If ’68 marks the emergence of seemingly new kinds of radical practices pursued by new revolutionary subjects, this essay asks how we might understand a strike undertaken by Appalachian coal miners in the early 1970s and its documentation in the film Harlan County, USA. Is this strike best understood apart from ’68, as a disconnected, outmoded activity pursued by retrograde subjects who, after ’68, can only be represented by and for nostalgic or reactionary political projects? In the strike’s abandonment of political and auterist representation, in the commitment not to any one endpoint but to the ongoing, performative reorganization of social life that the strike and its documentation come to entail, and finally, in the tenuous but still open connections between this strike and other radical practices in and beyond Appalachia, in and beyond ’68, this essay discerns another model for insurgency and for a history without subjects.
Research Article| July 01 2020
Outtakes of ’68
South Atlantic Quarterly (2020) 119 (3): 461–476.
Laura Harris; Outtakes of ’68. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 July 2020; 119 (3): 461–476. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-8601338
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