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How Can Fiction Contribute to Critical Race Theory?

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Reshaping Philosophy: Michael Boylan’s Narrative Fiction
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Abstract

Personal narrative and storytelling have always been key features of Critical Race Theory, that body of legal scholarship focused on the role that structural and institutional racism play in the alienation of persons of color from the protections of the legal liberal order. As Critical Race Theory has expanded from legal theory into philosophy, it has carried with it an openness to interdisciplinary approaches to grappling with the societal problems of race and racism, including using personal narrative, fiction and literature to provide insight into the human cost of these phenomena. Michael Boylan explains the usefulness of fiction to philosophy in his theory of “fictive, narrative philosophy.” Boylan’s Georgia is an instantiation of this theory. Through telling the tale of a racialized male trying to survive in the oppressively racially stratified American landscape of twentieth century America, Georgia operates within the critical race theory tradition and at the same time explores philosophical questions such as the nature of racialized identity and the effects of the social construction of race and institutionalized, systemic racism on the quality of life of the racialized.

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Correspondence to Tina Fernandes Botts .

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Botts, T.F. (2022). How Can Fiction Contribute to Critical Race Theory?. In: Teays, W. (eds) Reshaping Philosophy: Michael Boylan’s Narrative Fiction. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-99265-1_3

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