goto Appendx main menu Append[x]tomy : R. M. Colina
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On the issue of the "academy," I urge the editors to learn from other groups that have similarly questioned and reformed the "academy." I am specifically thinking of feminists, not because they have been successful in entering the "academy," but because they have created their own. Susan Hekman, in an article entitled "Reconstructing the Subject: Feminism, Modernism, and Postmodermsm," asserts that "Political agency is vital to the foundation of a feminist politics so feminists have attempted to create a subject that eschews the sexism of the Cartesian subject while at the same time retaining agency."1  That it is possible to rewrite the above statement in terms of the "academy," black politics, and racism requires the definition of the subject as a necessary component of theory and practice. 

The debate in postmodernism on the subject was enriched by feminist writings that questioned the way in which women are "constituted" through social constructs. These "social constructivist" feminists were accused of creating a female who was a "social dupe"-a passive, manufactured, social construct; a subject that is constituted rather than constituting, determined rather than determining, and a product of agency. Instead, what the critics proposed was a subject that is defined through the interplay of meanings, of signifieds, who creates new discourses and in turn resists oppression.2  In "A Black Manifesto" in Appendx 1, Darell Fields touches on this notion of constituted subjects in his critique of the changing terminology by which Blacks are denoted (i.e., African American, Black American, Person of Color, etc.). He writes, "I believe that these naming distinctions occur under the veil of some 'internal'... political or class-constructing activity... (T)hey are artificially proAppendx 2 page break 141 | 142duced by various political and social factions who wish to manifest social and political distinctions from which they are then able to pursue more refined sets of goals relative to their interests."3  Whether these are internal or external agencies, the "Black subject" is manufactured and reconstructed by the renaming, and as such is subject to becoming a social construct. 

This leads me to my final point, namely, how does one approach the task of constructing one's own subjective identity in light of one's aim of reconstituting the "academy?"  The subject has been judged on the basis of its passive or active role in constituting itself, the external factors that determine it, and its relation to other subjects. The latter issue of its relation to other subjects causes great controversy. When the subject is determined, it is first seen in relation to its dialectical opposition. This is problematic as it only enforces the relationship from which the subject is trying to distance itself. When the subject is seen in terms of its dialectical opposition, what occurs is the empowerment of the opposition. The subject is essentially admitting that it does not exist alone, but that it exists because it is in opposition; that it is determined, created, and defined by its oppressor. Furthermore, it suggests that to resist the agency that forms it is to question its own existence. What the editors of Appendx should present us with is "another subject," one that is not tied to historical, social, or political critique; one that creates new relationships; one that subverts the interdependence of the master and the slave and supports its own mastery in pursuit of its goals. 

It is antithetical to the position of the journal's editors to enforce exclusionary and generalist language. The journal has the opportunity to close the gap rather than to enforce differences and stereotypes. It has the opportunity to find in the common ground that all share-architecture-and ways in which liberals and conservatives, blacks and nonblacks, women and men, from various social and political groups, can enrich the practice and define an architecture of their subjective experience. 

the end R. M. Colina

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