On Her Own
On Her Own
The Years at Wellesley and Yale
This chapter focuses on Jane Bolin's experiences at Wellesley College and Yale Law School—experiences that were captured in novelist Ralph Ellison's reference to being an outsider. On her own and removed from every reference to her standing and belonging, Bolin struggled against the prevailing stereotypes about African Americans and against the invisibility imposed by classmates and instructors alike. Citing Judith Butler's reading of “subjection as both the subordination and becoming of the subject,” the chapter argues that it was out of these experiences of “subordination” at Wellesley and Yale that Bolin emerges as a fully constituted subject empowered to challenge the very instruments of her subordination.
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