Obama as Text: The crisis of double-consciousness

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The argument of this essay is that given the unique circumstances of his life, including his location in multiple spaces of cultural identity, Obama is an indeterminate signifier. To textualize Obama, we must account for how the narrative of his life is structured by need and demand as he tries to comprehend his own location and dislocation in American culture and to give meaning to the gap between the idea of what he is and what others assume him to be. In this regard, Obama is probably the quintessential subject of what W. E. B. Du Bois famously described as 'doubleconsciousness'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-225
Number of pages15
JournalComparative American Studies
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Arts and Humanities


  • Autobiography
  • Double-consciousness
  • Identity
  • Signifier


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