Animating Black and Brown Liberation

Animating Black and Brown Liberation: A Theory of American Literature
TitleAnimating Black and Brown Liberation: A Theory of American Literature
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2019
AuthorDatcher, Michael
Series Number1
Number of Pages180
PublisherState University of New York Press
CityNew York
Publication LanguageEnglish
KeywordsAfrican American literature, Ancient Egypt
Copies at the Archive1

Animating Black and Brown Liberation introduces a vital new tool for reading American literatures. Rooted in both ancient Egyptian ideas about life and cutting-edge theories of animacy, or levels of aliveness, this tool―ankhing―enables Michael Datcher to examine the ways African American and Latinx literatures respond to and ultimately work to resist hegemonic forces of neoliberalism and state-sponsored oppression. Weaving together close readings and politically informed philosophical reflection, Datcher considers the work of writer-activists Toni Cade Bambara, Cherríe Moraga, Gloria Anzaldúa, June Jordan, Salvador Plascencia, and Ishmael Reed, in light of theoretical interventions by Jane Bennett, Mel Y. Chen, Bruno Latour, Michel Foucault, Paulo Freire, and Erica R. Edwards. How, he asks, can cultural production positively influence Black and Brown material conditions and mobilize collective action “off the page”? How can art-based counterpublics provide a foundation for Black and Brown community organizing? What emerges from Datcher’s innovative analysis is a frank assessment of the links between embodied experiences of racialization, as well as a distinctive vision of twentieth- and twenty-first-century American literature as a repository of emancipatory strategies with real-world applications.