by Duke University Press

Philosophy for Spiders: On the Low Theory of Kathy Acker
Mckenzie Wark
Duke University Press - 23.00€ -

McKenzie Wark combines an autobiographical account of her relationship with Kathy Acker with her transgender reading of Acker's writing to outline Acker's philosophy of embodiment and its importance for theorizing the trans experience.

Over the decades readers have found a punk Acker, a feminist Acker, a queer Acker, a kink Acker, and an avant-garde Acker. In Philosophy for Spiders, McKenzie Wark adds a trans Acker.

Wark recounts her memories of Acker (with whom she had a passionate affair) and gives a comprehensive reading of her published and archived works. Wark finds not just an inventive writer of fiction who pressed against the boundaries of gender but a theorist whose comprehensive philosophy of life brings a conceptual intelligence to the everyday life of those usually excluded from philosophy's purview.

As Wark shows, Acker's engagement with topics such as masturbation, sadism, body-building, and penetrative sex are central to her distinct phenomenology of the body that theorizes the body's relation to others, the city, and technology.

The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader
Gloria Anzaldúa, AnaLouise Keating (ed.)
Duke University Press - 29.00€ -  out of stock

A collection of published and unpublished writings of the groundbreaking Chicana writer and self-described "chicana dyke-feminist, tejana patlache poet, writer and cultural theorist" Gloria Anzaldua.

Gloria Anzaldúa (1942-2004) was a visionary writer whose work was recognized with many honors, including the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, a Lambda literary award, the National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Award, and the Bode-Pearson Prize for Outstanding Contributions to American Studies. Her book Borderlands/La frontera was selected as one of the 100 Best Books of the Century by Hungry Mind Review and the Utne Reader. AnaLouise Keating, Professor of Women's Studies at Texas Woman's University, is the author of Women Reading, Women Writing: Self-Invention in Paula Gunn Allen, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Audre Lorde; editor of Anzaldúa's Interviews/Entrevistas and EntreMundos/AmongWorlds: New Perspectives on Gloria Anzaldúa; and co-editor, with Anzaldúa, of this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation.

AnaLouise Keating, Professor of Women's Studies at Texas Woman's University, is the author of Women Reading, Women Writing: Self-Invention in Paula Gunn Allen, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Audre Lorde; editor of Anzaldúa's Interviews/Entrevistas and EntreMundos/AmongWorlds: New Perspectives on Gloria Anzaldúa; and co-editor, with Anzaldúa, of this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation.

On Being Human as Praxis
Sylvia Wynter
Duke University Press - 24.00€ -

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.

Habeas Viscus
Alexander G. Weheliye
Duke University Press - 24.00€ -  out of stock

Habeas Viscus focuses attention on the centrality of race to notions of the human. Alexander G. Weheliye develops a theory of "racializing assemblages," taking race as a set of sociopolitical processes that discipline humanity into full humans, not-quite-humans, and nonhumans. This disciplining, while not biological per se, frequently depends on anchoring political hierarchies in human flesh. The work of the black feminist scholars Hortense Spillers and Sylvia Wynter is vital to Weheliye's argument.

Particularly significant are their contributions to the intellectual project of black studies vis-à-vis racialization and the category of the human in western modernity. Wynter and Spillers configure black studies as an endeavor to disrupt the governing conception of humanity as synonymous with white, western man. Weheliye posits black feminist theories of modern humanity as useful correctives to the "bare life and biopolitics discourse" exemplified by the works of Giorgio Agamben and Michel Foucault, which, Weheliye contends, vastly underestimate the conceptual and political significance of race in constructions of the human. Habeas Viscus reveals the pressing need to make the insights of black studies and black feminism foundational to the study of modern humanity.

The Sense of Brown
José Esteban Muñoz
Duke University Press - 24.00€ -  out of stock

The Sense of Brown is José Esteban Muñoz's treatise on brownness and being as well as his most direct address to queer Latinx studies. In this book, which he was completing at the time of his death, Muñoz examines the work of playwrights Ricardo Bracho and Nilo Cruz, artists Nao Bustamante, Isaac Julien, and Tania Bruguera, and singer José Feliciano, among others, arguing for a sense of brownness that is not fixed within the racial and national contours of Latinidad. This sense of brown is not about the individualized brown subject; rather, it demonstrates that for brown peoples, being exists within what Muñoz calls the brown commons—a lifeworld, queer ecology, and form of collectivity. In analyzing minoritarian affect, ethnicity as a structure of feeling, and brown feelings as they emerge in, through, and beside art and performance, Muñoz illustrates how the sense of brown serves as the basis for other ways of knowing and being in the world.

