At the turn of the twenty-first century, the Black body remains an object of discursive analysis - as material and symbol - inscribed by multiple levels of meaning and shaped by the past, the present and ideas about imagined futures. Through the lens of different disciplines, this book considers how the Black body is read polysemically in terms of social and political contexts and issues of power. The contributors to this text critically examine themes addressing the intersections of race, gender, body politics, representation in popular culture and media, aesthetics, policing and disciplining, and resistance. The authors explore and interrogate the black body - how it has been historically produced and constructed as an object of desire, menace, literary trope and political embodiment of the 'Other', drawing examples from Europe, Africa, the United States (US) as well as other places in the Black Diaspora. Through its examination of these and related issues regarding the black body, this book contributes to a dialogue across various disciplines about the black body, its meanings and negotiations as read, interpreted, and imagined in different frames of perception and imagination.
Fassil Demissie is an Associate Professor in Public Policy Studies, DePaul University, Chicago. He is a co-editor and contributor of the book, The New Chicago (2006). Postcolonial Cities (Routledge), of which he is the editor, is in press. He is a founding co-editor of African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal (Routledge, Taylor & Francis) and Series Editor, Routledge Studies on African and Black Diaspora. His previous work has appeared in Housing Studies, International Journal of African Historical Studies, African Identities, Social Identities and Urban Studies. Michele Goodwin is the Everett Fraser Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. She is also a Professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical Law School. She is the author of Black Markets: The Supply and Demand of Body Parts (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and a host of law review articles and book chapters. Sandra Jackson is a Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Director of the Center for Black Diaspora at DePaul University, Chicago. Her published works include the following co-edited books: Talking Back and Acting out: Women Negotiating the Media across Cultures (2002); I've Got a Story to Tell: Identity and Place in the Academy (1999) and Beyond Comfort Zones: Confronting the Politics of Privilege as Educators (1995). She is a founding co-editor of African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal (Routledge, Taylor & Francis). She is currently working on a book of essays on race, gender and power in the academy as well as a book on the ways in which black women negotiate a habitable space in the academy.
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