From edition

Carolyn Tyjewski, Hybrid Matters: The Mixing of

What kind of case is a case of a ghost? It is a case of haunting, a story about what happens when we admit the ghost – that special instance of the merging of the visible and the invisible, the dead and the living, the past and the present – into the making of worldly relations and into the making of our accounts of the world.
Avery F. Gordon, Ghostly Matters

In 1843, Levi Suydam asked to vote as a Whig in the local election held in Salisbury, Connecticut (Fausto-Sterling, 30-1, 273-4). One would think this event would go unremarked, unnoticed, in the annals of history. It was, presumably, a case of a man (given his name and that he was registering to vote in a time when only white men could) registering to vote as a member of a particular political party. Except, it was questionable whether Levi was male because he was considered “more female than male” (30). Upon a local physician observing a phallus and testes, Levi was allowed to vote. Later however, the doctor discovered that Levi menstruated regularly and had a vaginal opening. Over a hundred years later, his ancestors and some within the town of Salisbury, Connecticut are still troubled by the question of what Levi was (273-4).
Suydam’s predicament is not new. People, who are now considered “intersexuals,” have existed throughout time and, as Anne Fausto-Sterling notes, “the story conveys both the political weight our culture places on ascertaining a person’s correct “sex” and the deep confusion that arises when it can’t be easily determined” (30).   However, our society places great political weight on more than just identifying the “correct” sex of an individual. Given the laws in this society pertaining to identity and the contradicting societal beliefs about who is defined as what, identifying an individual’s “correct” identity in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation and/or disability can create more than a little confusion.
Within history, one sees this confusion arise in legal cases such as Plessy v. Ferguson, Sutton et al. v. United Air Lines, Inc. and that of the Equality Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, Inc. v. City of Cincinnati. We see this “confusion” manifest itself in intracommunity rhetoric surrounding issues such as the “color” complex – a conflict and/or hierarchy within a minority community based upon specific stereotypical characteristics (i.e. skin color, variation of disability, etc.) – and/or passing. Statistical evidence suggests the existence of these ambiguities that tend to confuse are far more than the mere anomalies society suggests they are within any of these categories. Yet and still, the ambiguities among what the law defines as true about race, gender, sexual orientation and disability, what society believes to be true, and what is “real” are at odds with one another.
I would suggest that these conflictions, in part, create the confusion that various academics have discussed concerning disability, gender, race and sexual orientation identity. In other words, it is not just the dichotomies that the law and society have instituted that create conflict but, rather, it is the binary nature of this society – that which creates dichotomous identity categories – and the conflict among the various arenas where these identities are defined. It is not only the problematic legal definition of “who is blind,” for example, but also how society defines “who is blind” and how these definitions conflict with each other and how they both conflict with how the community identifies its members and how individuals self-identify that create confusion. By dissecting each of these arena’s definitions and then examining how these definitional arenas interact with one another, one is better able to understand how hybrids are constructed and perpetuated.
Some may question the rationale of analyzing this sociological/political event (identity politics and the creation of hybrids) that occurs within, apparently, divergent and disparate communities by examining this event across community lines. However, this examination is not without precedence. Various scholars have examined what is commonly referred to as “the gap” between opposite ends of various binary definitions. F. James Davis, in Who is Black?: One Nation’s Definition, and Russell, Wilson and Hall, in The Color Complex: The Politics of Skin Color Among African Americans, for example, discuss the problematic legal definition of the “one drop rule” and the African American community. Elizabeth Grosz, in “Intolerable Ambiguity: Freaks as/at the Limit,” and Anne Fausto-Sterling, in Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality discuss the problematic definition of male and female – or, more specifically, the lack of recognition of those who are not male or female. And Ruth Colker discusses race, gender, sexuality and disability and each community’s relationship to the law in her creation of a bi-jurisprudence within Hybrid: Bisexuals, Multiracials, and Other Misfits under American Law. Various authors have also written personal narratives discussing their problematic positioning as hybrids.
To use Avery Gordon’s terminology, I am simply looking at a type of haunting, a case of a ghost. “It is a case of the difference it makes to start with the marginal, with what we normally exclude or banish, or, more commonly, with what we never even notice” (24). What do we not notice by only examining a societal problem from a particular stereotyped version of a given community? What do we miss, for example, when we do not include white Black women or walking quads or intersexuals? And, what else do we miss when we do not compare notes on similar societal problems across community lines? Various scholars have begun asking these questions. This examination is a continuation of previous analysis and is based upon JanMohamed and Lloyd’s idea of minority discourse theory.
In their introduction to The Nature and Context of Minority Discourse, JanMohamed and Lloyd define the central task of minority discourse theory as,
drawing out solidarities in the form of similarities between modes of repression and struggle that all minorities experience separately but experience precisely as minorities. “Becoming minor” is not a question of essence (as the stereotypes of minorities in dominant ideology would want us to believe) but a question of position; a subject-position that in the final analysis can be defined only in “political” terms – that is, in terms of the effects of economic exploitation, political disenfranchisement, social manipulation, and ideological domination on the cultural formation of minority subjects and discourses (9).