Orgasmology
Annamarie Jagose
Duke University Press - 24.00€ -  out of stock

For all its vaunted attention to sexuality, queer theory has had relatively little to say about sex, the material and psychic practices through which erotic gratification is sought. In Orgasmology, Annamarie Jagose takes orgasm as her queer scholarly object. From simultaneous to fake orgasms, from medical imaging to pornographic visualization, from impersonal sexual publics to domestic erotic intimacies, Jagose traces the career of orgasm across the twentieth century.

Along the way, she examines marriage manuals of the 1920s and 1930s, designed to teach heterosexual couples how to achieve simultaneous orgasms; provides a queer reading of behavioral modification practices of the 1960s and 1970s, aimed at transforming gay men into heterosexuals; and demonstrates how representations of orgasm have shaped ideas about sexuality and sexual identity.

A confident and often counterintuitive engagement with feminist and queer traditions of critical thought, Orgasmology affords fresh perspectives on not just sex, sexual orientation, and histories of sexuality, but also agency, ethics, intimacy, modernity, selfhood, and sociality. As modern subjects, we presume we already know everything there is to know about orgasm. This elegantly argued book suggests that orgasm still has plenty to teach us.

Reading Sedgwick
Lauren Berlant, editor
Duke University Press - 24.00€ -  out of stock

Over the course of her long career, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick became one of the most important voices in queer theory, and her calls for reparative criticism and reading practices grounded in affect and performance have transformed understandings of affect, intimacy, politics, and identity. With marked tenderness, the contributors to Reading Sedgwick reflect on Sedgwick's many critical inventions, from her elucidation of poetry's close relation to criticism and development of new versions of queer performativity to highlighting the power of writing to engender new forms of life. As the essays in Reading Sedgwick demonstrate, Sedgwick's work is not only an ongoing vital force in queer theory and affect theory; it can help us build a more positive world in the midst of the bleak contemporary moment.

Contributors. Lauren Berlant, Kathryn Bond Stockton, Judith Butler, Lee Edelman, Jason Edwards, Ramzi Fawaz, Denis Flannery, Jane Gallop, Jonathan Goldberg, Meridith Kruse, Michael Moon, José Esteban Muñoz, Chris Nealon, Andrew Parker, H. A. Sedgwick, Karin Sellberg, Michael D. Snediker, Melissa Solomon, Robyn Wiegman

Spill: scenes of black feminist fugitivity
Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Duke University Press - 22.00€ -

In Spill, self-described queer Black troublemaker and Black feminist love evangelist Alexis Pauline Gumbs presents a commanding collection of scenes depicting fugitive Black women and girls seeking freedom from gendered violence and racism. In this poetic work inspired by Hortense Spillers, Gumbs offers an alternative approach to Black feminist literary criticism, historiography, and the interactive practice of relating to the words of Black feminist thinkers. Gumbs not only speaks to the spiritual, bodily, and otherworldly experience of Black women but also allows readers to imagine new possibilities for poetry as a portal for understanding and deepening feminist theory.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a poet, independent scholar, and activist. She is coeditor of Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines and the Founder and Director of Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind, an educational program based in Durham, North Carolina.

Published 2016.

M Archive: After the End of the World
Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Duke University Press - 25.00€ -

Following the innovative collection Spill, Alexis Pauline Gumbs's M Archive, the second book in a planned experimental triptych, is a series of poetic artifacts that speculatively documents the persistence of Black life following a worldwide cataclysm.

Engaging with the work of the foundational Black feminist theorist M. Jacqui Alexander, and following the trajectory of Gumbs's acclaimed visionary fiction short story "Evidence," M Archive is told from the perspective of a future researcher who uncovers evidence of the conditions of late capitalism, antiblackness, and environmental crisis while examining possibilities of being that exceed the human.

By exploring how Black feminist theory is already after the end of the world, Gumbs reinscribes the possibilities and potentials of scholarship while demonstrating the impossibility of demarcating the lines between art, science, spirit, scholarship, and politics.

Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire
Jack Halberstam
Duke University Press - 28.00€ -  out of stock

Halberstam offers an alternative history of sexuality by tracing the ways in which the wild, a space located beyond normative borders of sexuality, offers sources of opposition to knowing and being that transgress Euro-American notions of the modern subject.

"WILD THINGS is queer theorist Jack Halberstam's account of sexuality in general, and queerness in particular, after nature. As the heterosexual/homosexual binary emerged in the late 19th-century and coalesced in the 20th-century, discourses of both heterosexuality and homosexuality defined sexuality in relation to nature and the natural world. The most well-known is the homophobic framing of homosexuality as unnatural, aberrant, and "against" nature, but of equal importance is the 19th-century male dandy's positioning of artifice and camp-and through it homosexuality-as anti-natural. On the other hand, heterosexuality was often held up as the "natural" sexuality and, later in the 20th-century, gay scientists tried to prove that homosexuality was a natural, biological desire.

In this book, Halberstam mobilizes wildness as an analytic through which an alternative history of sexuality and desire outside of heterosexuality, homosexuality, and taxonomical classifications can emerge. To that end, Halberstam turns back to the orderly, taxonomical, and classified homosexuality and heterosexuality of the 19th and 20th-centuries and asks: what embodiments and desires were swept under the carpet in the process of creating identitarian sexualities?

Halberstam claims these excluded and unruly figures as "wild" lives lived out in embodiments and desires which eluded the orderly classifications of their era. Wildness, for Halberstam, thus becomes a way to claim an "epistemology of the ferox," a way of being and knowing in the world which is not the opposition of order but order's absence: a force which "disorders desire and desires disorder."

Although he is clear that wildness and queerness are not interchangeable, Halberstam sees in wildness and "wild thought" queer theory's anti-identitarian impulse to explore life outside of the limits of the human and liberal governance. More than just a project of recuperating queer figures lost in the archive, Halberstam's WILD THINGS argues for a revision of queer history, one in which "nature" and the "natural world" does not function as that which sexuality defines itself with and against"

DUB
Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Duke University Press - 24.00€ -

Dub: Finding Ceremony takes inspiration from theorist Sylvia Wynter, dub poetry, and ocean life to offer a catalog of possible methods for remembering, healing, listening, and living otherwise.

"In DUB Alexis Pauline Gumbs continues with the third book in her poetry series, the first two books being Spill, inspired by Hortense Spillers, and M Archive, inspired by Jacqui Alexander. Whereas Spill deals with the contemporary afterlives of slavery and M Archive describes the post-dated evidence of our imminent apocalypse, DUB destroys Gumbs' own origin story, as she questions the assumptions and histories she has held onto most of her life. This text, through engagement with Sylvia Wynter's rigor, reinvents language outside of personal histories.

DUB is organized into topical sections, where spacious prose poems animate the voice of an underwater chorus in ceremonies that flow into one another. Beginning a daily writing practice, Gumbs wrote DUB based on moments of emphasis in Sylvia Wynter's essays (and one interview over several decades).

This book is influenced by the promiscuity and prolificity of dub music, the confrontational home-grown intimacy of dub poetry, and the descendants of this work. Dub uses the impact of repetition and the incantatory power of the spoken broken word. Gumbs uses dub to emphasize that Sylvia Wynter learned every colonial language and came to the conclusion that the ways of thinking that made colonialism and slavery imaginable were constructed over time and heretical to the ways of thinking that came before them; and so it must be possible to construct ways to understand life and place differently now as well.

Gumbs goes back to the origin stories that precede her and turns the blood into paint, emphasizing that "then" is also "now" through the broken and intense voices of ancestors. Inspired by Wynter's heretical poetic action against our deepest beliefs, DUB is an artifact and tool for breath retraining and interspecies ancestral listening.

Throughout the text, listening includes speakers who have never been considered human: whales and algae. Gumbs is attentive to kindred beyond taxonomy, questioning kinship loyalty, and suggests that our perceived survival needs are responses to a story we made up and told ourselves was written by our genes, a story that can be changed. This book will be of interest to scholars of African-American studies, diaspora studies, feminism, queer theory, English, creative writing and poetry"

Time Binds - Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories
Elizabeth Freeman
Duke University Press - 22.00€ -  out of stock

