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African American Literature Beyond Race

Author: Gene Andrew Jarrett
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814742882
Size: 41.45 MB
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Women now account for the majority of all new HIV/AIDS cases diagnosed in the United States. Yet, the resources allotted to women for research, health services, education, and outreach remain woefully inadequate. The Gender Politics of HIV/AIDS in Women fills crucial gaps in understanding the specific effects of HIV and AIDS on and in women's lives. It takes as its starting point the premise that it is vitally important for researchers, teachers, health service providers, public policy makers, and community-based organizers to begin taking gender-- especially as it intersects with race, class, and sexuality-- into consideration as they work with HIV-infected women. The first comprehensive, interdisciplinary volume on this topic, The Gender Politics of HIV/AIDS in Women goes beyond tokenism, with a contributor's list made up of approximately 45% people of color, including African Americans, Latinos/as, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans. The volume emphasizes marginalized populations such as the homeless, sexworkers, youth, the elderly, intravenous drug users, transgendered people, lesbians, bisexuals, incarcerated women, and victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. The contributors, including Evelyn Hammonds, Risa Denenberg, Michelle Murrain, and Paul Farmer, are recognized experts in their diverse fields. From their posts at the center of the pandemic--in the laboratory, the academy, clinics, and community based organizations--they criticize blind spots in the recognition and treatment of HIV in women and articulate accessible and practical solutions to specific areas of difficulty.

Representing The Race

Author: Gene Andrew Jarrett
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814743404
Size: 74.32 MB
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The political value of African American literature has long been a topic of great debate among American writers, both black and white, from Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama. In his compelling new book, Representing the Race, Gene Andrew Jarrett traces the genealogy of this topic in order to develop an innovative political history of African American literature. Jarrett examines texts of every sort—pamphlets, autobiographies, cultural criticism, poems, short stories, and novels—to parse the myths of authenticity, popular culture, nationalism, and militancy that have come to define African American political activism in recent decades. He argues that unless we show the diverse and complex ways that African American literature has transformed society, political myths will continue to limit our understanding of this intellectual tradition. Cultural forums ranging from the printing press, schools, and conventions, to parlors, railroad cars, and courtrooms provide the backdrop to this African American literary history, while the foreground is replete with compelling stories, from the debate over racial genius in early American history and the intellectual culture of racial politics after slavery, to the tension between copyright law and free speech in contemporary African American culture, to the political audacity of Barack Obama’s creative writing. Erudite yet accessible, Representing the Race is a bold explanation of what’s at stake in continuing to politicize African American literature in the new millennium.

Deans And Truants

Author: Gene Andrew Jarrett
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 081220235X
Size: 33.84 MB
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For a work to be considered African American literature, does it need to focus on black characters or political themes? Must it represent these within a specific stylistic range? Or is it enough for the author to be identified as African American? In Deans and Truants, Gene Andrew Jarrett traces the shifting definitions of African American literature and the authors who wrote beyond those boundaries at the cost of critical dismissal and, at times, obscurity. From the late nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth, de facto deans—critics and authors as different as William Howells, Alain Locke, Richard Wright, and Amiri Baraka—prescribed the shifting parameters of realism and racial subject matter appropriate to authentic African American literature, while truant authors such as Paul Laurence Dunbar, George S. Schuyler, Frank Yerby, and Toni Morrison—perhaps the most celebrated African American author of the twentieth century—wrote literature anomalous to those standards. Jarrett explores the issues at stake when Howells, the "Dean of American Letters," argues in 1896 that only Dunbar's "entirely black verse," written in dialect, "would succeed." Three decades later, Locke, the cultural arbiter of the Harlem Renaissance, stands in contrast to Schuyler, a journalist and novelist who questions the existence of a peculiarly black or "New Negro" art. Next, Wright's 1937 blueprint for African American writing sets the terms of the Chicago Renaissance, but Yerby's version of historical romance approaches race and realism in alternative literary ways. Finally, Deans and Truants measures the gravitational pull of the late 1960s Black Aesthetic in Baraka's editorial silence on Toni Morrison's first and only short story, "Recitatif." Drawing from a wealth of biographical, historical, and literary sources, Deans and Truants describes the changing notions of race, politics, and gender that framed and were framed by the authors and critics of African American culture for more than a century.

