“A compelling contribution to scholarship on blackness and visuality, this text provides a heterogeneous yet complimentary sampling of black visual artists who, in method and form, challenge that power-laden visual exchange by exposing their flesh in excess, by making doubly visible the seams holding dominant discourses together, and by celebrating the non-iconic, everyday performances of blackness.”
(Women & Performance
“In Troubling Vision, Fleetwood effectively engages multiple theories from across disciplines to offer fresh readings of cultural texts that question black visibility. She gives us a new language with which to disrupt narratives of blackness as overdetermined difference, as well as a new way of seeing black subjectivity and the black body in performance and visual culture.”
“Nicole Fleetwood’s remarkable study alerts us to how troubling enactments like non-iconicity, excess flesh, and the visible seam radically reorient 'the psychic and affective domains of seeing and doing black,' thus revealing new terrain on which to construct political, social, and cultural theories of visual blackness. . . . Troubling Vision should quickly become standard reading for those looking for new insight—and new methods—in black visual and performance studies.”
(Douglas A. Jones, Jr. TDR: the drama review
"Fleetwood persuasively navigates the spaces between visual studies, psychoanalytic theory, performance theory, feminist theory, and black cultural studies to produce a remarkable analysis of black subjectivity and visuality in our contemporary moment."
“What kind of fetish is the black body, and how do traditional logics of racial visibility reproduce its ‘troubling’ presence across representational genres and pop cultural forms? Nicole Fleetwood has crafted a truly powerful and compellingly interdisciplinary answer to those interconnected questions, recalibrating and superseding age-old debates about the politics and poetics of visual culture. Troubling Vision demonstrates how visual and other artists—photographers and playwrights, performance artists and pop singers—confound the tropes of pathology that have long prefigured and overdetermined views of blackness as conspicuous difference. This very readable and theoretically sophisticated book focuses on some of the ways in which black artists resist the too-easy lure of self-evident iconicity, leaving subtle and not so subtle traces of the hard work that debunking racist stereotypes entails. Fleetwood’s offering is smart, at times quite personal, even moving, and a must-read for scholars working at the nexus of race and performativity, African American studies, and visual theory.”
(John L. Jackson Jr. University of Pennsylvania
“Troubling Vision contributes vitally to new work in visual and performance studies as well as black popular culture. The book’s sophisticated renderings of blackness reveal the significance of seeing in feminist media, photographs, and fashion from the Harlem Renaissance to Michael Jackson. A fascinating study!”
(Jennifer Brody Duke University
"Nicole Fleetwood’s Troubling Vision is a fascinating study of black visuality and contributes greatly to the fields of performance, visual, and critical race studies . . . .Troubling Vision [is] aesthetically seductive and theoretically smart."
(Joshua Javier Guzmán E-misférica