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FERGUSON, Kathy. "Discourses of Danger"

Wednesday 20 April 2011, by ps

Author’s Abstract

Government, media, and medical accounts of Emma Goldman converged to
create her public presence in the U.S. as a “dangerous individual.”The pre-
vailing discourses constituted Goldman as violent,utilizing her alleged men-
ace 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 consti-
tuted 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.

Political Theory (October 2008) 36: 735-761.