 
The middle-class project—a hegemonic project, a classist, racist, and sexist project—has been to neutralize cultural production from those on the "outside" presumably occupying proletariat space, while those on the "inside" occupying bourgeois space misappropriate, aestheticize, and overembellish that same cultural production not in the service of intellectual understanding, but invisibly in the service of maintaining their own status as intellectual and cultural elites. 

What then are the intellectual challenges for us? Theory is the site of both cultural authority and cultural resistance. The rarefied discursive space may need to be temporarily abandoned to communicate to a broader audience. The task of the "public" or "humanist" intellectual (of which there are too few) is to traverse multiple audiences, discourses, and disciplines—all the while adhering to an intellectual, social, and cultural commitment to pry open hegemonic infrastructure and allow access to those who have been artificially excluded from these structures. What Appendx 1 page break 75 | 76 happens then is, as it should be, impossible to predict. 

In examining the call and response between architecture and other disciplines, one must also examine the call and response between different manifestations of spatial meaning from different authors. A new way of approaching "the text" is to think of the text and of textual tropes as concomitantly related to architecture—not as appliqué, but as transformative means of accomplishing similar tasks in an architectural context. For instance, baby killing in Toni Morrison's Beloved may find its equivalency in architecture, not in a design for an insane asylum or funerary building, but in a conception of architecture as having the power (existent in some plausible proposal for a building or space) to overthrow or throw into question the regimes of power that produce ghettoization of urban areas, for example. Thinking beyond the compositional, visual applications of textual strategies to a much larger project or series of conceptual pathways will enable those on both sides of the disci Appendx 1 page break 76 | 77 plinary boundary to enrich practices without resorting to reductionist representations of "the other." next page

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