An ambitious book forged with the tarnished tools of queer theory and affective historiography—or “unhistoricism” (10), after Valerie Traub (2013)—Stephen Best's None Like Us is a manifesto. “My goal,” he begins, “is to encourage a frank reappraisal” of the “assumed conjuncture between belonging and a history of subjection” (1; emphasis added). Best's title and animating concept originate in David Walker's 1830 Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World.1 The “assumed conjuncture,” which Best leads back to Harlem Renaissance historian and activist Arturo Schomburg, is between Black archival recovery and existential reparation. “A collective is born of this inquiry into the past,” Best assures (12). But he challenges the “forensic logic” (or “forensic imagination”) of melancholy historicism, Best's term for the critical disposition evident in the archival turn (13, 21). Melancholy historicism, he argues, “connects the collective's formation to thinking about the past” in...
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Book Review| April 01 2022
Toward a Black–Queer Critical Rhetoricism
None Like Us: Blackness, Belonging, Aesthetic Life, Stephen Best,
Duke University Press,
GLQ (2022) 28 (2): 311–315.
Octavio R. González; Toward a Black–Queer Critical Rhetoricism. GLQ 1 April 2022; 28 (2): 311–315. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-9608259
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