Week 8 Response

Reading Stuart Hall’s article, which was written in 1996, from the perspective of living in 2017, nearly twenty years ago, it seems like he is writing about the earliest notions of intersectionality, which is really fascinating. Given that this is a fairly new term and idea in social politics, the fact that Hall is discussing it is surprising to me, “To me, films like… My Beautiful Laundrette… make it perfectly clear that this shift has been engaged; and that the question of the black subject cannot be represented without reference to the dimensions of class, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity” (Hall 444). And while he is discussing this in the realm of visual representations of the black person rather than the real-world social rights of the black person, I still think discussing intersectionality in terms of representation is an important idea. This is not the first week in this class that we have talked about race in relation to our talks about sexuality, which is not surprising given that these issues do tend to overlap in discussion of representation, even if the intersection between race and sexuality is not our main focus. Given that My Beautiful Laundrette is directed by a white man, Stephen Frears, I am definitely curious to see why Hall believes that this film helped to shift the politics of representation of the black man in a positive direction.

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