In other words, the focus of minority discourse theory is to examine modes of repression and struggle for similar experiences across minority lines. As alluded to above and discussed below, the problematic positioning of hybrids creates a particular mode of repression for most, if not all, minority communities. In this work, I will examine one mode of repression and briefly analyze how it plays out within the law and the legal system. Given the brevity of this work, it is by no means an exhaustive analysis of this topic. It is merely a starting point to a larger, broader discussion of the “confusion” that occurs within this society concerning the politics of identity and hybridity.
I have chosen the use of the term “hybrids” when referring to the group of individuals discussed for several reasons. Although all of the communities discussed have various names for those who can pass, each of these names tends to speak to only one specific identification category. For example, the term “mulatto” is most often associated with people who are of multiple ethnicities that “look white” or the term “partial” often refers to someone who is blind but “looks sighted.” Using just one of these terms, for example, would focus the reader’s attention, consciously or not, upon the one group associated with that particular term and to use more than one term would be problematic because it tends to create an unnecessary separation amongst these identity categories when looking at a mode of repression that affects all of them. This is not to suggest that these identity categories do not have differences amongst them that need to be acknowledged. Rather, it is a means of focusing on the mode of repression rather than on individual groups that mode is used upon. As bell hooks, Judy Scales-Trent, and others have noted, ableism, homophobia, racism and sexism are interconnected and inextricably entangled in this society. Although the term “hybrids” has its own problematic positioning within this society and culture, I am using this term because it is not associated with one specific identity category being discussed and, in terms of definition, is closest to clearly naming the group of people being described. As Ruth Colker points out, it
is an apt description of people who lie between bipolar legal categories. . . Their lives often constitute a unique set of traits and experiences not found at either end of the bipolar spectrum. Sometimes, they are considered exotic; other times, they are considered abhorrent; and yet other times, they are virtually invisible (xi – xii).

By blurring the lines, somewhat, amongst these categories, the problem (rather than the problematized) will come into clearer focus.
By examining the common experiences of people who can pass as the normate, one can begin to see how society utilizes notions of exoticism, abhorrence and invisibility to control and/or negate the existence of hybrids and, in doing so, retain control of the predominant image of specific minority groups. For example, there is a presumption within various academic texts that in order to experience oppression, discrimination, etc. within society, one’s minority identity must be visible or, at least, known. Erving Goffman in Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity, for instance, when discussing the differences between those who can pass and those who cannot and the ways “spoiled identities” are managed states,
. . . But for the ex-mental patient the problem can be quite different; it is not that he must face prejudice against himself, but rather that he must face unwitting acceptance by individuals who are prejudiced against persons of the kind he can be revealed to be (42).

This statement within Goffman’s theory on stigma not only presupposes that one will pass if one can but that, if one can pass as a member of the majority, one will not experience prejudice unless one’s invisible identity is made known. Although I will agree that the experiences of someone who can pass are not exactly the same as someone who cannot, one can experience discrimination, oppression, prejudice, etc., without one’s identity being visible or known. One can, for example, be denied healthcare coverage for a life partner without anyone ever knowing the sex of one’s partner or one’s sexual preference. One can also be denied access to things such as books or telephones without anyone ever knowing that one is blind or deaf. These examples speak to the issue of intentional exclusion of particular groups of people within a given society. Discrimination. Like the “Whites only” signs of old, these are forms of discrimination of people – both visible and invisible – from minority communities based upon societal constructs of difference and not upon ocular evidence.
I would suggest that the construction of hybrids and the offshoot issues surrounding hybrids within minority communities, specifically in terms of disability, gender, race, and sexual orientation, are not coincidental. Lennard Davis points out in Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness and the Body, “That binarism [disabled/nondisabled], like so many others – straight/gay, male/female, black/white, rich/poor – is part of an ideology of containment and a politics of power and fear” (4). Given the extremes of this society’s binaries, the construction of hybrids becomes a stopgap that explains away the supposed “exceptions.” In other words, the construction of hybrids is a necessary part of these dichotomies to retain the status quo. To the extent that the creation and perpetuation of hybrids as anomalies promotes the binary society we live in and that the promotion of dichotomies perpetuates discrimination, prejudice, misrepresentation and general miseducation, examination of this phenomena may help in the deconstructing of this society’s identity politics.
When this fact of our society is ignored within theories, such as the one Goffman espouses, it only encourages and contributes to beliefs and attitudes like those expressed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Equality Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, Inc. v. City of Cincinnati. In this case, the court was deciding whether a section of a human rights ordinance could be rescinded so that gays, lesbians and bisexuals would no longer be covered.   In its decision to uphold an anti-Queer initiative, the court stated,
. . . the reality remains that no law can successfully be drafted that is calculated to burden or penalize, or to benefit or protect, an unidentifiable group or class of individuals whose identity is defined by subjective and unapparent characteristics (95a0147).

