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Conceptual Aphasia in Black: Displacing Racial Formation

Conceptual Aphasia in Black: Displacing Racial Formation is part of the Critical Africana Series from Rowman & Littlefield.  It presents a metacritique of racial formation theory. The essays within this volume explore the fault lines of the racial formation concept, identify the power relations to which it inheres, and resolve the ethical coordinates for alternative ways of conceiving of racism and its correlations with sexism, homophobia, heteronormativity, gender politics, empire, economic exploitation, and other valences of bodily construction, performance, and control in the twenty-first century. Collectively, the contributors advance the argument that contemporary racial theorizing remains mired in antiblackness. Across a diversity of approaches and objects of analysis, the contributors assess what we describe as the conceptual aphasia gripping racial theorizing in our multicultural moment: analyses of racism struck dumb when confronted with the insatiable specter of black historical struggle.


With a passion that supplants the stumblings of aphasia and racial denials, this book offers elegant analyses to decode, and action to confront, structural violence. Calls to "end" predatory worlds demand language that reflects our struggles. With at times brave and painful sincerity, "Conceptual Aphasia in Black" builds structure that allows us to speak.
— Joy James, author of Seeking the Beloved Community

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