Fugitive Science

Author: Britt Rusert
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9781479805723
Size: 18.31 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Exposes the influential work of a group of black artists to confront and refute scientific racism. Traversing the archives of early African American literature, performance, and visual culture, Britt Rusert uncovers the dynamic experiments of a group of black writers, artists, and performers. Fugitive Science chronicles a little-known story about race and science in America. While the history of scientific racism in the nineteenth century has been well-documented, there was also a counter-movement of African Americans who worked to refute its claims. Far from rejecting science, these figures were careful readers of antebellum science who linked diverse fields—from astronomy to physiology—to both on-the-ground activism and more speculative forms of knowledge creation. Routinely excluded from institutions of scientific learning and training, they transformed cultural spaces like the page, the stage, the parlor, and even the pulpit into laboratories of knowledge and experimentation. From the recovery of neglected figures like Robert Benjamin Lewis, Hosea Easton, and Sarah Mapps Douglass, to new accounts of Martin Delany, Henry Box Brown, and Frederick Douglass, Fugitive Science makes natural science central to how we understand the origins and development of African American literature and culture. This distinct and pioneering book will spark interest from anyone wishing to learn more on race and society.

Unsettled States

Author: Dana Luciano
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9781479857722
Size: 15.84 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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In Unsettled States, Dana Luciano and Ivy G. Wilson present some of the most exciting emergent scholarship in American literary and cultural studies of the “long” nineteenth century. Featuring eleven essays from senior scholars across the discipline, the book responds to recent critical challenges to the boundaries, both spatial and temporal, that have traditionally organized scholarship within the field. The volume considers these recent challenges to be aftershocks of earlier revolutions in content and method, and it seeks ways of inhabiting and amplifying the ongoing unsettledness of the field. Written by scholars primarily working in the “minor” fields of critical race and ethnic studies, feminist and gender studies, labor studies, and queer/sexuality studies, the essays share a minoritarian critical orientation. Minoritarian criticism, as an aesthetic, political, and ethical project, is dedicated to finding new connections and possibilities within extant frameworks. Unsettled States seeks to demonstrate how the goals of minoritarian critique may be actualized without automatic recourse to a predetermined “minor” location, subject, or critical approach. Its contributors work to develop practices of reading an “American literature” in motion, identifying nodes of inquiry attuned to the rhythms of a field that is always on the move.

Fugitive Testimony

Author: Janet Neary
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780823272891
Size: 17.46 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Fugitive Testimony examines African American slave narratives in light of contemporary artists' use of the genre within their visual art at the end of the twentieth century. It identifies a sustained representational strategy employed by black cultural producers across time to challenge the racial presumptions that manifest as artistic constraints.

The Brink Of Freedom

Author: David Kazanjian
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822374107
Size: 20.49 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In The Brink of Freedom David Kazanjian revises nineteenth-century conceptions of freedom by examining the ways black settler colonists in Liberia and Mayan rebels in Yucatán imagined how to live freely. Focusing on colonial and early national Liberia and the Caste War of Yucatán, Kazanjian interprets letters from black settlers in apposition to letters and literature from Mayan rebels and their Creole antagonists. He reads these overlooked, multilingual archives not for their descriptive content, but for how they unsettle and recast liberal forms of freedom within global systems of racial capitalism. By juxtaposing two unheralded and seemingly unrelated Atlantic histories, Kazanjian finds remarkably fresh, nuanced, and worldly conceptions of freedom thriving amidst the archived everyday. The Brink of Freedom’s speculative, quotidian globalities ultimately ask us to improvise radical ways of living in the world.

The Experiential Caribbean

Author: Pablo F. Gómez
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 9781469630885
Size: 15.14 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Opening a window on a dynamic realm far beyond imperial courts, anatomical theaters, and learned societies, Pablo F. Gomez examines the strategies that Caribbean people used to create authoritative, experientially based knowledge about the human body and the natural world during the long seventeenth century. Gomez treats the early modern intellectual culture of these mostly black and free Caribbean communities on its own merits and not only as it relates to well-known frameworks for the study of science and medicine. Drawing on an array of governmental and ecclesiastical sources—notably Inquisition records—Gomez highlights more than one hundred black ritual practitioners regarded as masters of healing practices and as social and spiritual leaders. He shows how they developed evidence-based healing principles based on sensorial experience rather than on dogma. He elucidates how they nourished ideas about the universality of human bodies, which contributed to the rise of empirical testing of disease origins and cures. Both colonial authorities and Caribbean people of all conditions viewed this experiential knowledge as powerful and competitive. In some ways, it served to respond to the ills of slavery. Even more crucial, however, it demonstrates how the black Atlantic helped creatively to fashion the early modern world.

Black Prometheus

Author: Jared Hickman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190272593
Size: 13.20 MB
Format: PDF
View: 47

How did an ancient mythological figure who stole fire from the gods become a face of the modern, lending his name to trailblazing spaceships and radical publishing outfits alike? How did Prometheus come to represent a notion of civilizational progress through revolution--scientific, political, and spiritual--and thereby to center nothing less than a myth of modernity itself ? The answer Black Prometheus gives is that certain features of the myth--its geographical associations, iconography of bodily suffering, and function as a limit case in a long tradition of absolutist political theology--made it ripe for revival and reinvention in a historical moment in which freedom itself was racialized, in what was the Age both of Atlantic revolution and Atlantic slavery. Contained in the various incarnations of the modern Prometheus--whether in Mary Shelley's esoteric novel, Frankenstein, Denmark Vesey's real-world recruitment of slave rebels, or popular travelogues representing Muslim jihadists against the Russian empire in the Caucasus-- is a profound debate about the means and ends of liberation in our globalized world. Tracing the titan's rehabilitation and unprecedented exaltation in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries across a range of genres and geographies turns out to provide a way to rethink the relationship between race, religion, and modernity and to interrogate the Eurocentric and secularist assumptions of our deepest intellectual traditions of critique.