In essence, the court was suggesting that the law could not protect individuals who could not be seen.
Ruth Colker points out, in Hybrids: Bisexuals, Multiracials, and Other Misfits under American Law, how the court’s decision not only suggests that homosexuals are invisible but also renders bisexuals non-existent (43-5). It did so by not mentioning them within their decision even though they are specifically mentioned in the initiative and the complaint (Colker, 43-5). She also demonstrates how the court’s suggestion that public displays of affection and proclamations of sexual orientation will remain along bipolar lines further negates the existence of bisexuals (44-5). In other words, according to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, homosexuals are invisible and bisexuals are a figment of the imagination.
Although this case only concerned itself with sexual orientation discrimination, the bipolarity of gender in this country also comes into play in this case. More specifically the question, for example, of how someone who is intersexed would fit within this ruling if they refused to remain in the closet about being neither male or female? Given that female and male are the only two legally recognized genders in this society, how would one’s relationships be defined if one is intersexed within a court system that denies this possibility? What about someone who is transgendered? Although neither intersexuals or transgenders were specifically mentioned within the Human Rights Ordinance or the initiative, these questions need to be addressed because individuals who are intersexed and/or transgendered do exist and, right or wrong, our society does proscribe how people should interact sexually.   Like the exclusion of bisexuals from the court’s decision, their invisibility within these documents is quite telling about our societal beliefs about the bipolarness of gender.
Because the Human Rights Ordinance truly intended to be an all-inclusive non-discrimination policy but the initiative did not choose to invalidate all non-discrimination policies within the ordinance based upon sexual orientation, a very peculiar and rather amusing result occurs from the passing of this initiative and the court’s decision. Technically, heterosexuals and anyone who does not fit within the identity categories of bisexual – being sexually attracted to both males and females – or homosexual – being sexually attracted to members of the same sex – are still covered under Cincinnati’s City Charter. In other words, heterosexuals, anyone who is attracted to individuals who are intersexed and/or transgendered and intersexuals and/or transgenders who are attracted to either males or females are all still covered by the Human Rights Ordinance in Cincinnati. Given the initiatives specific list of sexual orientations that would no longer be covered by the ordinance and our societal assumption that there are only two genders, it is relatively safe to conclude that the creators of the initiative did not intend this outcome. Like the writers of the law which instituted separate but equal railroad cars in the state of Louisiana in the 1800’s, they had a specific agenda of exclusion in mind. To paraphrase Justice Harlan in his dissenting view of Plessy v. Ferguson, every one knows the thing to accomplish was to compel non-heterosexuals to keep to themselves (163 U.S. 537).
Ruth Colker sarcastically suggests that it was the lack of knowledge of cases such as Plessy v. Ferguson that informed the court’s decision as to what constitutes a suspect class (5). I would suggest that it was not only a lack of knowledge of case laws and history that pertained – the Americans with Disabilities Act, for example, does protect those who are thought to have a disability rather than just those who have proven and/or visible disabilities – it was also that the three-judge panel was more informed by the societal definitions of minority groups and ignored the legal definitions and the historical and present day “reality” created by these legal definitions of suspect classes.
In her analysis, Ruth Colker mentions Plessy v. Ferguson as a predecessor to the Sixth Circuit court’s confusion (Colker, 5). Most within this society would associate Plessy v. Ferguson with the upholding of “Jim Crow” laws or the phrase “separate but equal.” However, Plessy v. Ferguson also dealt with identity politics. As the U.S. Supreme Court noted,
That petitioner was. . . of mixed descent, in the proportion of seven-eighths Caucasian and one-eighth African blood; that the mixture of colored blood was not discernible in him, and that he was entitled to every recognition, right, privilege, and immunity secured to the citizens of the United States of the white race . . . (163 U.S. 537).

According to the court’s documents, Plessy was not visually discernable as being of African decent and, as Mr. Plessy contended in his plea to the court, considered himself to be white (163 U.S. 537). In the court’s decision, however, they ignore both ocular evidence and Plessy’s self-identification by stating,
A statute which implies merely a legal distinction between the white and colored races – a distinction which is founded in the color of the two races, and which must always exist so long as white men are distinguished from the other race by color – has no tendency to destroy the legal equality of the two races, or re-establish a state of involuntary servitude (163 U.S. 537).

Considering that even the court admitted Plessy was not visually distinguishable as being of African decent and given that the court felt that the separation of the races should be abolished when white men could no longer be distinguished “from the other race by color,” it is amazing the U.S. Supreme Court did not abolish Jim Crow at that moment in time. Like the Sixth Circuit Court’s later decision concerning homosexuality, the U.S. Supreme Court presumed that ocular evidence of identity is readily available in all cases while, at the same time, admitting that this was not true. The difference, of course, is that while one court chose to deny invisibility in order to retain discriminatory practices, the other promoted the idea of invisibility in order to attain the same goal.
If these were the only two court decisions that demonstrated this schism in logic, one could write off this event as a mere coincidence. However, as various scholars have noted, this is a reoccurring theme within the court system as it pertains to specific minority communities and, more specifically, the civil rights of said communities (Colker, 1996; Davis, 1991; Davis, 1995; Scales-Trent, 1995). This “confusion” within the court system covers not only race, gender and sexuality but disability as well.
In the case of Sutton et al. v. United Air Lines, Inc., two sisters, Karen Sutton and Kimberly Hinton, applied for positions as commercial airline pilots and their applications were rejected because they did not meet the company’s minimum requirement of uncorrected visual acuity of 20/100 or better – they both had uncorrected visual acuity of 20/200 or worse. Like Plessy, neither Sutton or Hinton self-identify as being a member of a minority community – although all three admit some connection to the particular minority group they are being associated with.   In Sutton and Hinton’s case, they filed their suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination based upon disability or a perceived disability (42 U.S.C.12102). Because this is a relatively new law and because, to my knowledge, this case has not been analyzed with regard to identity or hybridity as the aforementioned cases have, I will be giving a more in-depth explanation of the specifics of the case and the ADA.
According to court records, the sisters not only met the basic job qualifications for the position, they were both invited to interview for the position of commercial airline pilot (97-1943). It was at these interviews that both women were informed that someone had made a mistake in inviting them to the interviews because of their uncorrected visual acuity (97-1943). According to the ADA, one has a disability if one has “. . . a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities . . . has a history of such an impairment . . . or being regarded as having such an impairment” (42U.S.C.12102(2)(A)). In order to establish whether an individual has a disability, one must look at the individual’s physical and/or mental impairment prior to accommodation to determine if it is substantially limiting to one or more major life activities – walking, talking, hearing, seeing, thinking, etc. (42U.S.C. 12102(2)(A)). Therefore, the sisters’ respective visual acuities, before correction, needed to be considered “substantially limiting” in order to be identified, by law, as disabled.
According to court records, both women had a visual acuity, without correction, of 20/200 or worse in both eyes (97-1943). To put this figure in perspective, one is considered blind in this country when one has a visual acuity, with correction, of 20/200 or worse in one or both eyes and/or has a visual field of 20 degrees or less because it is considered substantially limiting to the major life activity of seeing. Given this legal definition and their respective visual acuities without correction, Ms. Sutton and Ms. Hinton fell into the identity category of disabled because without the accommodation of glasses or contacts they had what was already established by the legal system as a substantially limiting visual acuity.
If society and the law did not consider seeing a “major life activity” or the subjective line denoting blindness was not set at 20/200 and/or Ms. Sutton and Ms. Hinton did not fit within this legal limit of blindness before correction – as is stipulated in the guidelines, there would have been no case. However, none of these alternative scenarios existed and the U.S. Supreme Court ignored the guidelines set forth by the law, the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Justice and came up with their own standard.
According to the court,
The agency guidelines’ directive that persons be judged in their uncorrected or unmitigated state runs directly counter to this mandated individualized inquiry. The former would create a system in which persons would often be treated as members of a group having similar impairments, rather than as individuals. It could also lead to the anomalous result that courts and employers could not consider any negative side effects suffered by the individual resulting from the use of mitigating measures, even when those side effects are very severe . . . . [and that] Congress did not intend to bring under the ADA’s protection all those whose uncorrected conditions amount to disabilities (97-1943).

