Jonathan Holloway: Currency: Race and the Circulation of the American Ideal

This McKay Lecture in the Humanities is a reflection upon the rhetorical value of the “American Ideal” and what that ideal looks like when viewed through a racial prism. A close reading of three objects—a Revolutionary War-era headstone, a mid-twentieth century coin, and the 21st century U.S. passport—affirms Ralph Ellison’s poignant assertions about racial invisibility and offers a cutting assessment of the costs associated with the circulation of the transcendent national ideal.

Read the full article at: