The critical axis where Robert F. Reid-Pharr’s Archives of Flesh and Gayle Rogers’s Incomparable Empires meet is geographical-discursive: Spain, as it has been insufficiently articulated vis-à-vis humanism and modernism. Although substantially different in critical style and disciplinary orientation, the two 2016 studies hold a fascinating conversation, arguing that in order to gain a more thorough understanding of the forces of humanism and modernism, US transatlantic and black transnational writing must be read through Spanish culture and history.

Articulating a posthumanist, black queer–inflected critique that relies on a range of intellectual sources, including Franz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Paul Gilroy, Cedric Robinson, and Sylvia Wynter, Archives of Flesh calls for a heretical critical approach to humanism with respect to how it sustains, despite Enlightenment rhetorics to the contrary, the histories of slavery, racism, and colonialism. As its title suggests, moreover, Archives of Flesh aims...

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