In other words, the U.S. Supreme Court felt that Congress did not intend to cover all persons with disabilities and that to consider each individual’s impairment, prior to mitigation, was to treat the individuals as members of a specific group. They also felt that the court system and employers should be allowed to decide whether an accommodation would cause any negative side effects to the individual with the disability. For the moment, I will ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s paternalistic attitude towards people with disabilities needing someone to consider negative side effects of accommodations for them and focus, instead, upon the other misconceptions (stereotypes) relied upon by the court.
The first of these misconceptions is that Congress only intended to cover approximately 43 million people who have disabilities (97-1943). Given that, at the time of this hearing, the figure was already dated, the fixation the court had upon this particular number seems questionable logic, at best. Regardless, as with any law, what is now known as the ADA went through many revisions prior to becoming law. However, based upon who was involved in drafting and sponsoring the ADA – many of whom had “hidden” disabilities that did not affect their daily life activities but did affect how they were perceived by society, employers, etc. as being incapable – as well as the organizations that pushed for its passage – many of these organizations’ constituents had “invisible” disabilities – it is clear that those involved intended to include all people with disabilities, including hybrids (Shapiro, 105-41). As Shapiro noted in No Pity,
But even this figure [the 43 million used within the ADA] did not include people with learning disabilities, some mental illnesses, those with AIDS, or people who are HIV positive and have other conditions covered under the civil rights legislation (7).

Further, the only exclusionary clause within the ADA was added at the insistence of Senator Helms (Colker, 163). This “morality” clause was added to exclude sexuality and “other sexual behavior disorders” (42U.S.C.12211(b)(1)), creating, as Ruth Colker notes, “a new class of untouchables” (163). Although this clause does require further analysis as to how it reifies the bipolar categories of disabled/nondisabled, homosexual/heterosexual and female/male, it does not apply to the Sutton et. al. v. United Airlines Inc. case directly and, therefore, it will not be dealt with at this time other than to note it as the only exclusionary passage within the ADA. Because it is the only exclusionary clause within the ADA and because the legislative history surrounding the ADA is rife with examples of why and how hybrids would be covered under this legislation (U.S. Dept. of Justice, 7/2000), it appears the court disregarded the evidence so that they could continue to ignore that disabled could look/be able just as, in Plessy v. Ferguson, the court disregarded the intent of the 14th Amendment so they could continue to ignore that black could look/be white (163 U.S. 537; 97-1943).
The second misconception of the court is its belief that the definition of disability, specifically its use of the phrase “substantially limiting,” concerns solely an individual’s impairment and not how society is constructed. In other words, the court felt it was the inability to see normally, for example, that made one “substantially limited” and not that society had created an environment that was hostile toward those whose visual acuity was not considered the norm (97-1943). Had the court examined the legislative history concerning the ADA, they would have found that the testimony given involved account after account of the experience of living within a hostile environment in this country based upon the fact that people were seen as disabled and not how their individual impairment did or did not limit their present major life activities (Shapiro, 105-41). Had the court taken these testimonies or previous court decisions into account when determining what the ADA meant by “(A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; (B) a record of such an impairment; or (C) being regarded as having such an impairment” (42 U.S.C. 12102(2)), they may have come to the same conclusion that Justices Stevens and Breyer came to within their respective dissenting remarks. Justice Stevens states,
In my view, when an employer refuses to hire the individual “because of” his prosthesis, and the prosthesis in no way affects his ability to do the job, that employer has unquestionably discriminated against the individual in violation of the Act. . . . (97-1943).

