Fictions of Emancipation: Collaborations With and Against the Law

Journal Article

The topic of emancipation has garnered a great deal of attention recently, from Jacques Ranciere’s work, now widely read by scholars, artists, and activists, to new edited collections in my field of Latin American thought, published in Spanish and English. As present and necessary as this concept is, I propose that it is so because it contains within it some of the most difficult double binds faced by the intersection of art and politics. The bind of emancipation becomes evident in contrast to its supposed synonym (according to most thesauruses) of “enfranchisement.” The latter consistently signifies the liberation of the subject: his/her freedom from confinement and admission into the rights of citizenship. Emancipation, in contrast, is a fraught process, which ultimately does not guarantee the rights of all, and at times imperils the rights of very specific subjects. Nonetheless, I argue that it is worth delving deeper into emancipation’s perils, as they reveal compelling forms of fiction that connect performance to court, and art to law.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gabara, E

Published Date

  • 2013

Published In

  • ELN: English Language Notes

Volume / Issue

  • 51 /


  • 1

Start / End Page

  • 173 - 179