In the Wake

Author: Christina Sharpe
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822373452
Release Date: 2016-10-21
Genre: Social Science

In this original and trenchant work, Christina Sharpe interrogates literary, visual, cinematic, and quotidian representations of Black life that comprise what she calls the "orthography of the wake." Activating multiple registers of "wake"—the path behind a ship, keeping watch with the dead, coming to consciousness—Sharpe illustrates how Black lives are swept up and animated by the afterlives of slavery, and she delineates what survives despite such insistent violence and negation. Initiating and describing a theory and method of reading the metaphors and materiality of "the wake," "the ship," "the hold," and "the weather," Sharpe shows how the sign of the slave ship marks and haunts contemporary Black life in the diaspora and how the specter of the hold produces conditions of containment, regulation, and punishment, but also something in excess of them. In the weather, Sharpe situates anti-Blackness and white supremacy as the total climate that produces premature Black death as normative. Formulating the wake and "wake work" as sites of artistic production, resistance, consciousness, and possibility for living in diaspora, In the Wake offers a way forward.

In the Wake

Author: Christina Sharpe
Publisher:
ISBN: 0822362945
Release Date: 2016-11-11
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Using the multiple meanings of wake to illustrate the ways Black lives are determined by slavery s afterlives, Christina Sharpe weaves personal experiences with readings of literary and artistic representations of Black life and death to examine what survives in the face of insistent violence and the possibilities for resistance."

In the Wake

Author: Christina Sharpe
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
ISBN: 082236283X
Release Date: 2016-11-14
Genre: Social Science

In this original and trenchant work, Christina Sharpe interrogates literary, visual, cinematic, and quotidian representations of Black life that comprise what she calls the "orthography of the wake." Activating multiple registers of "wake"—the path behind a ship, keeping watch with the dead, coming to consciousness—Sharpe illustrates how Black lives are swept up and animated by the afterlives of slavery, and she delineates what survives despite such insistent violence and negation. Initiating and describing a theory and method of reading the metaphors and materiality of "the wake," "the ship," "the hold," and "the weather," Sharpe shows how the sign of the slave ship marks and haunts contemporary Black life in the diaspora and how the specter of the hold produces conditions of containment, regulation, and punishment, but also something in excess of them. In the weather, Sharpe situates anti-Blackness and white supremacy as the total climate that produces premature Black death as normative. Formulating the wake and "wake work" as sites of artistic production, resistance, consciousness, and possibility for living in diaspora, In the Wake offers a way forward.

Monstrous Intimacies

Author: Christina Sharpe
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822391524
Release Date: 2009-01-01
Genre: Literary Criticism

Arguing that the fundamental, familiar, sexual violence of slavery and racialized subjugation have continued to shape black and white subjectivities into the present, Christina Sharpe interprets African diasporic and Black Atlantic visual and literary texts that address those “monstrous intimacies” and their repetition as constitutive of post-slavery subjectivity. Her illuminating readings juxtapose Frederick Douglass’s narrative of witnessing the brutal beating of his Aunt Hester with Essie Mae Washington-Williams’s declaration of freedom in Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond, as well as the “generational genital fantasies” depicted in Gayl Jones’s novel Corregidora with a firsthand account of such “monstrous intimacies” in the journals of an antebellum South Carolina senator, slaveholder, and vocal critic of miscegenation. Sharpe explores the South African–born writer Bessie Head’s novel Maru—about race, power, and liberation in Botswana—in light of the history of the KhoiSan woman Saartje Baartman, who was displayed in Europe as the “Hottentot Venus” in the nineteenth century. Reading Isaac Julien’s film The Attendant, Sharpe takes up issues of representation, slavery, and the sadomasochism of everyday black life. Her powerful meditation on intimacy, subjection, and subjectivity culminates in an analysis of Kara Walker’s black silhouettes, and the critiques leveled against both the silhouettes and the artist.

A Map to the Door of No Return

Author: Dionne Brand
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 9780385674836
Release Date: 2012-08-07
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A Map to the Door of No Return is a timely book that explores the relevance and nature of identity and belonging in a culturally diverse and rapidly changing world. It is an insightful, sensitive and poetic book of discovery. Drawing on cartography, travels, narratives of childhood in the Caribbean, journeys across the Canadian landscape, African ancestry, histories, politics, philosophies and literature, Dionne Brand sketches the shifting borders of home and nation, the connection to place in Canada and the world beyond. The title, A Map to the Door of No Return, refers to both a place in imagination and a point in history -- the Middle Passage. The quest for identity and place has profound meaning and resonance in an age of heterogenous identities. In this exquisitely written and thought-provoking new work, Dionne Brand creates a map of her own art. From the Trade Paperback edition.

