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FERGUSON, Kathy E.- "Discourses of Danger: Locating Emma Goldman"
Article published on 27 October 2008

by r-c.
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Political Theory 36 (2008) 735.

Abstract

Government, media, and medical accounts of Emma Goldman converged to
create her public presence in the U.S. as a “dangerous individual.” The prevailing
discourses constituted Goldman as violent, utilizing her alleged menace
to distract attention from far more egregious violence against labor by
state and corporate forces. Goldman responded by denying, confronting, and
redirecting the alarmed gaze toward greater risks left underarticulated in
hegemonic accounts. Goldman’s bold confrontations with authorities constituted
a kind of anarchist parrhesia, fearless speech, a relentless truth-telling
practice that risked her own security in pursuit of her “beautiful ideal.” The
labor of remembering America’s history of class violence hones our attention
to the complex discursive processes by which some historical facts come to
count in prevailing narratives, while others fade into obscurity.


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