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Race and the Ethics of Mourning in Debbie Tucker Green’s random

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2021, 34(3), pp.5-28
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama
  • Received : October 29, 2021
  • Accepted : December 7, 2021
  • Published : December 31, 2021

KIM, YOO 1

1성균관대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

A wide range of critical perspectives on debbie tucker green from cosmopolitanism to feminism, reflect the open, flexible nature of her plays that embrace even a conflict of interpretations. However, race has always been one of her main concerns and her plays have resonated in the larger context of the development of Black British drama since the 2000s, particularly in response to the contradictory position of Black drama in mainstream contexts and the ever-changing racial discourses around British racism and identity politics. With a focus on the destructive aspects of Black masculinity, contemporary Black British drama on the mainstream stage has reinforced the stereotypical biases against Black experience and culture. green has been aware of these dilemmas of Black drama in mainstream contexts. random, her 2008 monodrama on Black youth criminality abandons social realism, the predominant form of Black drama, and attempts to build an empathic relationship with the mainstream white audience rather than appealing to their liberal conscience. Centering on random, this paper evaluates green’s attempt to explore the contemporary issues of race with the ethics of vulnerability as the universal human condition. In random, the concrete social realities of racial conflict are not buried in the dogma of identity politics, and correspond to the precarious state of human rights. Race as a social entity is consistently evoked through the dramatic techniques mobilizing and subverting the audience’s prejudices, and furthermore intersects with the markers of the universal human vulnerability such as the mortal body, death and grief. green’s audiences, the racialized subjects, are encouraged to respond to the pain and sufferings of the Other through mourning. Racial prejudices contextualize the human vulnerability whereas the experience of grief provides the audience with ethics of empathy and responsibility. Chapter II examines the racial discourses in the early 21 st century with a focus on Tony Blair’s 2007 Cardiff speech and the limitations of contemporary Black drama in mainstream contexts. Chapter III and IV explore how random transforms the largely white mainstream audience into the ethical subjects, focusing respectively on the audience’s confrontation with their own racial biases and the communal experience of grief.

Citation status

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