Rowman and Littlefield International

The Desiring Modes of Being Black

Literature and Critical Theory

By Jean-Paul Rocchi

Part of the series Global Critical Caribbean Thought

Publication Date: Jun 2018

Pages 256

Hardback 9781783483983
£80.00 €112.00 $120.00
Ebook 9781783484003
£24.99 €34.99 $38.99
Not available for pre-order
A critique of theory through literature that celebrates the diversity of black being, The Desiring Modes of Being Black explores how literature unearths theoretical blind spots while reasserting the legitimacy of emotional turbulence in the controlled realm of reason that rationality claims to establish. This approach operates a critical shift by examining psychoanalytical texts from the literary perspective of black desiring subjectivities and experiences. This combination of psychoanalysis and the politics of literary interpretation of black texts helps determine how contemporary African American and diasporic literature and queer texts come to defy and challenge the racial and sexual postulates of psychoanalysis or indeed any theoretical system that intends to define race, gender and sexualities.

The Desiring Modes of Being Black includes essays on James Baldwin, Sigmund Freud, Ernest J. Gaines, Melvin Dixon, Essex Hemphill, Assotto Saint, and Rozena Maart. The metacritical reading they unfold interweaves African American Culture, Fanonian and Caribbean Thought, South African Black Consciousness, French Theory, Psychoanalysis, and Gender and Queer Studies.
/ Part I: In & Through: Literature and Theory / 1. “Just got to keep going”: Ernest J. Gaines’s Miss Jane, Fictional Autobiography, and the Working-Through of Identity / 2. Dying Metaphors and Deadly Fantasies: Freud, Baldwin, and Race as Intimacy / 3. Writing as I Lay Dying: AIDS Literature, the Death of Identity, and the H(a)unting of Blackness / 4. Walls as Words as Weapons as Womb as “Woooooow”: South African Black Consciousness, Desire and Post-Identity in Rozena Maart’s “No Rosa, No District Six” / 5. “The Substance of Things Hoped For”: Melvin Dixon’s VanishingRooms; or Racism Intimately / Part II: The Other Bites the Dust: Epistemology and Identity / 6. The Death of the Other: Towards an Epistemology of Identity / 7. After and With Fanon: Literature and the Meta-Psychoanalysis of Race / 8. An Idea of France: Black Studies and the Discipline of Jouissance / Bibliography / Index
Jean-Paul Rocchi is Professor of American Literature and Culture at University Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée.

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