As Black as Resistance

Author: William C. Anderson
Publisher: AK Press
ISBN: 9781849353151
Release Date: 2018-06-05
Genre: Social Science

The Democratic Party and the church—two institutions that rest on their spotty legacies on behalf of the disenfranchised—cannot save us. Arguing that Blacks have always been considered non-citizens in the United States, Samudzi and Anderson make the case for a new program of transformative politics for African Americans, one rooted in an anarchist framework. This is not a feel-good-and-make-peace book. With the passion of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me, the raw truth of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, and the revolutionary fervor of Emma Goldman’s timeless essays, As Black as Resistance shakes us from our slumber and energizes us for the road ahead.

Specters of the Atlantic

Author: Ian Baucom
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822387022
Release Date: 2005-11-25
Genre: Literary Criticism

In September 1781, the captain of the British slave ship Zong ordered 133 slaves thrown overboard, enabling the ship’s owners to file an insurance claim for their lost “cargo.” Accounts of this horrific event quickly became a staple of abolitionist discourse on both sides of the Atlantic. Ian Baucom revisits, in unprecedented detail, the Zong atrocity, the ensuing court cases, reactions to the event and trials, and the business and social dealings of the Liverpool merchants who owned the ship. Drawing on the work of an astonishing array of literary and social theorists, including Walter Benjamin, Giovanni Arrighi, Jacques Derrida, and many others, he argues that the tragedy is central not only to the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the political and cultural archives of the black Atlantic but also to the history of modern capital and ethics. To apprehend the Zong tragedy, Baucom suggests, is not to come to terms with an isolated atrocity but to encounter a logic of violence key to the unfolding history of Atlantic modernity. Baucom contends that the massacre and the trials that followed it bring to light an Atlantic cycle of capital accumulation based on speculative finance, an economic cycle that has not yet run its course. The extraordinarily abstract nature of today’s finance capital is the late-eighteenth-century system intensified. Yet, as Baucom highlights, since the late 1700s, this rapacious speculative culture has had detractors. He traces the emergence and development of a counter-discourse he calls melancholy realism through abolitionist and human-rights texts, British romantic poetry, Scottish moral philosophy, and the work of late-twentieth-century literary theorists. In revealing how the Zong tragedy resonates within contemporary financial systems and human-rights discourses, Baucom puts forth a deeply compelling, utterly original theory of history: one that insists that an eighteenth-century atrocity is not past but present within the future we now inhabit.

Amalgamation Schemes

Author: Jared Sexton
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 0816651043
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Social Science

"In this analysis, Sexton pursues a critique of contemporary multiracialism, from the splintered political initiatives of the multiracial movement to the academic field of multiracial studies, to the melodramatic media declarations about "the browning of America." He contests the rationales of colorblindness and multiracial exceptionalism and the promotion of a repackaged family values platform in order to demonstrate that the true target of multiracialism is the singularity of blackness as a social identity, a political organizing principle, and an object of desire. From this vantage, Sexton interrogates the trivialization of sexual violence under chattel slavery and the convoluted relationship between racial and sexual politics in the new multiracial consciousness."--BOOK JACKET.

Troubling Vision

Author: Nicole R. Fleetwood
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226253039
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Art

In 2001, Renée Cox’s Yo Mama’s Last Supper was exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum. Cox’s photographic recreation of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting features an almost all black cast and the artist, nude, standing in for Jesus. The intense controversy that erupted testifies to the enduring power of images of black bodies to unsettle and disturb viewers. Over the course of the twentieth century, as black visibility rose across a variety of media, scholars in art history and media studies began to analyze how audiences view black subjects, while performance and theater studies scholars examined black self-presentation. Troubling Vision bridges the gap between these divergent approaches, arguing that grasping the cultural meaning of blackness relies on understanding both performance and vision. Taking into account this fixation on black visibility, Nicole R. Fleetwood explores how blackness is always a troubling presence in the field of vision and the black body is persistently seen as a problem. Fleetwood examines a wide range of materials from visual and media art, documentary photography, theater and performance, fashion advertising, and celebrity culture. Based on her trenchant analysis of this work, Fleetwood investigates the various ways black cultural producers disrupt dominant notions of black identity and the black body.

Bodies in Dissent

Author: Daphne Brooks
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822337223
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Performing Arts

Performance and identity in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Arican-American creative work.

Sylvia Wynter

Author: Katherine McKittrick
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822375852
Release Date: 2014-12-08
Genre: Social Science

The Jamaican writer and cultural theorist Sylvia Wynter is best known for her diverse writings that pull together insights from theories in history, literature, science, and black studies, to explore race, the legacy of colonialism, and representations of humanness. Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis is a critical genealogy of Wynter’s work, highlighting her insights on how race, location, and time together inform what it means to be human. The contributors explore Wynter’s stunning reconceptualization of the human in relation to concepts of blackness, modernity, urban space, the Caribbean, science studies, migratory politics, and the interconnectedness of creative and theoretical resistances. The collection includes an extensive conversation between Sylvia Wynter and Katherine McKittrick that delineates Wynter’s engagement with writers such as Frantz Fanon, W. E. B. DuBois, and Aimé Césaire, among others; the interview also reveals the ever-extending range and power of Wynter’s intellectual project, and elucidates her attempts to rehistoricize humanness as praxis.

