Unmaking Race, Remaking Soul: Transformative Aesthetics and the Practice of Freedom

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Overview

Unmaking Race, Remaking Soul explores innovative approaches to analyzing cultural productions through which women of color have challenged and undermined social and political forces that work to oppress them. Emphasizing art-making practices that emerge out of and reflect concrete lived experience, leading contributors to the fields of contemporary psychoanalytic literary analysis, Latin American studies, feminist theory, Native Women's studies, Africana studies, philosophy, and art history examine the relationship between the aesthetic and the political.

The focus of the book is on the idea of aesthetic agency through which one develops different modes of expression and creative practices that facilitate personal and social transformation. Aesthetic agency is liberating in a broad sense-it not only frees our creative capacities but also expands our capacity for joy and our abilities to know, to judge, and to act. Artists considered include Nadema Agard, Julia Alvarez, Ana Castillo, Daystar/Rosalie Jones, Coco Fusco, Diane Glancy, Martha Jackson-Jarvis, Toni Morrison, MeShell Ndegeocello, Marcie Rendon, Ntozake Shange, Lorna Simpson, Roxanne Swentzell, Regina Vater, Kay Walking Stick, and Carrie Mae Weems.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This collection makes an intriguing and important contribution to understanding the experiences and cultural productions of women of color.” — Bilinda Straight, editor of Women on the Verge of Home
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791471616
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 9/13/2007
  • Pages: 315
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Christa Davis Acampora is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, the City University of New York.

Angela L. Cotten is Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at Stony Brook University, State University of New York. They are the coeditors of Cultural Sites of Critical Insight: Philosophy, Aesthetics, and African American and Native American Women’s Writings, also published by SUNY Press.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Foreword: "Tragedy Fatigue" and "Aesthetic Agency" Joy James James, Joy

Acknowledgments

On Making and Remaking: An Introduction Christa Davis Acampora Acampora, Christa Davis 1

I Resisting Imagination

1 Writing the Xicanista: Ana Castillo and the Articulation of Chicana Feminist Aesthetics Ritch Calvin Calvin, Ritch 21

2 Everyday Revolutions, Shifting Power, and Feminine Genius in Julia Alvarez's Fiction Kelly Oliver Oliver, Kelly 47

3 Authorizing Desire: Erotic Poetics and the Aisthesis of Freedom in Morrison and Shange Christa Davis Acampora Acampora, Christa Davis 59

II Body Agonistes

4 MeShell Ndegeocello: Musical Articulations of Black Feminism Martha Mockus Mockus, Martha 81

5 Portraits of the Past, Imagined Now: Reading the Work of Carrie Mae Weems and Lorna Simpson Kimberly Lamm Lamm, Kimberly 103

6 The Coloniality of Embodiment: Coco Fusco's Postcolonial Genealogies and Semiotic Agonistics Eduardo Mendieta Mendieta, Eduardo 141

III Changing the Subject

7 Pueblo Sculptor Roxanne Swentzell: Forming a Wise, Generous, and Beautiful "I Am" Ruth Porritt Porritt, Ruth 161

8 The Syncretism of Native American, Latin American, and African American Women's Art: Visual Expressions of Feminism, the Environment, Spirituality, and Identity Phoebe Farris Farris, Phoebe 181

9 Dalit Women's Literature: A Sense of the Struggle Nandita Gupta Gupta, Nandita 197

IV Home is Where the Art is: Shaping Space and Place

10 The Role of "Place" in New Zealand Maori Songs of Lament Ailsa L. Smith Smith, Ailsa L. 213

11 Theater Near Us: Librarians, Culture, and Space in the Harlem Renaissance KatherineWilson Wilson, Katherine 231

12 Into the Sacred Circle, Out of the Melting Pot: Re/Locations and Homecomings in Native Women's Theater Jaye T. Darby Darby, Jaye T. 247

Works Cited 265

About the Contributors 283

Index 287

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