chapter  2
24 Pages

The Visceral Is Political

Race as Sensory Assemblage
BySachi Sekimoto, Christopher Brown

This chapter explores how race is held together as an “event” that cumulates not only through legal discourses, cultural ideologies, and institutional practices but also through the flesh of our lived bodies. It concludes by emphasizing the significance of bodily sensations and somatosensory experiences as a modality of racialization in which bodily senses function as a prosthetic technology that assembles and regulates various visceral sensations to make race a sensible, feel-able event. The dilemma of the colorblind metaphor calls attention to the “sensory underpinnings of our culture” in which our material bodies and senses are actively deployed to constitute, confirm, and reify socially constructed meanings. The mundane act of eating and tasting is deeply intimate, sensuous, and multisensory, as David E. Sutton claims taste is “an actual multisensory experience, which involves the dissolving of the object into the subject.