Cover for sullivan: The Poetics of Difference: Queer Feminist Forms in the African Diaspora. Click for larger image

The Poetics of Difference

Queer Feminist Forms in the African Diaspora

Black women artists, writers, and performers, and their theories of intersectionality

From Audre Lorde, Ntozake Shange, and Bessie Head, to Zanele Muholi, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Missy Elliott, black women writers and artists across the African Diaspora have developed nuanced and complex creative forms. Mecca Jamilah Sullivan ventures into the unexplored spaces of black women’s queer creative theorizing to learn its languages and read the textures of its forms. Moving beyond fixed notions, Sullivan points to a space of queer imagination where black women invent new languages, spaces, and genres to speak the many names of difference. Black women’s literary cultures have long theorized the complexities surrounding nation and class, the indeterminacy of gender and race, and the multiple meanings of sexuality. Yet their ideas and work remain obscure in the face of indifference from Western scholarship. 

Innovative and timely, The Poetics of Difference illuminates understudied queer contours of black women’s writing.

"This book is a vital, gorgeous thing. Sullivan's thinking elegantly explores the ways black women writers use genre as a queer practice of difference. The argument here is stunning--transcendently so--and it is not an exaggeration to say that this book will become canonical."--Kevin Quashie, author of Black Aliveness, or A Poetics of Being

"This luminous book lovingly parses the poetics of difference that forms and informs the continued life of black queer feminist thought in many genres. The work is brilliant and bracing."--Jennifer DeVere Brody, author of Punctuation: Art, Politics, and Play


Mecca Jamilah Sullivan is an assistant professor of English at Bryn Mawr and the author of Blue Talk and Love.

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/32ggx9gk9780252043963.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
The Spirit of Soul Food - Cover
The Spirit of Soul Food

Race, Faith, and Food Justice

Christopher Carter

From Slave Cabins to the White House - Cover
From Slave Cabins to the White House

Homemade Citizenship in African American Culture

Koritha Mitchell

Ebony Magazine and Lerone Bennett Jr. - Cover
Ebony Magazine and Lerone Bennett Jr.

Popular Black History in Postwar America

E. James West

Being La Dominicana - Cover
Being La Dominicana

Race and Identity in the Visual Culture of Santo Domingo

Rachel Afi Quinn

The Mark of Slavery - Cover
The Mark of Slavery

Disability, Race, and Gender in Antebellum America

Jenifer L. Barclay

Journalism and Jim Crow - Cover
Journalism and Jim Crow

White Supremacy and the Black Struggle for a New America

Edited by Kathy Roberts Forde and Sid Bedingfield

Roots of the Black Chicago Renaissance - Cover
Roots of the Black Chicago Renaissance

New Negro Writers, Artists, and Intellectuals, 1893-1930

Edited by Richard A. Courage and Christopher Robert Reed

A Matter of Moral Justice - Cover
A Matter of Moral Justice

Black Women Laundry Workers and the Fight for Justice

Jenny Carson

Black Music Research Journal - Cover
Black Music Research Journal

Edited by Gayle Murchison

The Black Intellectual Tradition - Cover
The Black Intellectual Tradition

African American Thought in the Twentieth Century

Edited by Derrick P. Alridge, Cornelius L. Bynum, and James B. Stewart

Women, Gender, and Families of Color - Cover
Women, Gender, and Families of Color

Edited by Jennifer F. Hamer

Afro-Nostalgia - Cover
Afro-Nostalgia

Feeling Good in Contemporary Black Culture

Badia Ahad-Legardy

Reimagining Liberation - Cover
Reimagining Liberation

How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire

Annette K. Joseph-Gabriel

Autochthonomies - Cover
Autochthonomies

Transnationalism, Testimony, and Transmission in the African Diaspora

Myriam J. A. Chancy

COMPUGIRLS - Cover
COMPUGIRLS

How Girls of Color Find and Define Themselves in the Digital Age

Kimberly A. Scott