Conditions of the Present: Selected Essays
Lindon Barrett (1961–2008) was Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of California, Riverside, and the author of Blackness and Value: Seeing Double and Racial Blackness and the Discontinuity of Western Modernity.
<br> Janet Neary is Associate Professor of English at Hunter College, City University of New York, and the author of Fugitive Testimony: On the Visual Logic of Slave Narratives.
Conditions of the Present collects essays by the late Lindon Barrett, whose scholarship centers African American literature as a site from which to theorize race and liberation in the United States. Barrett confronts critical blind spots within both academic and popular discourse, offering readings of cultural and literary texts that transcend institutional divides and the gulf between academia and the street. Whether analyzing autobiographies by Lucy Delaney or Langston Hughes, hip-hop eulogies, or the formation of U.S. nationalist discourse, Barrett interrogates the mechanisms that shape social and subjective structures and that grant certain people power while withholding it from others. Deploying Marxist, psychoanalytic, feminist, and queer theories, Barrett explicates the interrelationship of desire and subjection to expose the violence and coercion embedded in narratives of "progress." Ultimately, this collection emphasizes Lindon Barrett's vital and enduring contribution to African American studies.<br> Contributors. Elizabeth Alexander, Jennifer DeVere Brody, Daphne A. Brooks, Linh U. Hua, Janet Neary, Marlon B. Ross, Robyn Wiegman
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