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Abstract

Aesthetics, race, and nation are densely imbricated with one another. This essay examines their interactions in a newspaper column that describes an aesthetic confrontation between a presumably Arab taxi driver and his passenger, a white European-Dutch columnist. In this column, taste engenders acts of identification and abjection, transmits projections of fear, and underwrites a division of labor and virtue. It thereby serves as a racial border patrolling technology and institutes racial boundaries. To clarify the racial power of aesthetic constellations in the taxicab case, the paper turns to the dualities and integrations that theorists such as Addison, Baumgarten, Schiller, and Hegel have historically located at the center of their conceptions of the aesthetic. Unwrapping the disciplinary operations sustained in the taxi scenario by differentially available separations and integrations between mind and body, public and private, individuality and sociality, the essay investigates what follows for an understanding of aesthetic disciplinarity.

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Esthetics Commons

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