This article posits that recent reparative responses to the opioid crisis are consistent with a longer history of reparative hermeneutics conditioned by the drug wars in the Americas, ones that attempt to repair but often reinforce the biopolitical logics produced by the artificial divide between licit and illicit drugs, a distinction that facilitates both racial and imperialist policing and racial capitalist profiteering. The humanities’ postcritical reorientation, and particularly the turn toward the reparative, is underwritten by such relations between state, capital, and drug policy. To investigate the reverberations of such contemporary political and academic investments in drug-war-fueled repair, the article focuses on a recent wave of black fiction and film that reenvisions the 1980s War on Drugs in the era of the opioid epidemic, with particular attention to Barry Jenkins’s film Moonlight (2016) and James Hannaham’s novel Delicious Foods (2015).
Reparative Reading and the Drug Wars’ Queer Children
patricia stuelke is an assistant professor in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. She is the author of The Ruse of Repair: u.s. Neoliberal Empire and the Turn from Critique (Duke University Press, 2021).
Patricia Stuelke; Reparative Reading and the Drug Wars’ Queer Children. differences 1 May 2022; 33 (1): 60–91. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10407391-9735455
Download citation file: