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Dysphoria, Race, and Gender

On one of the pages of Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric, we encounter an anecdote about author headshots. Rankine tells us that “a friend” approached her to ask why a photo he ran across on the Internet “look[ed] so angry.” Rankine finds this question strange, as she had worked with the photographer to choose the one in which she looked “the most relaxed.” “Obviously this unsmiling image of you [i.e., of Rankine] makes him uncomfortable, and he needs you to account for that.” Citizen is filled with moments like these, moments in which Rankine encounters a speaker who asks Read more