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The Erotic Life of Racism Paperback – April 13, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


“Holland’s book is thorough in its critique of cultural theory on race and the erotic, and it convincingly argues that the erotic has the potential of bringing the ‘private’ life of racism into view.” - Stine H. Bang, Ethnic and Racial Studies

"I love this book. I found myself at different turns thrilled, affirmed, unnerved, and shamed by Sharon Patricia Holland's provocations. Tenderly and chillingly, and truly full-frontally, Holland confronts us with what 'everyday racism' looks like in the world—and the academy. Brilliantly, she shows us the ways it has burrowed ever more insistently into the places where it hides: racism lies coiled inside our families and intimate contacts, even among our political allies, living in the places where we take our pleasure. This is seductive and fiercely challenging, groundbreaking work."—Kathryn Bond Stockton, author of Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame: Where "Black" Meets "Queer"

"Sharon Patricia Holland's brilliant, provocative study challenges cultural theory by galvanizing a bold new conversation about the too-familiar realities of racism as manifest through everyday 'erotic' attachments, capaciously defined. As the book pointedly tracks the personal, bodily, familial, generational, institutional, and symbolic vectors of desire as implicated in racist ways of being, it brings into refocus concerns—such as biology, touch, hate and love speech, blood relations, the forbidden, violence, miscegenation, liberal guilt and blame—that powerfully address the persistent pull of racism's ordinariness in a culture that ostensibly desires to move beyond race. This is next-wave feminism, queer studies, and race theory at their best."—Marlon B. Ross, author of Manning the Race: Reforming Black Men in the Jim Crow Era

“Holland’s book is thorough in its critique of cultural theory on race and the erotic, and it convincingly argues that the erotic has the potential of bringing the ‘private’ life of racism into view.”
(Stine H. Bang Ethnic and Racial Studies)

The Erotic Life of Racism is a challenging and necessary text.”
(Carlos Ulises Decena GLQ)

“A much welcome contribution to queer ethnic studies. . . . Holland situates her project squarely at the intersection of critical race theory and queer theory. However, she does not ask the usual question, What can these two bodies of theoretical literature say to each other? Instead, she asks, What purposes are served by the maneuvers that have kept these two fields separate and what can we learn by pushing against that separation? Her answers are surprising and should be part of a conversation remaking both critical race theory and queer theory.”
(Michael Hames-García Feminist Studies)

About the Author

Sharon Patricia Holland is Associate Professor of English at Duke University. She is the author of Raising the Dead: Readings of Death and Black Subjectivity and the coeditor of Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: The African Diaspora in Indian Country, both also published by Duke University Press.

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