Black Orpheus, Barack Obama’s Governmentality


  • Donald Pease Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA


Parole chiave:

exceptionalism, Obama


This essay constitutes a preliminary effort to explain the state fantasy with which Barack Obama hegemonized an alternative to the biopolitical settlement normalizing George W. Bush’s Global War on Terror (Pease 2009). In what follows, I intend to argue that Obama has not utterly displaced Bush’s Homeland State of Exception but that Obama’s governmentality presupposes it as the structuring logic through which he transformed the US state’s relationship with domestic and planetary peoples. I will be interested in particular in the role that Obama’s complex negotiation with the congeries of racial fantasies that he found condensed in the figure and the film Black Orpheus played in Barack Obama’s governmentality.


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Biografia autore

Donald Pease, Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA

Donald E. Pease, professor of English, The Ted and Helen Geisel Third Century
Professor in the Humanities, Chair of the Dartmouth Liberal Studies Program and
winner of the 1981 Distinguished Teaching Award at Dartmouth, is an authority on
nineteenth and twentieth-century American literature and literary theory. In the
summer of 1986 he brought the School of Criticism and Theory to Dartmouth. In 1996
he founded the Dartmouth Institute in American Studies.
The author of over one hundred articles on figures in American and British literature,
Pease is the co-editor of American Renaissance Rediscovered and the editor of seven
other volumes including The Cultures of United States Imperialism (1992), The Futures
of American Studies (2002), and The New American Exceptionalism (2009).
Professor Pease serves on the Board of Governors of the Clinton Institute in American
Studies, and he received the Faculty Award for Service to Alumni Continuing
Education in 1999, awarded by Dartmouth's Alumni Council. In 2000 he was the Drue
Heinz Visiting Professor at Oxford University. Over the last five years, Pease has been
Distinguished Visiting Professor at the JFK Institute in American Studies at the Freie
Universitaett, Berlin; the State University of New York at Buffalo, and the University of
Rome at Tor Vegata.




Come citare

Pease, Donald. 2011. «Black Orpheus, Barack Obama’s Governmentality». Altre Modernità, settembre, 1-28.



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