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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Professor Matt Richardson publishes “The Queer Limit of Black Memory: Black Lesbian Literature and Irresolution”

Posted: December 12, 2013
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From The Ohio State University Press

The Queer Limit of Black Memory is a compelling interdisciplinary work which fills an existing void in many fields, and that void is scholarship on Black lesbian and transgendered subjects. Matt Richardson provides a wealth of knowledge and insights that many will be relying on for years to come.” —L. H. Stallings, associate professor of gender studies at Indiana University Bloomington.

The Queer Limit of Black Memory: Black Lesbian Literature and Irresolution identifies a new archive of Black women’s literature that has heretofore been on the margins of literary scholarship and African diaspora cultural criticism. It argues that Black lesbian texts celebrate both the strategies of resistance used by queer Black subjects and the spaces for grieving the loss of queer Black subjects that dominant histories of the African diasporas often forget. Matt Richardson has gathered an understudied archive of texts by LaShonda Barnett, S. Diane Adamz-Bogus, Dionne Brand, Sharon Bridgforth, Laurinda D. Brown, Jewelle Gomez, Jackie Kay, and Cherry Muhanji in order to relocate the queerness of Black diasporic vernacular traditions, including drag or gender performance, blues, jazz, and West African spiritual and religious practices.

Richardson argues that the vernacular includes queer epistemologies, or methods for accessing and exploring the realities of Black queer experience that other alternative archives and spaces of commemoration forget. The Queer Limit of Black Memory brings together several theorists whose work is vital within Black studies—Fred Moten, Saidiya Hartman, Hortense Spillers, Frantz Fanon, and Orlando Patterson—in service of queer readings of Black subjectivity.

Matt Richardson is an associate professor of English and African and African Diaspora Studies and affiliate faculty with the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and the Warfield Center for African and African American Studies at the University of Texas, Austin.

Now available from The Ohio State University Press.

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