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  • Acknowledgments ix

    Introduction 1

    1. Geneaology Unbound: Reproduction and Contestation of the Racial Nation 15

    2. Writing Feminist Geneaology: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Reproduction of Racial Nationalism 61

    3. Engels’s Originary Ruse: Race and Reproduction in the Story of Capital 106

    4. Sexual Selection and the Birth of Psychoanalysis: Darwin, Freud, and the Universalization of Wayward Reproduction 145

    5. The Sexual Politics of Black Internationalism: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Reproduction of Racial Globality 187

    Coda: Gene/alogies for a New Millennium 227

    Notes 247

    Works Cited 307

    Index 339
  • “Alys Eve Weinbaum offers an array of transformative reassessments of major canonical texts of literature, social theory, and science, marking the heretofore unrecognized centrality of what she calls the ‘race/reproduction bind’ to these texts. Wayward Reproductions is an important book with substantial political as well as scholarly implications.”—Miranda Joseph, author of Against the Romance of Community — N/A

    “I cannot imagine a more ambitious or important project. Wayward Reproductions provides new and exciting readings and interpretations of some of the foundational texts of modern intellectual thought. Alys Eve Weinbaum theorizes reproduction as a concept that weaves race and sex together and in so doing constructs or resists nationalism.”—Gail Bederman, author of Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880–1917 — N/A

    “What is very brilliant about this book is the way it opens readers’ eyes to specific ways of seeing the work of racialization and its distinctive role in ideas of nationalism not only within a number of classic texts but also in the critical traditions built up around them. The object lesson here is a very politically powerful one.”—Sarah Franklin, coeditor of Relative Values: Reconfiguring Kinship Studies — N/A

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  • Description

    Wayward Reproductions breaks apart and transfigures prevailing understandings of the interconnection among ideologies of racism, nationalism, and imperialism. Alys Eve Weinbaum demonstrates how these ideologies were founded in large part on what she calls “the race/reproduction bind”––the notion that race is something that is biologically reproduced. In revealing the centrality of ideas about women’s reproductive capacity to modernity’s intellectual foundations, Weinbaum highlights the role that these ideas have played in naturalizing oppression. She argues that attention to how the race/reproduction bind is perpetuated across national and disciplinary boundaries is a necessary part of efforts to combat racism.

    Gracefully traversing a wide range of discourses––including literature, evolutionary theory, early anthropology, Marxism, feminism, and psychoanalysis––Weinbaum traces a genealogy of the race/reproduction bind within key intellectual formations of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She examines two major theorists of genealogical thinking—Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault—and unearths the unacknowledged ways their formulations link race and reproduction. She explores notions of kinship and the replication of racial difference that run through Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s work; Marxist thinking based on Friedrich Engel’s The Origin of the Family; Charles Darwin’s theory of sexual selection; and Sigmund Freud’s early studies on hysteria. She also describes W. E. B. Du Bois’s efforts to transcend ideas about the reproduction of race that underwrite citizenship and belonging within the United States. In a coda, Weinbaum brings the foregoing analysis to bear on recent genomic and biotechnological innovations.

    About The Author(s)

    Alys Eve Weinbaum is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Washington, Seattle.

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