Black Studies

Assembling a Black Counter Culture
DeForrest Brown, Jr.
Primary Information - 20.00€ -

DeForrest Brown, Jr.’s Assembling a Black Counter Culture presents a comprehensive account of techno with a focus on the history of Black experiences in industrialized labor systems—repositioning the genre as a unique form of Black musical and cultural production.

Brown traces the genealogy and current developments in techno, locating its origins in the 1980s in the historically emblematic city of Detroit and the broader landscape of Black musical forms. Reaching back from the transatlantic slave trade to Emancipation, the Industrial Revolution, and the Great Migration from the rural South to the industrialized North, Brown details an extended history of techno rooted in the transformation of urban centers and the new forms of industrial capitalism that gave rise to the African American working class. Following the groundbreaking work of key early players like The Belleville Three, the multimedia output of Underground Resistance and the mythscience of Drexciya, Brown illuminates the networks of collaboration, production, and circulation of techno from Detroit to other cities around the world.

Assembling a Black Counter Culture reframes techno from a Black theoretical perspective distinct from its cultural assimilation within predominantly white, European electronic music contexts and discourse. With references to Theodore Roszak’s Making of a Counter Culture, writings by African American autoworker and political activist James Boggs, and the “techno rebels” of Alvin Toffler’s Third Wave, among others, Brown draws parallels between movements in Black electronic music and Afrofuturist, speculative, and Afrodiasporic practices to imagine a world-building sonic fiction and futurity embodied in techno.

DeForrest Brown, Jr. is an Alabama-raised rhythmanalyst, writer, and representative of the Make Techno Black Again campaign. As Speaker Music, he channels the African American modernist tradition of rhythm and soul music as an intellectual site and sound of generational trauma. On Juneteenth of 2020, he released the album Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry on Planet Mu. His written work explores the links between the Black experience in industrialized labor systems and Black innovation in electronic music, and has appeared in Artforum, Triple Canopy, NPR, CTM Festival, Mixmag, among many others. He has performed or presented work at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Camden Arts Centre, UK; Unsound Festival, Krakow; Sónar, Barcelona; Issue Project Room, New York; and elsewhere. Assembling a Black Counter Culture is Brown’s debut book.

432 pages
5.5 x 8.25 inches
Paperback
Edition of 4000
August 2022
ISBN: 9781734489736

Editor: Rachel Valinsky
Editorial Consultant: Ting Ding and Camille Crain Drummond
Designer: Scott Ponik
Copy Editor: Madeleine Compagnon

Postcolonial Love Poem
Natalie Diaz
Graywolf Press - 16.00€ -

Postcolonial Love Poem is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz's brilliant second collection demands that every body carried in its pages--bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers--be touched and held as beloveds. Through these poems, the wounds inflicted by America onto an indigenous people are allowed to bloom pleasure and tenderness: "Let me call my anxiety, desire, then. / Let me call it, a garden." In this new lyrical landscape, the bodies of indigenous, Latinx, black, and brown women are simultaneously the body politic and the body ecstatic. In claiming this autonomy of desire, language is pushed to its dark edges, the astonishing dunefields and forests where pleasure and love are both grief and joy, violence and sensuality.  

Diaz defies the conditions from which she writes, a nation whose creation predicated the diminishment and ultimate erasure of bodies like hers and the people she loves: "I am doing my best to not become a museum / of myself. I am doing my best to breathe in and out. // I am begging: Let me be lonely but not invisible." Postcolonial Love Poem unravels notions of American goodness and creates something more powerful than hope--in it, a future is built, future being a matrix of the choices we make now, and in these poems, Diaz chooses love.

WINNER OF THE 2021 PULITZER PRIZE IN POETRY 

FINALIST FOR THE 2020 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY 

 

Just Us: An American Conversation
Claudia Rankine
Graywolf Press - 20.00€ -  out of stock

In Just Us, Claudia Rankine invites us into a necessary conversation about Whiteness in America. What would it take for us to breach the silence, guilt, and violence that arise from addressing Whiteness for what it is? What are the consequences if we keep avoiding this conversation? What might it look like if we step into it? "I learned early that being right pales next to staying in the room," she writes. 

