Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Political Companion to Frederick Douglass$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Neil Roberts

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813175621

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813175621.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Staging Dissensus

Staging Dissensus

Frederick Douglass and “We the People”

(p.374) 13 Staging Dissensus
A Political Companion to Frederick Douglass
Jason Frank
University Press of Kentucky

This chapter explores speeches and essays by Frederick Douglass to show the peculiarities of democratic claims making from an understanding of the people not as a unified subject but as a form of political subjectification. It focuses on Douglass’s most celebrated address, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.” The chapter describes and analyzes how Douglass exemplifies a form of political subjectification called a “constituent moment,” in which someone gladly speaks in the name of a certain group but does not have the authority to do so. It illuminates the connections between the formal and constitutional dimensions of Douglass’s speeches and explores his consideration of the power of claims enacted through practice as well as speech. Moreover, the chapter examines the art of rhetoric and how Douglass’s delivery of the famous speech in 1852 demonstrates an example of “staging dissensus.”

Keywords:   Frederick Douglass, July Fourth, Declaration of Independence, subjectification, speech, staging dissensus, rhetoric, the people, politics

Kentucky Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .