by Duke University Press

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

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 - 25.00€ -

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€ -  out of stock

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 - 28.00€ -

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€ -  out of stock

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€ -  out of stock

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)

Sex, or the Unbearable
Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman
Duke University Press - 24.00€ -  out of stock

Sex, or the Unbearable is a dialogue between Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman, two of our leading theorists of sexuality, politics, and culture. In juxtaposing sex and the unbearable they don't propose that sex is unbearable, only that it unleashes unbearable contradictions that we nonetheless struggle to bear. In Berlant and Edelman's exchange, those terms invoke disturbances produced in encounters with others, ourselves, and the world, disturbances that tap into threats induced by fears of loss or rupture as well as by our hopes for repair.

Through virtuoso interpretations of works of cinema, photography, critical theory, and literature, including Lydia Davis's story "Break It Down" (reprinted in full here), Berlant and Edelman explore what it means to live with negativity, with those divisions that may be irreparable. Together, they consider how such negativity affects politics, theory, and intimately felt encounters. But where their critical approaches differ, neither hesitates to voice disagreement. Their very discussion—punctuated with moments of frustration, misconstruction, anxiety, aggression, recognition, exhilaration, and inspiration—enacts both the difficulty and the potential of encounter, the subject of this unusual exchange between two eminent critics and close friends.

Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism
Elizabeth A. Povinelli
Duke University Press - 26.00€ -  out of stock

In Geontologies Elizabeth A. Povinelli continues her project of mapping the current conditions of late liberalism by offering a bold retheorization of power. Finding Foucauldian biopolitics unable to adequately reveal contemporary mechanisms of power and governance, Povinelli describes a mode of power she calls geontopower, which operates through the regulation of the distinction between Life and Nonlife and the figures of the Desert, the Animist, and the Virus. Geontologies examines this formation of power from the perspective of Indigenous Australian maneuvers against the settler state.

And it probes how our contemporary critical languages—anthropogenic climate change, plasticity, new materialism, antinormativity—often unwittingly transform their struggles against geontopower into a deeper entwinement within it. A woman who became a river, a snakelike entity who spawns the fog, plesiosaurus fossils and vast networks of rock weirs: in asking how these different forms of existence refuse incorporation into the vocabularies of Western theory Povinelli provides a revelatory new way to understand a form of power long self-evident in certain regimes of settler late liberalism but now becoming visible much further beyond.

The Female Complaint
Lauren Berlant
Duke University Press - 29.00€ -  out of stock

The Female Complaint is part of Lauren Berlant’s groundbreaking “national sentimentality” project charting the emergence of the U.S. political sphere as an affective space of attachment and identification. In this book, Berlant chronicles the origins and conventions of the first mass-cultural “intimate public” in the United States, a “women’s culture” distinguished by a view that women inevitably have something in common and are in need of a conversation that feels intimate and revelatory. As Berlant explains, “women’s” books, films, and television shows enact a fantasy that a woman’s life is not just her own, but an experience understood by other women, no matter how dissimilar they are. The commodified genres of intimacy, such as “chick lit,” circulate among strangers, enabling insider self-help talk to flourish in an intimate public. Sentimentality and complaint are central to this commercial convention of critique; their relation to the political realm is ambivalent, as politics seems both to threaten sentimental values and to provide certain opportunities for their extension.

Pairing literary criticism and historical analysis, Berlant explores the territory of this intimate public sphere through close readings of U.S. women’s literary works and their stage and film adaptations. Her interpretation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and its literary descendants reaches from Harriet Beecher Stowe to Toni Morrison’s Beloved, touching on Shirley Temple, James Baldwin, and The Bridges of Madison County along the way. Berlant illuminates different permutations of the women’s intimate public through her readings of Edna Ferber’s Show Boat; Fannie Hurst’s Imitation of Life; Olive Higgins Prouty’s feminist melodrama Now, Voyager; Dorothy Parker’s poetry, prose, and Academy Award–winning screenplay for A Star Is Born; the Fay Weldon novel and Roseanne Barr film The Life and Loves of a She-Devil; and the queer, avant-garde film Showboat 1988–The RemakeThe Female Complaint is a major contribution from a leading Americanist.

The Hundreds
Laurent Berlant, Kathleen Stewart
Duke University Press - 24.00€ -

In The Hundreds Lauren Berlant and Kathleen Stewart speculate on writing, affect, politics, and attention to processes of world-making.

The experiment of the one hundred word constraint, each piece is one hundred or multiples of one hundred words long, amplifies the resonance of things that are happening in atmospheres, rhythms of encounter, and scenes that shift the social and conceptual ground.

What's an encounter with anything once it's seen as an incitement to composition? What's a concept or a theory if they're no longer seen as a truth effect, but a training in absorption, attention, and framing? 

The Hundreds includes four indexes in which Andrew Causey, Susan Lepselter, Fred Moten, and Stephen Muecke each respond with their own compositional, conceptual, and formal staging of the worlds of the book.

The Feminist Bookstore Movement
Kristen Hogan
Duke University Press - 28.00€ -  out of stock

From the 1970s through the 1990s more than one hundred feminist bookstores built a transnational network that helped shape some of feminism's most complex conversations. Kristen Hogan traces the feminist bookstore movement's rise and eventual fall, restoring its radical work to public feminist memory. The bookwomen at the heart of this story--mostly lesbians and including women of color--measured their success not by profit, but by developing theories and practices of lesbian antiracism and feminist accountability.

At bookstores like BookWoman in Austin, the Toronto Women's Bookstore, and Old Wives' Tales in San Francisco, and in the essential Feminist Bookstore News, bookwomen changed people's lives and the world. In retelling their stories, Hogan not only shares the movement's tools with contemporary queer antiracist feminist activists and theorists, she gives us a vocabulary, strategy, and legacy for thinking through today's feminisms.

What's the Use?
Sara Ahmed
Duke University Press - 25.00€ -  out of stock

In What’s the Use? Sara Ahmed continues the work she began in The Promise of Happiness and Willful Subjects by taking up a single word—in this case, use—and following it around. She shows how use became associated with life and strength in nineteenth-century biological and social thought and considers how utilitarianism offered a set of educational techniques for shaping individuals by directing them toward useful ends.

Ahmed also explores how spaces become restricted to some uses and users, with specific reference to universities. She notes, however, the potential for queer use: how things can be used in ways that were not intended or by those for whom they were not intended. Ahmed posits queer use as a way of reanimating the project of diversity work as the ordinary and painstaking task of opening up institutions to those who have historically been excluded.

Touching Feeling
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
Duke University Press - 24.00€ -  out of stock

A pioneer in queer theory and literary studies, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick brings together for the first time in Touching Feeling her most powerful explorations of emotion and expression. In essays that show how her groundbreaking work in queer theory has developed into a deep interest in affect, Sedgwick offers what she calls "tools and techniques for nondualistic thought," in the process touching and transforming such theoretical discourses as psychoanalysis, speech-act theory, Western Buddhism, and the Foucauldian "hermeneutics of suspicion."

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