WARN Podcast Interview With Richard Slotkin

by The Chauncey DeVega Show • Uploaded: January 28, 2013 20:55



About WARN Podcast Interview With Richard Slotkin:

In the first of a two-part interview about mass shootings in America, I was lucky to speak with Professor Ann Little (author of Abraham in Arms: War and Gender in Colonial New England regarding the connections between white masculinity, the Gun Right, and the historical antecedents which drive a fetish-like obsession with guns on the part of many people in the United States.   

Our conversation was rich and revealing. We worked through some very delicate issues--such as the relationship between Whiteness, aggrieved white masculinity, and how the media framed the Newtown Massacre--that are little discussed by the corporate media.   

The second part of this interview features Professor Richard Slotkin, the Olin Professor of English and American Studies at Wesleyan University. He is one of the foremost experts on the connection(s) between America's gun culture, our national mythologies of the West and the frontier, and how such foundational social fictions impart meaning, legitimacy, and identity to the "gun rights" movement in the present.   

Slotkin's book Gunfighter Nation is a go to text for those interested in the historical foundations of America's centuries-long gun culture. His thesis about the connection(s) between what he terms "regeneration through violence," masculinity, and firearms use have been widely discussed--most recently, by the NY Times and its exploration of the movie Django Unchained.  

We discussed a range of issues ranging from the relationship between guns and American political development; to the Newtown shooting and the connections between the Right, the gun lobby, and neoliberalism/hyper conservatism; and how racial formation and citizenship intersected in the World War One era.

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