This essay sketches out a protocol for reading Ren Ellis Neyra’s The Cry of the Senses: Listening to Latinx and Caribbean Poetics (2020) from the vantage point of Ellis Neyra’s more recent work on Brownness and (non)relation. The essay aims to explore further the tensions that Ellis Neyra has identified across the fault lines of “Black/Brown” racial formations in a post-1492 context by paying specific attention to how these tensions crystalize in Latinx, Latin American, and Caribbean studies. The essay unpacks Ellis Neyra’s account of the breakdown of the concept of Brownness as articulated in José Estebán Muñoz’s work in order to detect an analogous breakdown in Bolívar Echevarría’s influential work on racial modernity. In conclusion, the essay poses a question about the emancipatory potential of abjection by putting Ellis Neyra’s compelling reading of Pedro Pietri’s The Masses Are Asses in dialogue with the work of the late feminist-deconstructionist thinker Mara Negrón.

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