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American ObscurantismHistory and the Visual in U.S. Literature and Film$
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Peter Lurie

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199797318

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199797318.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

“Rememory,” the Visual, and America’s Future History: Race and the Digital Turn

Chapter:
(p.153) Conclusion
Source:
American Obscurantism
Author(s):

Peter Lurie

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199797318.003.0006

This book concludes by relating its discussion of visualizing history to the media and the public response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It shows their overly mediated depiction to have a precedent in Civil War photography, and it avers the shared impulse to visualize attending each of these epochal historical events. The Conclusion reads Toni Morrison’s Beloved as offering a salutary “forgetful remembrance” of history in the novel’s model of “rememory” and as an alternative to historicist criticism, as well as to U.S. culture’s visual archiving of a supposedly accessible and remediable past. The discussion also links Morrison’s work to post-9/11 poetry and to contemporary and recent African-American cinema, which, like Beloved, shows the occasion and the need for a willful look forward for both racialized subjects and for the U.S. polity generally in a postdigital age.

Keywords:   9/11, Civil War, photography, digital media, Beloved, Galway Kinnell, vision, Killer of Sheep, Philando Castile, African-American cinema

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