Time Binds is a powerful argument that temporal and sexual dissonance are intertwined, and that the writing of history can be both embodied and erotic. Challenging queer theory’s recent emphasis on loss and trauma, Elizabeth Freeman foregrounds bodily pleasure in the experience and representation of time as she interprets an eclectic archive of queer literature, film, video, and art. She examines work by visual artists who emerged in a commodified, “postfeminist,” and “postgay” world. Yet they do not fully accept the dissipation of political and critical power implied by the idea that various political and social battles have been won and are now consigned to the past. By privileging temporal gaps and narrative detours in their work, these artists suggest ways of putting the past into meaningful, transformative relation with the present. Such “queer asynchronies” provide opportunities for rethinking historical consciousness in erotic terms, thereby countering the methods of traditional and Marxist historiography. Central to Freeman’s argument are the concepts of chrononormativity, the use of time to organize individual human bodies toward maximum productivity; temporal drag, the visceral pull of the past on the supposedly revolutionary present; and erotohistoriography, the conscious use of the body as a channel for and means of understanding the past. Time Binds emphasizes the critique of temporality and history as crucial to queer politics.

Elizabeth Freeman is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of The Wedding Complex: Forms of Belonging in Modern American Culture, also published by Duke University Press.

Stolen Life
Fred Moten
Duke University Press - 29.00€ -  out of stock

In Stolen Life—the second volume in his landmark trilogy consent not to be a single being—Fred Moten undertakes an expansive exploration of blackness as it relates to black life and the collective refusal of social death. The essays resist categorization, moving from Moten's opening meditation on Kant, Olaudah Equiano, and the conditions of black thought through discussions of academic freedom, writing and pedagogy, non-neurotypicality, and uncritical notions of freedom.

Moten also models black study as a form of social life through an engagement with Fanon, Hartman, and Spillers and plumbs the distinction between blackness and black people in readings of Du Bois and Nahum Chandler. The force and creativity of Moten's criticism resonate throughout, reminding us not only of his importance as a thinker, but of the continued necessity of interrogating blackness as a form of sociality.

"2018 must go down for me as the year of Fred Moten’s trilogy: Black and Blur, Stolen Life, and The Universal Machine. You could say they’re essays about art, philosophy, blackness, and the refusal of social death, but I think of them more as a fractal universe forever inviting immersion and exploration, a living force now inhabiting my bookshelf." — Maggie Nelson, Bookforum

Fred Moten is Professor of Performance Studies at New York University and the author of Black and Blur and The Universal Machine, both also published by Duke University Press, and In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition.


Published July 2018

The Universal Machine
Fred Moten
Duke University Press - 29.00€ -  out of stock

In The Universal Machine — the concluding volume to his landmark trilogy consent not to be a single being — Fred Moten presents a suite of three essays on Emmanuel Levinas, Hannah Arendt, and Frantz Fanon, in which he explores questions of freedom, capture, and selfhood. In trademark style, Moten considers these thinkers alongside artists and musicians such as William Kentridge and Curtis Mayfield while interrogating the relation between blackness and phenomenology.

Whether using Levinas's idea of escape in unintended ways, examining Arendt's antiblackness through Mayfield's virtuosic falsetto and Anthony Braxton's musical language, or showing how Fanon's form of phenomenology enables black social life, Moten formulates blackness as a way of being in the world that evades regulation. Throughout The Universal Machine—and the trilogy as a whole—Moten's theorizations of blackness will have a lasting and profound impact.

Published July 2018

Fred Moten is Professor of Performance Studies at New York University and the author of Black and Blur and Stolen Life, both also published by Duke University Press, and In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition.

 

The Blue Clerk
Dionne Brand
Duke University Press - 25.00€ -  out of stock

On a lonely wharf a clerk in an ink-blue coat inspects bales and bales of paper that hold a poet's accumulated left-hand pages—the unwritten, the withheld, the unexpressed, the withdrawn, the restrained, the word-shard.

In The Blue Clerk renowned poet Dionne Brand stages a conversation and an argument between the poet and the Blue Clerk, who is the keeper of the poet's pages. In their dialogues—which take shape as a series of haunting prose poems—the poet and the clerk invoke a host of writers, philosophers, and artists, from Jacob Lawrence, Lola Kiepja, and Walter Benjamin to John Coltrane, Josephine Turalba, and Jorge Luis Borges.

Through these essay poems, Brand explores memory, language, culture, and time while intimately interrogating the act and difficulty of writing, the relationship between the poet and the world, and the link between author and art. Inviting the reader to engage with the resonant meanings of the withheld, Brand offers a profound and moving philosophy of writing and a wide-ranging analysis of the present world.

