“Profile Epistemologies, Racializing Surveillance, and Affective Counterstrategies in Claudia Rankine’s Citizen” contextualizes contemporary data profiling and social sorting within the history of racial discrimination, surveillance, and biometrics. Through close readings of Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric, the article explores the ideologies inherent in a supposedly neutral profile epistemology, which maintains, for example, that “data speaks for itself” and that “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.” Linking the truth claims of data surveillance to histories of racial profiling and respectability politics, it analyzes how profile epistemology remains dependent on white supremacy, demonstrating how critical race theory, affect theory, and poetry can open up forms of oppositional looking to undermine the ostensible objectivity of data.

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