This brilliant assembly of essays, poems, documents, and images disrupts the false comfort of our culture's liminal and private spaces--the airport, the theater, the dinner party, the voting booth--where neutrality and politeness deflect true engagement in our shared problems. Rankine makes unprecedented art out of the actual voices and rebuttals of others: White men responding to, and with, their White male privilege; a friend clarifying her unexpected behavior at a play; and women on the street expressing the political currency of dyeing their hair blond, all running alongside fact-checked notes and commentary that complement Rankine's own text, complicating notions of authority and who gets the last word. Funny, vulnerable, and prescient, Just Us is Rankine's most intimate and urgent book, a crucial call to challenge our vexed reality.

Claudia Rankine is a poet, an essayist, and a playwright. Just Us completes her groundbreaking trilogy, following Don't Let Me Be Lonely and Citizen. She is a MacArthur Fellow and teaches at New York University.

The Will to Change
bell hooks
Washington Square Press - 17.00€ -  out of stock

Everyone needs to love and be loved -- even men. But to know love, men must be able to look at the ways that patriarchal culture keeps them from knowing themselves, from being in touch with their feelings, from loving. In The Will to Change, bell hooks gets to the heart of the matter and shows men how to express the emotions that are a fundamental part of who they are -- whatever their age, marital status, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. With trademark candor and fierce intelligence, hooks addresses the most common concerns of men, such as fear of intimacy and loss of their patriarchal place in society, in new and challenging ways. She believes men can find the way to spiritual unity by getting back in touch with the emotionally open part of themselves -- and lay claim to the rich and rewarding inner lives that have historically been the exclusive province of women. A brave and astonishing work, The Will to Change is designed to help men reclaim the best part of themselves.

bell hooks was a cultural critic, a feminist theorist, and the renowned author of more than twenty books, including Rock My Soul, The Will to Change, Sisters of the Yam, and When Angels Speak of Love. A charismatic speaker, she divided her time between teaching, writing, and lecturing around the world. A resident of Kentucky and New York City, she passed away in 2021.

Bone Black Memories of Childhood
bell hooks
Holt Mcdougal - 17.00€ -

Stitching together girlhood memories with the finest threads of innocence, feminist intellectual bell hooks presents a powerfully intimate account of growing up in the South.

"With the emotion of poetry, the narrative of a novel, and the truth of experience, bell hooks weaves a girlhood memoir you won't be able to put down--or forget. Bone Black takes us into the cave of self-creation."-- Gloria Steinem 

A memoir of ideas and perceptions, Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood shows the unfolding of female creativity and one strong-spirited child's journey toward becoming a writer. She learns early on the roles women and men play in society, as well as the emotional vulnerability of children. She sheds new light on a society that beholds the joys of marriage for men and condemns anything more than silence for women. In this world, too, black is a woman's color--worn when earned--daughters and daddies are strangers under the same roof, and crying children are often given something to cry about. hooks finds comfort in solitude, good company in books. She also discovers, in the motionless body of misunderstanding, that writing is her most vital breath.

The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study
Stefano Harney & Fred Moten
Minor Composition - 19.50€ -  out of stock

In this series of essays Fred Moten and Stefano Harney draw on the theory and practice of the black radical tradition as it supports, inspires, and extends contemporary social and political thought and aesthetic critique. Today the general wealth of social life finds itself confronted by mutations in the mechanisms of control, from the proliferation of capitalist logistics through governance by credit and management of pedagogy.

Working from and within the social poesis of life in the undercommons Moten and Harney develop and expand an array of concepts: study, debt, surround, planning, and the shipped. On the fugitive path of an historical and global blackness, the essays in this volume unsettle and invite the reader to the self-organised ensembles of social life that are launched every day and every night amid the general antagonism of the undercommons.

