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Extravagant Abjection: Blackness, Power, and Sexuality in the African American Literary Imagination

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2012 Winner of the Alan Bray Memorial Book Award presented by the Modern Language Association Challenging the conception of empowerment associated with the Black Power Movement and its political and intellectual legacies in the present, Darieck Scott contends that power can be found not only in martial resistance, but, surprisingly, where the black body has been inflicted w 2012 Winner of the Alan Bray Memorial Book Award presented by the Modern Language Association Challenging the conception of empowerment associated with the Black Power Movement and its political and intellectual legacies in the present, Darieck Scott contends that power can be found not only in martial resistance, but, surprisingly, where the black body has been inflicted with harm or humiliation. Theorizing the relation between blackness and abjection by foregrounding often neglected depictions of the sexual exploitation and humiliation of men in works by James Weldon Johnson, Toni Morrison, Amiri Baraka, and Samuel R. Delany, Extravagant Abjection asks: If we're racialized through domination and abjection, what is the political, personal, and psychological potential in racialization-through-abjection? Using the figure of male rape as a lens through which to examine this question, Scott argues that blackness in relation to abjection endows its inheritors with a form of counter-intuitive power--indeed, what can be thought of as a revised notion of black power. This power is found at the point at which ego, identity, body, race, and nation seem to reveal themselves as utterly penetrated and compromised, without defensible boundary. Yet in Extravagant Abjection, "power" assumes an unexpected and paradoxical form. In arguing that blackness endows its inheritors with a surprising form of counter-intuitive power--as a resource for the political present--found at the very point of violation, Extravagant Abjection enriches our understanding of the construction of black male identity.


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2012 Winner of the Alan Bray Memorial Book Award presented by the Modern Language Association Challenging the conception of empowerment associated with the Black Power Movement and its political and intellectual legacies in the present, Darieck Scott contends that power can be found not only in martial resistance, but, surprisingly, where the black body has been inflicted w 2012 Winner of the Alan Bray Memorial Book Award presented by the Modern Language Association Challenging the conception of empowerment associated with the Black Power Movement and its political and intellectual legacies in the present, Darieck Scott contends that power can be found not only in martial resistance, but, surprisingly, where the black body has been inflicted with harm or humiliation. Theorizing the relation between blackness and abjection by foregrounding often neglected depictions of the sexual exploitation and humiliation of men in works by James Weldon Johnson, Toni Morrison, Amiri Baraka, and Samuel R. Delany, Extravagant Abjection asks: If we're racialized through domination and abjection, what is the political, personal, and psychological potential in racialization-through-abjection? Using the figure of male rape as a lens through which to examine this question, Scott argues that blackness in relation to abjection endows its inheritors with a form of counter-intuitive power--indeed, what can be thought of as a revised notion of black power. This power is found at the point at which ego, identity, body, race, and nation seem to reveal themselves as utterly penetrated and compromised, without defensible boundary. Yet in Extravagant Abjection, "power" assumes an unexpected and paradoxical form. In arguing that blackness endows its inheritors with a surprising form of counter-intuitive power--as a resource for the political present--found at the very point of violation, Extravagant Abjection enriches our understanding of the construction of black male identity.

41 review for Extravagant Abjection: Blackness, Power, and Sexuality in the African American Literary Imagination

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    I only read a few chapters out of this book for a class, but that was enough to make me want to read the whole thing even though most of what Scott writes on is far afield from my own focus on early modern England. By theorizing abjection as a powerful, though not consciously chosen, state, he breaks from most other work on the abject and trauma (at least as far as I've read) and uncovers moments of growth-only-through-abjection in canonical African American literature. I only read a few chapters out of this book for a class, but that was enough to make me want to read the whole thing even though most of what Scott writes on is far afield from my own focus on early modern England. By theorizing abjection as a powerful, though not consciously chosen, state, he breaks from most other work on the abject and trauma (at least as far as I've read) and uncovers moments of growth-only-through-abjection in canonical African American literature.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Leigh

  3. 4 out of 5

    Berit

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    Carl Dacious

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bianca Beauchemin

  6. 4 out of 5

    Steven Ruszczycky

  7. 4 out of 5

    aconcisehistory

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vincent Cervantes

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    Michael Parker

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    Justin

  11. 5 out of 5

    Justin Abraham

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alok Vaid-Menon

  13. 4 out of 5

    a.novel.femme

  14. 5 out of 5

    Spencer Janyk

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  16. 4 out of 5

    Krystal Yang

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    Michael Elmasian

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    Eric Toler

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    Nikhil P. Freeman

  26. 5 out of 5

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  27. 5 out of 5

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  28. 5 out of 5

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  30. 4 out of 5

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  36. 5 out of 5

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  38. 4 out of 5

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  39. 5 out of 5

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  40. 4 out of 5

    Zach

  41. 4 out of 5

    Marie

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