Avery F. Gordon: The Hawthorn Archive: Letters from the Utopian Margins (2018)

21 January 2021, dusan

“The Hawthorn Archive, named after the richly fabled tree, has long welcomed the participants in the various Euro-American social struggles against slavery, racial capitalism, imperialism, and authoritarian forms of order. The Archive is not a library or a research collection in the conventional sense but rather a disorganized and fugitive space for the development of a political consciousness of being indifferent to the deadly forms of power that characterize our society. Housed by the Archive are autonomous radicals, runaways, abolitionists, commoners, and dreamers who no longer live as obedient or merely resistant subjects.

In this innovative, genre- and format-bending publication, Avery F. Gordon, the “keeper” of the Archive, presents a selection of its documents—original and compelling essays, letters, cultural analyses, images, photographs, conversations, friendship exchanges, and collaborations with various artists. Gordon creatively uses the imaginary of the Archive to explore the utopian elements found in a variety of resistive and defiant activity in the past and in the present, zeroing in on Marxist critical theory and the black radical tradition. Fusing critical theory with creative writing in a historical context, The Hawthorn Archive represents voices from the utopian margins, where fact, fiction, theory, and image converge.

Reminiscent of the later fictions of Italo Calvino or Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project, The Hawthorn Archive is a groundbreaking work that defies strict disciplinary, methodological, and aesthetic boundaries. And like Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination, which established Gordon as one of the most influential interdisciplinary scholars of the humanities and social sciences in recent years, it provides a kaleidoscopic analysis of power and effect. The Hawthorn Archive’s experimental format and inventive synthesis of critical theory and creative writing make way for a powerful reconception of what counts as social change and political action, offering creative inspiration and critical tools to artists, activists, scholars across various disciplines, and general readers alike.”

Publisher Fordham University Press, 2018
ISBN 0823276325, 9780823276325
xii+472 pages

Interview with author: Krystian Woznicki (transversal, 2019).

Review: Eddie Bruce-Jones (Race & Class, 2019).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (46 MB)

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

Paul B. Preciado: An Apartment on Uranus: Chronicles of the Crossing (2019–) [FR, ES, EN]

5 July 2020, dusan

“A ‘dissident of the gender-sex binary system’ reflects on gender transitioning and political and cultural transitions in technoscientific capitalism.

Uranus, the frozen giant, is the coldest planet in the solar system as well as a deity in Greek mythology. It is also the inspiration for uranism, a concept coined by the writer Karl Heinrich Ulrich in 1864 to define the “third sex” and the rights of those who “love differently.” Following Ulrich, Paul B. Preciado dreams of an apartment on Uranus where he might live beyond existing power, gender and racial strictures invented by modernity. “My trans condition is a new form of uranism,” he writes. “I am not a man. I am not a woman. I am not heterosexual. I am not homosexual. I am not bisexual. I am a dissident of the gender-sex binary system. I am the multiplicity of the cosmos trapped in a binary political and epistemological system, shouting in front of you. I am a uranist confined inside the limits of technoscientific capitalism.”

This book recounts Preciado’s transformation from Beatriz into Paul B., but it is not only an account of gender transitioning. Preciado also considers political, cultural, and sexual transition, reflecting on issues that range from the rise of neo-fascism in Europe to the technological appropriation of the uterus, from the harassment of trans children to the role museums might play in the cultural revolution to come.”

French edition
Preface by Virginie Despentes
Publisher Bernard Grasset, Paris, 2019
ISBN 9782246820666, 2246820669
334 pages

Spanish edition
Introduction by Virginie Despentes
Publisher Anagrama, Barcelona, 2019
ISBN 9788433998767, 8433998765
309 pages

English edition
Foreword by Virginie Despentes
Translated by Charlotte Mandell
Publisher Semiotext(e), South Pasadena, CA, 2020
ISBN 9781635901139, 1635901138
263 pages

Reviews: Eugénie Bourlet (En attendant Nadeau, 2019, FR), Kevin Lambert (Spirale, 2020, FR), Pierre Niedergang (Diacritik, 2019, FR), Thomas Liano (French Studies, 2020, FR), Bernabé Sarabia (El Cultural, 2019, ES), Emilia Holstein (Feminacida, 2020, ES), Alexandra Marraccini (review31, 2020), Megan Milks (4Columns), Bryony White (Frieze, 2020), Kevin Brazil (ArtReview, 2020).

Publisher (FR)
Publisher (ES)
Distributor (EN)
WorldCat (EN)

Un appartement sur Uranus: chroniques de la traversée (French, 2019, MOBI, updated on 2021-4-13)
Un apartamento en Urano: crónicas del cruce (Spanish, 2019, updated on 2021-4-13)
An Apartment on Uranus: Chronicles of the Crossing (English, trans. Charlotte Mandell, 2020)