Published 2013.

Play-White
Bianca Baldi
K. Verlag - 24.00€ -

The racist term "play-white" comes from the apartheid era, when it connoted a black or mixed race person who lived as a white person: “So and so is a play-white.” South African artist Bianca Baldi draws from studies of biomimicry and her own family history, as well as literary precedents—such as Nella Larsen’s novel Passing (1929)—to reflect on racial passing and the instability of racial identities. Play-White alternates between layers of visualization and moments of discretion in order to explore questions of presence and evasion beyond their representation in black and white.

With contributions by Bianca Baldi, Mika Conradie, Shoniqua Roach, Amy Watson, and others; design by Katharina Tauer & Wolfgang Hückel in collaboration with K. Verlag.

Published 2021

Can the Subaltern Speak?
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza
Afterall Books - 18.00€ -

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's landmark essay in decolonial thought is animated for a new generation with art by Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza.

In 1985 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's seminal essay, 'Can the Subaltern Speak' transformed the analysis of colonialism. In a deeply divided world Spivak's text interrogated the historical and ideological factors that, by obstructing the potential for certain subjects to be heard, maintained the degraded status of those subjects on the world's peripheries. The text remains, in the third decade of the twenty-first century, as compelling as ever, and affirms the continuing relevance of Marxism to contemporary decolonial thought.

In this Afterall Two Works edition, the essay is given new life in dialogue with especially commissioned artwork by Ecuadorian artist Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza. Loaiza's preoccupation with questions of visibility and occlusion, the need for and absence of the image, has guide the creation of a mesmerising set of works. These form a visual vocabulary that echoes and refracts Spivak's central terms, bringing new inflections to an enduringly important text.

 

All Incomplete
Stefano Harney, Fred Moten
Minor Composition - 28.00€ -  out of stock

Building on the ideas Harney and Moten developed in The Undercommons, All Incomplete extends the critical investigation of logistics, individuation and sovereignty. It reflects their chances to travel, listen and deepen their commitment to and claim upon partiality. All Incomplete studies the history of a preference for the force and ground and underground of social existence.

Black Art Notes
Tom Lloyd (Ed.)
Primary Information - 16.00€ -

A prescient document of art-industry and museum critique from Black artists and writers.

A collection of essays edited by artist and organizer Tom Lloyd and first published in 1971, Black Art Notes was a critical response to the Contemporary Black Artists in America exhibition at the Whitney Museum, but grew into a "concrete affirmation of Black Art philosophy as interpreted by eight Black artists," as Lloyd notes in the introduction.

This facsimile edition features writings by Lloyd, Amiri Baraka, Melvin Dixon, Jeff Donaldson, Ray Elkins, Babatunde Folayemi, and Francis & Val Gray Ward. These artists position the Black Arts Movement outside of white, Western frameworks and articulate the movement as one created by and existing for Black people. Their essays outline the racism of the art world, condemning the attempts of museums and other white cultural institutions to tokenize, whitewash and neutralize Black art, and offer solutions through self-determination and immediate political reform. While the publication was created to respond to a particular moment, the systemic problems that it addresses remain pervasive, making these critiques both timely and urgent.

Selected Works of Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde
W. W. Norton & Company - 17.00€ -

A definitive selection of prose and poetry from the self-described "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet," for a new generation of readers. Audre Lorde is an unforgettable voice in twentieth-century literature, one of the first to center the experiences of black, queer women. Her incisive essays and passionate poetry-alive with sensuality, vulnerability, and rage-remain indelible contributions to intersectional feminism, queer theory, and critical race studies.

This essential reader showcases twelve landmark essays and more than sixty poems, selected and introduced by one of our most powerful contemporary voices on race and gender, Roxane Gay.