Critique of Black Reason

Author: Achille Mbembe
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822373230
Release Date: 2017-02-17
Genre: Philosophy

In Critique of Black Reason eminent critic Achille Mbembe offers a capacious genealogy of the category of Blackness—from the Atlantic slave trade to the present—to critically reevaluate history, racism, and the future of humanity. Mbembe teases out the intellectual consequences of the reality that Europe is no longer the world's center of gravity while mapping the relations among colonialism, slavery, and contemporary financial and extractive capital. Tracing the conjunction of Blackness with the biological fiction of race, he theorizes Black reason as the collection of discourses and practices that equated Blackness with the nonhuman in order to uphold forms of oppression. Mbembe powerfully argues that this equation of Blackness with the nonhuman will serve as the template for all new forms of exclusion. With Critique of Black Reason, Mbembe offers nothing less than a map of the world as it has been constituted through colonialism and racial thinking while providing the first glimpses of a more just future.

Black and Blur

Author: Fred Moten
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822372226
Release Date: 2017-10-13
Genre: Social Science

"Taken as a trilogy, consent not to be a single being is a monumental accomplishment: a brilliant theoretical intervention that might be best described as a powerful case for blackness as a category of analysis."—Brent Hayes Edwards, author of Epistrophies: Jazz and the Literary Imagination In Black and Blur—the first volume in his sublime and compelling trilogy consent not to be a single being—Fred Moten engages in a capacious consideration of the place and force of blackness in African diaspora arts, politics, and life. In these interrelated essays, Moten attends to entanglement, the blurring of borders, and other practices that trouble notions of self-determination and sovereignty within political and aesthetic realms. Black and Blur is marked by unlikely juxtapositions: Althusser informs analyses of rappers Pras and Ol' Dirty Bastard; Shakespeare encounters Stokely Carmichael; thinkers like Kant, Adorno, and José Esteban Muñoz and artists and musicians including Thornton Dial and Cecil Taylor play off each other. Moten holds that blackness encompasses a range of social, aesthetic, and theoretical insurgencies that respond to a shared modernity founded upon the sociological catastrophe of the transatlantic slave trade and settler colonialism. In so doing, he unsettles normative ways of reading, hearing, and seeing, thereby reordering the senses to create new means of knowing.

Dark Matters

Author: Simone Browne
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822375302
Release Date: 2015-09-07
Genre: Social Science

In Dark Matters Simone Browne locates the conditions of blackness as a key site through which surveillance is practiced, narrated, and resisted. She shows how contemporary surveillance technologies and practices are informed by the long history of racial formation and by the methods of policing black life under slavery, such as branding, runaway slave notices, and lantern laws. Placing surveillance studies into conversation with the archive of transatlantic slavery and its afterlife, Browne draws from black feminist theory, sociology, and cultural studies to analyze texts as diverse as the methods of surveilling blackness she discusses: from the design of the eighteenth-century slave ship Brooks, Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon, and The Book of Negroes, to contemporary art, literature, biometrics, and post-9/11 airport security practices. Surveillance, Browne asserts, is both a discursive and material practice that reifies boundaries, borders, and bodies around racial lines, so much so that the surveillance of blackness has long been, and continues to be, a social and political norm.

Black Performance Theory

Author: Thomas F. DeFrantz
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822377016
Release Date: 2014-04-14
Genre: Social Science

Black performance theory is a rich interdisciplinary area of study and critical method. This collection of new essays by some of its pioneering thinkers—many of whom are performers—demonstrates the breadth, depth, innovation, and critical value of black performance theory. Considering how blackness is imagined in and through performance, the contributors address topics including flight as a persistent theme in African American aesthetics, the circulation of minstrel tropes in Liverpool and in Afro-Mexican settlements in Oaxaca, and the reach of hip-hop politics as people around the world embrace the music and dance. They examine the work of contemporary choreographers Ronald K. Brown and Reggie Wilson, the ways that African American playwrights translated the theatricality of lynching to the stage, the ecstatic music of Little Richard, and Michael Jackson's performance in the documentary This Is It. The collection includes several essays that exemplify the performative capacity of writing, as well as discussion of a project that re-creates seminal hip-hop album covers through tableaux vivants. Whether deliberating on the tragic mulatta, the trickster figure Anansi, or the sonic futurism of Nina Simone and Adrienne Kennedy, the essays in this collection signal the vast untapped critical and creative resources of black performance theory. Contributors. Melissa Blanco Borelli, Daphne A. Brooks, Soyica Diggs Colbert, Thomas F. DeFrantz, Nadine George-Graves, Anita Gonzalez, Rickerby Hinds, Jason King, D. Soyini Madison, Koritha Mitchell, Tavia Nyong'o, Carl Paris, Anna B. Scott, Wendy S. Walters, Hershini Bhana Young