Titlebar

Export bibliographic data
Literature by the same author
plus on the publication server
plus at Google Scholar

 

Bigger(‘s) Agency : Performative Signifyin(g) and African American Identity in Richard Wright’s Native Son

Title data

Müller, Sebastian:
Bigger(‘s) Agency : Performative Signifyin(g) and African American Identity in Richard Wright’s Native Son.
In: Amerikastudien. Vol. 63 (2018) Issue 3 . - pp. 337-350.
ISSN 0340-2827

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

The process of race-thinking has constituted a problem for African American identity formation ever since the pseudo-scientific notion of race was established in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By approaching Bigger Thomas, the protagonist of Richard Wright’s Native Son through a focus on gender and racial performativity (Butler, Ehlers, Fleetwood) and signifyin(g) (Gates), the article contributes to existing scholarship on race-thinking and subjection to racialized discourses. It argues that Bigger’s identity is not only socially and culturally constructed by race-thinking but through dimensions of performativity that allow Bigger to question, contest, and reinscribe his own (African American) identity in transformative, creative ways that counter racial stereotypes fixed by the process of race-thinking. Bigger’s performative signifyin(g), however, also runs the risk of reinforcing stereotypes through imitative practices, which limits the usefulness of performative signifyin(g) as a subversive practice.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: race; identity; gender; signifyin(g); parody; African American literature
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Professorship American Studies
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Professorship American Studies > Professorship American Studies - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jeanne Cortiel
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 800 Literature > 810 American literature in English
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2019 08:13
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2019 08:13
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/52442