As Justice Stevens notes, the court’s majority decision creates a situation that essentially penalizes anyone with a disability who can and does use ameliorative accommodations that simply make it possible to live in this environment and, with regard to this case, more employable. Based upon Justice O’Connor’s examples of who the court felt should not be covered, they were objecting to those who, with or without ameliorative accommodations, could pass as nondisabled being acknowledged as having disabilities (97-1943). In other words, the court would protect an individual as long as they were obviously disabled or if they were nondisabled but were once obviously disabled but if one was like most people with disabilities and could pass as nondisabled, one had no protection under the law (97-1943). In effect, the court was telling those of us who can pass to choose one side or the other of the disabled/nondisabled paradigm.   By drawing this subjective line between those who use accommodations which supposedly “cure” the impairment – thereby, denying disability – and those people with disabilities that, according to the court, cannot be accommodated to create an equal playing field (97-1943), the court attempts to make these bi-polar legal categories neat and clean.
As within Plessy v. Ferguson, the U.S. Supreme Court in Sutton et al. v. United Airlines, Inc. ignored the societal construction of minority status that created the need for this civil rights law. In other words, both courts presumed that one’s minority status was why one was excluded from society, denied one’s civil rights (163 U.S. 537; 97-1943). The courts based their decisions upon the stereotypical notion that being a minority in this country is a matter of essence and not upon the evidence that existed that clearly showed that “being minor” in this country is a socially and politically created event. To put it another way, these decisions were based upon societal stereotypes/definitions and not upon the law or legal definitions. In the process, both courts presumed the visibility and discreetness of these categories (black/white and disabled/nondisabled) even when faced with evidence that these categories were not insular or, necessarily, visible.
Like the decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, both U.S. Supreme Courts were more informed by the societal definitions of the particular minority groups than they were by the legal definitions of these minority groups. And although the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals seemed to be suffering from ignorance or selective amnesia with regard to legal history, the result of its decision does follow the legal history set forth in Plessy v. Ferguson and the later case of Sutton et al. v. United Airlines Inc. In all three cases, the courts appear to be attempting to prescribe the legal rights of a minority group by proscribing the actions of hybrids within said group. In order to write this prescription, however, the court is left in the same position and with the same confliction as the physician who determined Levi Suydam’s ability and right to vote in 1843. In essence, the court is forced to choose which side of the paradigm hybrids fall on because we do not fit neatly within both the legal and social definitions put forth within the United States.
The courts based their decisions upon the stereotypical notion that being a minority in this country is a matter of essence and not upon the evidence that existed that clearly showed that “being minor” in this country is a socially and politically created event. To put it another way, these decisions were based upon societal stereotypes/definitions and not upon the law or legal definitions. In the process, the courts presumed the visibility and discreetness of these categories (black/white, disabled/nondisabled, female/male and homosexual/heterosexual) even when faced with evidence that these categories were not insular or, necessarily, visible. In all three cases, the courts appear to be attempting to prescribe the legal rights of a minority group by proscribing the actions of hybrids within said group.
The similarities amongst these decisions are not coincidental. As Avery Gordon put it,
You have bumped into somebody else’s memory; you have encountered haunting and the picture of it the ghost imprints. Not only because this memory that is sociality is out there in the world, playing havoc with the normal security historical context provides, but because it will happen again; it will be there for you. It is waiting for you. We were expected.

In this work, I have consciously taken historical events out of their normal context to expose a pattern, play with a ghost. As cliché as it may be, history does tend to repeat itself while, at the same time, morphing into something different, something new. Beyond the similar phrases and excuses, there is still something seething beneath this surface. There is a ghost in the proverbial machine. History tells a tale both in and out of context. So, the question becomes: How does one read the signs? Once read, how will one respond?

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Fausto-Sterling, Anne. Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality. New York, NY: Basic Books. 2000
Ginsberg, Elaine K. Passing and the Fictions of Identity. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 1996
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Gordon, Avery F. Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination. Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota UP, 1997
Grosz, Elizabeth. “Intolerable Ambiguity: Freaks as/at the Limit.” Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body. New York, NY: New York UP, 1996. 55-66
Gwaltney, John Langston. Drylongso: A Self-Portrait of Black America. New York, NY: Random House, 1980
hooks, bell. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. 2nd Ed. Cambridge, MA: South End Press Classics, 2000
hooks, bell. Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1990
JanMohamed, Abdul R. and David Lloyd. The Nature and Context of Minority Discourse. New York, NY: Oxford UP, 1990
Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537. U.S. Supreme Court. 1896. [cited 12 April 2003]
Russell, Kathy, Midge Wilson, and Ronald Hall. The Color Complex: The Politics of Skin Color Among African Americans. New York, NY: Anchor Books, 1992
Scales-Trent, Judy. Notes of a White Black Woman: Race, Color, Community. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State UP, 1995
Shapiro, Joseph P. No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement. New York, NY: Times Books, 1993: 7
Sutton et al. v. United Airlines, Inc. 97-1943. U.S. Supreme Court. 1999. [cited 12 April 2003]
Thomson, Rosemarie. Extraordinary Bodies: Figuring Physical Disability in American Culture and Literature. New York, NY: Columbia UP, 1997

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