Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Obama’s Call for a More Perfect Union

Obama’s Call for a More Perfect Union Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 8, No. 2 (December 2011), 57­67 Editions Rodopi © 2011 Noëlle McAfee This article considers the speech given by then Senator Barack Obama on race in America, on the collective trauma he is pointing to and the need for working through and what that means in psychoanalytic and pragmatic terms. Though Obama may have only tangentially been alluding to a Freudian notion of working through and probably was not thinking of John Dewey's work, the insights of that speech can be deepened by drawing on both psychoanalytic theory and American pragmatism's attention to transactions, habits, and environing conditions. "People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them." ­ Ralph Waldo Emerson 1. Obama's Race Speech Recall March 2008, the heat of the Democratic presidential primary race, when Barack Obama's candidacy had amazing momentum against his rival Hillary Clinton; and when his minister, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, was caught on videotape saying what seemed to be hateful things about America, that is, white America. Here we were at this historic moment when it seemed for the first time actually possible that an African-American man, who almost seemed http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Obama’s Call for a More Perfect Union

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 8 (2): 57 – Apr 21, 2011

Loading next page...
 
/lp/brill/obama-s-call-for-a-more-perfect-union-T38yk4BZ0v
Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2011 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000201
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 8, No. 2 (December 2011), 57­67 Editions Rodopi © 2011 Noëlle McAfee This article considers the speech given by then Senator Barack Obama on race in America, on the collective trauma he is pointing to and the need for working through and what that means in psychoanalytic and pragmatic terms. Though Obama may have only tangentially been alluding to a Freudian notion of working through and probably was not thinking of John Dewey's work, the insights of that speech can be deepened by drawing on both psychoanalytic theory and American pragmatism's attention to transactions, habits, and environing conditions. "People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them." ­ Ralph Waldo Emerson 1. Obama's Race Speech Recall March 2008, the heat of the Democratic presidential primary race, when Barack Obama's candidacy had amazing momentum against his rival Hillary Clinton; and when his minister, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, was caught on videotape saying what seemed to be hateful things about America, that is, white America. Here we were at this historic moment when it seemed for the first time actually possible that an African-American man, who almost seemed

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2011

There are no references for this article.