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Title page for ETD etd-07242009-064320


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Johnson, Amanda Louise
Author's Email Address amandajohnson1983@gmail.com
URN etd-07242009-064320
Title Reading What isn't There: Empiricism, Delusion, and the Construction of Race and Racism in Othello
Degree Master of Arts
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jonathan Lamb Committee Co-Chair
Kathryn Schwarz Committee Co-Chair
Keywords
  • empiricism
  • Othello
  • race
  • racism
  • jealousy
  • delusion
Date of Defense 2009-07-24
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This paper recovers the subjectivity of the Moor, in order to better understand the presentation of racial difference in the play in terms of the play's understanding of visual evidence. Othello's aggressive hermeneutic demonstrates how empiricism can undo itself, and foster an epistemological breakdown. The result is madness, and the notion of Othello's racial inferiority functions as a cooperating delusion. This analysis of Othello's hermeneutic crisis reveals the limits of empirical thought and 'scientific' inquiry in the recovery of truth.
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