The essays include "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House," "I Am Your Sister," and excerpts from the National Book Award-winning A Burst of Light. The poems are drawn from Lorde's nine volumes, including National Book Award nominee The Land Where Other People Live. As Gay writes in her astute introduction, The Selected Works of Audre Lorde celebrates "an exemplar of public intellectualism who is as relevant in this century as she was in the last."

Published September 2020

Double Trio: Tej Bet, So's Notice, Nerve Church (Limited Edition Box Set)
Nathaniel Mackey
New Directions Publishing - 65.00€ -

For thirty-five years American poet Nathaniel Mackey has been writing a long poem of fugitive making like no other: two elegiac, intertwined serial poems--"Song of the Andoumboulou" and " Mu"--that follow a mysterious, migrant "we" through the rhythms and currents of the world with lyrical virtuosity and impassioned expectancy. In a note to this astonishing box set of new work, Mackey writes:

"I turned sixty-five within a couple of months of beginning to write Double Trio and I was within a couple of months of turning seventy-one when I finished it.... It was a period of distress and precarity inside and outside both. During this period, a certain disposition or dispensation came upon me that I would characterize or sum up with the words all day music. It was a period during which I wanted never not to be thinking between poetry and music, poetry and the daily or the everyday, the everyday and the alter-everyday. Philosophically and technically, the work meant to be always pertaining to the relation of parts to one another and of parts to an evolving whole."

Structured in part after the last three movements of John Coltrane's Meditations--"Love," "Consequence," and "Serenity"-- Double Trio stretches the explorations and improvisations of free jazz into unprecedented poetic territory.

Nathaniel Mackey was born in Miami, Florida in 1947. He is the author of several books of poetry, fiction, and criticism, and has received many awards for his work, including the National Book Award in poetry for Splay Anthem, the Stephen Henderson Award from the African American Literature and Culture Society, and the Bollingen Prize from the Beinecke Library at Yale University. Mackey is the Reynolds Price Professor of English at Duke University, and edits the literary journal Hambone.

Published April 2021.

Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil
W.E.B. Du Bois
Verso Books - 19.50€ -  out of stock

The distinguished American civil rights leader, W. E. B. Du Bois first published these fiery essays, sketches, and poems individually nearly 80 years ago in the Atlantic, the Journal of Race Development, and other periodicals. Part essay, part autobiography, Darkwaterexplicitly addresses significant issues, such as the oppression of women and Eurocentric standards of beauty, the historical rise of the idea of whiteness, and the abridgement of democracy along race, class, and gender lines. Reflecting the author’s ideas as a politician, historian, and artist, this volume has long moved and inspired readers with its militant cry for social, political, and economic reforms for black Americans.

All About Love: New Visions
bell hooks
William Morrow - 17.00€ -  out of stock

The acclaimed first volume in feminist icon bell hooks' Love Song to the Nation, All About Love is a revelation about what causes a polarized society and how to heal the divisions that cause suffering. Here is the truth about love, and inspiration to help us instill caring, compassion, and strength in our homes, schools, and workplaces.

"The word 'love' is most often defined as a noun, yet we would all love better if we used it as a verb," writes bell hooks as she comes out fighting and on fire in All About Love. Here, at her most provocative and intensely personal, renowned scholar, cultural critic and feminist bell hooks offers a proactive new ethic for a society bereft with lovelessness—not the lack of romance, but the lack of care, compassion, and unity. People are divided, she declares, by society's failure to provide a model for learning to love.

As bell hooks uses her incisive mind to explore the question "What is love?" her answers strike at both the mind and heart. Razing the cultural paradigm that the ideal love is infused with sex and desire, she provides a new path to love that is sacred, redemptive, and healing for individuals and for a nation. The Utne Reader declared bell hooks one of the "100 Visionaries Who Can Change Your Life." All About Love is a powerful, timely affirmation of just how profoundly her revelations can change hearts and minds for the better.

Blackspace: On the Poetics of an Afrofuture
Anaïs Duplan
Black Ocean - 19.00€ -  out of stock

Black artists of the avant-garde have always defined the future.