How To Read African American Literature

Author: Aida Levy-Hussen
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479838144
Size: 52.95 MB
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How to Read African American Literature offers a series of provocations to unsettle the predominant assumptions readers make when encountering post-Civil Rights black fiction. Foregrounding the large body of literature and criticism that grapples with legacies of the slave past, Aida Levy-Hussen’s argument develops on two levels: as a textual analysis of black historical fiction, and as a critical examination of the reading practices that characterize the scholarship of our time. Drawing on psychoanalysis, memory studies, and feminist and queer theory, Levy-Hussen examines how works by Toni Morrison, David Bradley, Octavia Butler, Charles Johnson, and others represent and mediate social injury and collective grief. In the criticism that surrounds these novels, she identifies two major interpretive approaches: “therapeutic reading” (premised on the assurance that literary confrontations with historical trauma will enable psychic healing in the present), and “prohibitive reading” (anchored in the belief that fictions of returning to the past are dangerous and to be avoided). Levy-Hussen argues that these norms have become overly restrictive, standing in the way of a more supple method of interpretation that recognizes and attends to the indirect, unexpected, inconsistent, and opaque workings of historical fantasy and desire. Moving beyond the question of whether literature must heal or abandon historical wounds, Levy-Hussen proposes new ways to read African American literature now. Instructor's Guide

What Was African American Literature

Author: Kenneth W. Warren
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674059565
Size: 38.12 MB
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Warren argues, quite bluntly, that “African American literature” has outlived its relevance as the dominant category for poetry, fiction, and plays written by African Americans. Contradicting an influential portion of the field, which regards this literature as an emanation of vernacular expression going back to slavery, and even to Africa, Warren asserts that African American literature was the body of literature and criticism written by black Americans within and against the strictures of Jim Crow America. In arguing against the continued relevance of the category of African American literature, Warren is certainly not claiming that racism has ceased to exist. Rather, he says that while it continues to make a great difference in African American life, other social and political factors weigh heavily also - so much so that categories which take race as the fundamental unifying category of black expression no longer serve well in meeting the challenges of the moment. In this respect, Warren shows that “African American literature” is a category that has not sufficiently adjusted with our current material and ideological circumstances to warrant claims to a changing present or a provisional futurity. Warren argues that the presumptions and protocols of the category remain ossified within the past, within a definition that only shows how its primary arbiters and practitioners were themselves ossified as contradictory or compromised men of their time.

The Routledge Introduction To African American Literature

Author: D. Quentin Miller
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317605632
Size: 47.43 MB
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The Routledge Introduction to African American Literature considers the key literary, political, historical and intellectual contexts of African American literature from its origins to the present, and also provides students with an analysis of the most up-to-date literary trends and debates in African American literature. This accessible and engaging guide covers a variety of essential topics such as: Vernacular, Oral, and Blues Traditions in Literature Slave Narratives and Their Influence The Harlem Renaissance Mid-twentieth century black American Literature Literature of the civil rights and Black Power era Contemporary African American Writing Key thematic and theoretical debates within the field Examining the relationship between the literature and its historical and sociopolitical contexts, D. Quentin Miller covers key authors and works as well as less canonical writers and themes, including literature and music, female authors, intersectionality and transnational black writing.