Pink Noises
Tara Rodgers
Duke University Press - 27.00€ -  out of stock

Pink Noises brings together twenty-four interviews with women in electronic music and sound cultures, including club and radio DJs, remixers, composers, improvisers, instrument builders, and installation and performance artists. The collection is an extension of Pinknoises.com, the critically-acclaimed website founded by musician and scholar Tara Rodgers in 2000 to promote women in electronic music and make information about music production more accessible to women and girls. That site featured interviews that Rodgers conducted with women artists, exploring their personal histories, their creative methods, and the roles of gender in their work. This book offers new and lengthier interviews, a critical introduction, and resources for further research and technological engagement.

Black and Blur
Fred Moten
Duke University Press - 29.00€ -  out of stock

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. 

Fred Moten is Professor of Performance Studies at New York University and the author of B Jenkins, also published by Duke University Press, In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, and coauthor of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study.

(Dec 2017)

Black Feminism Reimagined
Jennifer C. Nash
Duke University Press - 25.00€ -

In Black Feminism Reimagined Jennifer C. Nash reframes black feminism's engagement with intersectionality, often celebrated as its primary intellectual and political contribution to feminist theory. Charting the institutional history and contemporary uses of intersectionality in the academy, Nash outlines how women's studies has both elevated intersectionality to the discipline's primary program-building initiative and cast intersectionality as a threat to feminism's coherence. As intersectionality has become a central feminist preoccupation, Nash argues that black feminism has been marked by a single affect—defensiveness—manifested by efforts to police intersectionality's usages and circulations. Nash contends that only by letting go of this deeply alluring protectionist stance, the desire to make property of knowledge, can black feminists reimagine intellectual production in ways that unleash black feminist theory's visionary world-making possibilities.

(March 2019)

The Skin of the Film
Laura U. Marks
Duke University Press - 28.00€ -

Memories that evoke the physical awareness of touch, smell, and bodily presence can be vital links to home for people living in diaspora from their culture of origin. How can filmmakers working between cultures use cinema, a visual medium, to transmit that physical sense of place and culture? In The Skin of the Film Laura U. Marks offers an answer, building on the theories of Gilles Deleuze and others to explain how and why intercultural cinema represents embodied experience in a postcolonial, transnational world. 

Much of intercultural cinema, Marks argues, has its origin in silence, in the gaps left by recorded history. Filmmakers seeking to represent their native cultures have had to develop new forms of cinematic expression. Marks offers a theory of “haptic visuality”—a visuality that functions like the sense of touch by triggering physical memories of smell, touch, and taste—to explain the newfound ways in which intercultural cinema engages the viewer bodily to convey cultural experience and memory. Using close to two hundred examples of intercultural film and video, she shows how the image allows viewers to experience cinema as a physical and multisensory embodiment of culture, not just as a visual representation of experience. Finally, this book offers a guide to many hard-to-find works of independent film and video made by Third World diasporic filmmakers now living in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada.

The Skin of the Film draws on phenomenology, postcolonial and feminist theory, anthropology, and cognitive science. It will be essential reading for those interested in film theory, experimental cinema, the experience of diaspora, and the role of the sensuous in culture.

(Jan 2000)

Necropolitics
Achille Mbembe
Duke University Press - 26.00€ -  out of stock

In Necropolitics Achille Mbembe, a leader in the new wave of francophone critical theory, theorizes the genealogy of the contemporary world, a world plagued by ever-increasing inequality, militarization, enmity, and terror as well as by a resurgence of racist, fascist, and nationalist forces determined to exclude and kill. He outlines how democracy has begun to embrace its dark side---what he calls its “nocturnal body”---which is based on the desires, fears, affects, relations, and violence that drove colonialism. This shift has hollowed out democracy, thereby eroding the very values, rights, and freedoms liberal democracy routinely celebrates. As a result, war has become the sacrament of our times in a conception of sovereignty that operates by annihilating all those considered enemies of the state. Despite his dire diagnosis, Mbembe draws on post-Foucauldian debates on biopolitics, war, and race as well as Fanon's notion of care as a shared vulnerability to explore how new conceptions of the human that transcend humanism might come to pass. These new conceptions would allow us to encounter the Other not as a thing to exclude but as a person with whom to build a more just world.

(October 2019)

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