Marginalization and Contemporary Culture
448 pp., 7 x 10 in, 73 b&w illus.
- Published: November 7, 1990
- Published: February 11, 1992
Out There addresses the theme of cultural marginalization - the process whereby various groups are excluded from access to and participation in the dominant culture. It engages fundamental issues raised by attempts to define such concepts as mainstream, minority, and "other," and opens up new ways of thinking about culture and representation. All of the texts deal with questions of representation in the broadest sense, encompassing not just the visual but also the social and psychological aspects of cultural identity. Included are important theoretical writings by Homi Bhabha, Helene Cixous, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, and Monique Wittig. Their work is juxtaposed with essays on more overtly personal themes, often autobiographical, by Gloria Anzaldua, Bell Hooks, and Richard Rodriguez, among others. This rich anthology brings together voices from many different marginalized groups - groups that are often isolated from each other as well as from the dominant culture. It joins issues of gender, race, sexual preference, and class in one forum but without imposing a false unity on the diverse cultures represented. Each piece in the book subtly changes the way every other piece is read. While several essays focus on specific issues in art, such as John Yau's piece on Wilfredo Lam in the Museum of Modern Art, or James Clifford's on collecting art, others draw from debates in literature, film, and critical theory to provide a much broader context than is usually found in work aimed at an art audience. Topics range from the functions of language to the role of public art in the city, from gay pornography to the meanings of black hair styles. Out There also includes essays by Rosalyn Deutsche, Richard Dyer, Kobena Mercer, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, Gerald Vizenor and Simon Watney, as well as by the editors.
Copublished with the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York Distributed by The MIT Press.
Out There collects classic essays - Monique Wittig's 'The Straight Mind,' Gayatri Spivak's 'Explanation and Culture: Matginalia' - as well as lesser-known pieces like Richard Rodriguez's 'Complexion,' all kicked off by Cornel West's brilliant polemic 'The New Cultural Politics of Difference.' This is a magnificent compendium of non-Eurocentric, non-heterosexist writing, a manual for what West calls 'intellectual and political freedom-fighters.'