The particular brand of recuperative and archival work done by Saidiya Hartman, Fred Moten, Christina Sharpe, Frank B. Wilderson III, and others over the last twenty years has reshaped the landscape of African American literary criticism, clarifying that, in its many disciplinary genres, the field has long been propelled by the profound psychic consequences of antiblackness, whether in its archival or political or aesthetic dimensions. However, not all have been persuaded by this critical turn. Stephen Best has recently criticized, in his 2018 None Like Us, the move toward what scholars have called the melancholic historicism of the last two decades. Best, like Kenneth W. Warren a few years before him, articulates a discomfort with the formative affective tenor of contemporary black studies and interrogates the coherence of the black literary tradition. None Like Us shares not only the resistant polemic...

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