The Consent of the Governed in Ishmael Reed's The Freelance Pallbearers Academic Article uri icon


  • The critical ingredient of American democracythe consent of the governedis placed under the microscope in Ishmael Reed's The Freelance Pallbearers and his related works. Reed's portrait of the consent of the governedand of the ways in which it is underminedallows us to discern the structure of what medical and legal thinkers call informed consent: agreement that is the fruit of neither force, fraud, nor incapacity. Reed's portrayal of battles for and against consent, in fact, allows us to theorize that a key distinction between more and less democratic societies is the sort of consent horizon within which their citizens operate.

published proceedings

  • PMLA/Publications of the Modern Language Association of America

author list (cited authors)

  • Collins, M

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Collins, Michael

publication date

  • March 2008

published in