Alex Zamalin: Black Utopia: The History of an Idea from Black Nationalism to Afrofuturism (2019)

14 January 2021, dusan

“Within the history of African American struggle against racist oppression that often verges on dystopia, a hidden tradition has depicted a transfigured world. Daring to speculate on a future beyond white supremacy, black utopian artists and thinkers offer powerful visions of ways of being that are built on radical concepts of justice and freedom. They imagine a new black citizen who would inhabit a world that soars above all existing notions of the possible.

In Black Utopia, Alex Zamalin offers a groundbreaking examination of African American visions of social transformation and their counterutopian counterparts. Considering figures associated with racial separatism, postracialism, anticolonialism, Pan-Africanism, and Afrofuturism, he argues that the black utopian tradition continues to challenge American political thought and culture. Black Utopia spans black nationalist visions of an ideal Africa, the fiction of W. E. B. Du Bois, and Sun Ra’s cosmic mythology of alien abduction. Zamalin casts Samuel R. Delany and Octavia E. Butler as political theorists and reflects on the antiutopian challenges of George S. Schuyler and Richard Wright. Their thought proves that utopianism, rather than being politically immature or dangerous, can invigorate political imagination. Both an inspiring intellectual history and a critique of present power relations, this book suggests that, with democracy under siege across the globe, the black utopian tradition may be our best hope for combating injustice.”

Publisher Columbia University Press, New York, 2019
ISBN 9780231187404, 0231187408
x+182 pages

Reviews: Smaran Dayal (Social Text, 2020), David A. Lemke (Utopian Studies, 2020), Francis Shor (J American History, 2020), Ladee Hubbard (TLS, 2019).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF

Mike Kelley: Plato’s Cave, Rothko’s Chapel, Lincoln’s Profile (1986)

28 August 2019, dusan

Publisher New City Editions, Venice, CA, and Artists Space, New York, 1986
98 pages

Review: Artforum (1987).
Commentary: Jori Finkel (LAMA, 2014).

Exhibition (Metro Pictures, New York, 1986)
WorldCat

PDF (19 MB)
MP3 (Performed live with Sonic Youth, Molly Cleator and Adam Rudolf at Artists Space, New York, 5 December 1986. Recorded by Carole Parkinson. 38 min, via UbuWeb)

Abigail De Kosnik: Rogue Archives: Digital Cultural Memory and Media Fandom (2016)

18 August 2017, dusan

“The task of archiving was once entrusted only to museums, libraries, and other institutions that acted as repositories of culture in material form. But with the rise of digital networked media, a multitude of self-designated archivists—fans, pirates, hackers—have become practitioners of cultural preservation on the Internet. These nonprofessional archivists have democratized cultural memory, building freely accessible online archives of whatever content they consider suitable for digital preservation. In Rogue Archives, Abigail De Kosnik examines the practice of archiving in the transition from print to digital media, looking in particular at Internet fan fiction archives.

De Kosnik explains that media users today regard all of mass culture as an archive, from which they can redeploy content for their own creations. Hence, “remix culture” and fan fiction are core genres of digital cultural production. De Kosnik explores, among other things, the anticanonical archiving styles of Internet preservationists; the volunteer labor of online archiving; how fan archives serve women and queer users as cultural resources; archivists’ efforts to attract racially and sexually diverse content; and how digital archives adhere to the logics of performance more than the logics of print. She also considers the similarities and differences among free culture, free software, and fan communities, and uses digital humanities tools to quantify and visualize the size, user base, and rate of growth of several online fan archives.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2016
ISBN 9780262034661, 0262034662
x+430 pages

Reviews: Jan Baetens (Leonardo, 2017), Amanda Gilroy (PopMatters, 2017), Ludi Price (2016), Silvia Bertolotti (DigiCult, 2016).
Interview with author: Henry Jenkins (2016), Christina Yang (TDR, 2019).

Publisher
WorldCat

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