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Black Anaesthetics: African American Narrative Beyond Man

Myers, Shaun (2023) Black Anaesthetics: African American Narrative Beyond Man. In: Pitt Momentum Fund 2023.

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My current book project, Black Anaesthetics: African American Narrative Beyond Man, argues that writers such as Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, and Andrea Lee invented literary techniques of radically obscuring blackness to trouble the racial logics requiring that it always be uttered or seen. In the 1970s and 1980s, Black women writers gained unprecedented visibility in a US cultural marketplace shaped, on the one hand, by the Black Arts Movement’s demand that Black artists represent lived racial experience and, on the other, by the historical white demand that blackness reliably take its appointed form: embodied and spectacular. Yet, even as these contending forces intersected, certain Black women writers refused these expectations. Studying these women’s narrative racial experiments, Black Anaesthetics tells the story of how their integration of the mainstream publishing world conditioned the development of what I term black anaesthetics, narrative practices figuring blackness as indeterminate, but always in the shadow of the racialized world. I contend that this neglected archive of Black women’s experimentalism answered calls to transform humanism. In doing so, I illumine the disavowed Black past of what now goes by the name of “posthumanism.”


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Office of Sponsored Research > Pitt Momentum Fund
Date: 2023
Event Title: Pitt Momentum Fund 2023
Event Type: Other
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.18117/few4-8129
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > English
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: Arts & Humanities Microgrants
Other ID: 6330
Additional Information: Posters to be added by March 1, 2023
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2023 20:11
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2023 15:44


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