Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Citizen: An American Lyric: Introduction
Citizen: An American Lyric: Plot Summary
Citizen: An American Lyric: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Citizen: An American Lyric: Themes
Citizen: An American Lyric: Quotes
Citizen: An American Lyric: Characters
Citizen: An American Lyric: Symbols
Citizen: An American Lyric: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Claudia Rankine
Historical Context of Citizen: An American Lyric
Other Books Related to Citizen: An American Lyric
- Full Title: Citizen: An American Lyric
- When Published: October 7, 2014
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Poetry, Multimedia Nonfiction, Nonfiction
- Setting: Given the fact that Citizen takes place in many different contexts and is often dislocated from a specific location, it’s impossible to name the setting of the book, though it might be helpful to point out that it examines race in contemporary times.
- Climax: There is no one climax in Citizen.
- Antagonist: Racism, historical erasure, and ignorance.
Extra Credit for Citizen: An American Lyric
The Racial Imaginary Institute. In 2017, Claudia Rankine founded a collective called The Racial Imaginary Institute, which serves as a “cultural laboratory” where thinkers and artists can explore the concept of race and engage with the idea that, although race is nothing but a construct, it has a significant impact on real life.
Power Couple. In collaboration with her romantic partner, the filmmaker John Lucas, Rankine created a number of conceptual videos that explore race, history, and identity. These videos are called “situation videos,” and their scripts are included in Citizen. They can be viewed online at Claudia Rankine’s website.