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Daughter of the Empire StateThe Life of Judge Jane Bolin$
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Jacqueline A. McLeod

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036576

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036576.001.0001

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On Her Own

On Her Own

The Years at Wellesley and Yale

(p.15) 2. On Her Own
Daughter of the Empire State

Jacqueline A. McLeod

University of Illinois Press

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.

Keywords:   Jane Bolin, Wellesley College, Yale Law School, African American stereotypes, Judith Butler, subordination, Ralph Ellison

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