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date: 16 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This essay accounts for the efficacy of Levinas’s conceptions of alterity, embodiment, and intersubjectivity for engaging the question of race. It traces the body of scholarship that explicitly deploys Levinas’s work toward this end, as well as existing scholarship on the question of race that might be made more radical by utilizing Levinas in this way. Ultimately, I position Levinas’s rethinking of identity, intersubjectivity, and embodiment as critical tools with which to think about the political experiences of the racialized body, and about the formation of political solidarities around racialized experience. I understand such questions to be, most fundamentally, questions about the meaning of alterity in the space of politics. To that end, the question of race has much to gain from Levinas, insofar as Levinas’s philosophy is, if anything at all, a philosophy of alterity.

Keywords: Levinas, race, embodiment, politics, identity, solidarity, community, alterity, other

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