Blackspace: On the Poetics of an Afrofuture is the culmination of six years of multidisciplinary research by trans poet and curator Anaïs Duplan about the aesthetic strategies used by experimental artists of color since the 1960s to pursue liberatory possibility. Through a series of lyric essays, interviews with contemporary artists and writers of color, and ekphrastic poetry, Duplan deconstructs how creative people frame their relationships to the word, "liberation." With a focus on creatives who use digital media and language-as-technology, luminaries like Actress, Juliana Huxtable, Lawrence Andrews, Tony Cokes, Sondra Perry, and Nathaniel Mackey, Duplan offers three lenses for thinking about liberation: the personal, the social, and the existential. Arguing that true freedom is impossible without considering all three, the book culminates with a personal essay meditating on the author's own journey of gender transition while writing the book.  

Anaïs Duplan is a trans* poet, curator, and artist. He is the founding curator for the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, an artist residency program for artists of color, based in Iowa City. He has worked as an adjunct poetry professor at the University of Iowa, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence, and St. Joseph's College. He was a 2017-2019 joint Public Programs Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Published Oct 2020

Blackfishing the IUD (Yellow Papers 3)
Caren Beilin
The Last Books - 9.50€ -  out of stock

Excerpts from Caren Beilin’s 2019 essay/memoir about reproductive health and the IUD, gendered illness, medical gaslighting, and activism in the chronic illness community.

“The moon is hollow. The moon is hollow says a certain contingent of people, because of aliens (and, also, the moon has experienced bangs on its surface that have apparently made it ring just like a bell).
These people are conspiracy theorists. Paranoid, conclusive, certain. Too certain. They connect the dots with their eager, enormous chalk. They want something to be true. They want, I think, something new to be true, and they are taken (as I am) with the moon being like a bell, two phonemes, moon, bell, beautiful and struck across each other’s false armor, mutable and beautiful.
The moon is a bell, as the theorist Georges Bataille, in 1931, said, ‘The sun is an anus.’ He was arguing about the beauty – the absolute energy – of the copula.

‘The verb to be is the vehicle of amorous frenzy,’ he wrote, the year that Benjamin unpacked his library, alone. The moon is a bell, and I believe this absolutely, sure. The IUD is the RA. The sexual force of the verb, is, to be, of my verbacious being, will knock any noun into the moon and beyond. Everything is a parody, can be anything. The moon is hollow and made of muleskin. The moon is hollow, insofar as it is coated with the agglutinate, the shining coat, of a limit. I cannot go into the moon with my eyesight. I can’t enter my womb from that time (in November 2015) and sit crosslegged by the device, at the base of its suspending embedding, in the oaty red fist of my uterus, and watch the metal loam off its rigid cross-branch – and leech into tissues and activate, or reanimate, flare, or push over my problem. I can’t spy the center of the inception or the core of my being. I only know the timing. My health deteriorated rapidly after it was in, and I know how horrible it is, to cease planning for trips, outings, applications, or children, waiting and watching for how bad and how soon, and that the moon is hollow

This pamphlet excerpts from Blackfishing the IUD, published in 2019 by Wolfman Books, Oakland. With thanks to Caren Beilin, Jacob Kahn, and Justin Carder.

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

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€ -

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.

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

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.

Tales of Nevèrÿon (Return to Neveryon, Book 1)
Samuel R. Delany
Wesleyan - 18.00€ -

The eleven stories, novellas, and novels in Return to Nevèrÿon's four volumes chronicle a long-ago land on civilization's brink, perhaps in Asia or Africa, or even on the Mediterranean. Taken slave in childhood, Gorgik gains his freedom, leads a slave revolt, and becomes a minister of state, finally abolishing slavery. Ironically, however, he is sexually aroused by the iron slave collars of servitude. Does this contaminate his mission -- or intensify it? Presumably elaborated from an ancient text of unknown geographical origin, the stories are sunk in translators' and commentators' introductions and appendices, forming a richly comic frame.

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.

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