Writing Beyond Race

Author: Bell Hooks
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415539145
Size: 65.75 MB
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What are the conditions needed for our nation to bridge cultural and racial divides? By "writing beyond race," noted cultural critic bell hooks models the constructive ways scholars, activists, and readers can challenge and change systems of domination. In the spirit of previous classics like Outlaw Culture and Reel to Real, this new collection of compelling essays interrogates contemporary cultural notions of race, gender, and class. From the films Precious and Crash to recent biographies of Malcolm X and Henrietta Lacks, hooks offers provocative insights into the way race is being talked about in this "post-racial" era.

Converging Stories

Author: Jeffrey Myers
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 9780820327440
Size: 15.67 MB
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This book argues that in US literature, discourse on the themes of race and ecology is too narrowly focused on the twentieth century and does not adequately take into account how these themes are interrelated. This study broadens the field by looking at writings from the nineteenth century.

To Wake The Nations

Author: Eric J. Sundquist
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674893313
Size: 26.57 MB
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This powerful book argues that white culture in America does not exist apart from black culture. The revolution of the rights of man that established this country collided long ago with the system of slavery, and we have been trying to reestablish a steady course for ourselves ever since. To Wake the Nations is urgent and rousing: we have integrated our buses, schools, and factories, but not the canon of American literature. That is the task Eric Sundquist has assumed in a book that ranges from politics to literature, from Uncle Remus to African American spirituals. But the hallmark of this volume is a sweeping reevaluation of the glory years of American literature--from 1830 to 1930--that shows how white literature and black literature form a single interwoven tradition. By examining African America's contested relation to the intellectual and literary forms of white culture, Sundquist reconstructs the main lines of American literary tradition from the decades before the Civil War through the early twentieth century. An opening discussion of Nat Turner's "Confessions," recorded by a white man, Thomas Gray, establishes a paradigm for the complexity of meanings that Sundquist uncovers in American literary texts. Focusing on Frederick Douglass's autobiographical books, Herman Melville's Benito Cereno, Martin Delany's novel Blake; or the Huts of America, Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson, Charles Chesnutt's fiction, and W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk and Darkwater, Sundquist considers each text against a rich background of history, law, literature, politics, religion, folklore, music, and dance. These readings lead to insights into components of the culture at large: slavery as it intersected with postcolonial revolutionary ideology; literary representations of the legal and political foundations of segregation; and the transformation of elements of African and antebellum folk consciousness into the public forms of American literature. "Almost certainly the finest book yet written on race and American literature," writes Arnold Rampersad of Princeton University. To Wake the Nations "amounts to a startlingly penetrating commentary on American culture, a commentary that should have a powerful impact on areas far beyond the texts investigated here."

Passing And The Rise Of The African American Novel

Author: Maria Giulia Fabi
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252026676
Size: 61.92 MB
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Passing And the Rise of the African American Novelrestores to its rightful place a body of American literature that has long been overlooked, dismissed, or misjudged. This insightful reconsideration of nineteenth-century African American fiction uncovers the literary artistry and ideological complexity of a body of work that laid the foundation For the Harlem Renaissance and changed the course of American letters. Focusing on the trope of passing--black characters lightskinned enough to pass for white--M. Giulia Fabi shows how early African American authors such as William Wells Brown, Frank J. Webb, Charles W. Chesnutt, Sutton E. Griggs, Frances E. W. Harper, Edward A. Johnson, and James Weldon Johnson transformed traditional representations of blackness and moved beyond the tragic mulatto motif. Challenging the myths of racial purity And The color line, these authors used passing to celebrate a distinctive, African American history, culture, and worldview. Fabi examines how early black writers adapted existing literary forms, including the sentimental romance, The domestic novel, And The utopian novel, To express their convictions and concerns about slavery, segregation, and racism. Chesnutt used passing as both a structural and a thematic element, while James Weldon Johnson innovated by parodying the earlier novels of passing and presenting the decision to pass as the result, rather than the cause, of cultural alienation. Fabi also gives a historical overview of the canon-making enterprises of African American critics from the 1850s To The 1990s and considers how their concerns about promoting the canonization of African American literature affected their perceptions of nineteenth-century black fiction.