The Poetics of Difference: Queer Feminist Forms in the African Diaspora (New Black Studies Series) (Hardcover)

The Poetics of Difference: Queer Feminist Forms in the African Diaspora (New Black Studies Series) By Mecca Jamilah Sullivan Cover Image
This book is harder to get and may take several weeks if available. Please email with questions.


Winner of the Modern Language Association (MLA)’s William Sanders Scarborough Prize

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.

About the Author

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

Praise For…

"Dr. Sullivan provides expert analysis of the complex queer creativities of Black women and their (re)inventions and (re)imaginings of meaning-making in vast literary forms. " --Ms. Magazine

"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
Product Details
ISBN: 9780252043963
ISBN-10: 0252043960
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication Date: November 15th, 2021
Pages: 288
Language: English
Series: New Black Studies Series