The Center for the Study of the Novel presents Stephen Best, author of None Like Us: Blackness, Belonging, Aesthetic Life (Duke University Press, 2018), in conversation with Kris Cohen (Art History & Humanities, Reed College) and Mario Telò (Classics, UC-Berkeley).
Published in November 2018, None Like Us grapples with the uses and abuses of paradigms of black identity founded on the legacy of the slave past. Keenly aware of the archives of slavery, Best inquires in None Like Us into the difficulties of archival recovery and the limits of the fragmentary past as a foundation for community in the present. Can aesthetics and a phenomenology of aesthetic experience offer an alternative to melancholy historicism, and how can the nuanced processes of such criticism hold together with the violence of racism? Among aesthetics and art works, Best notably identifies what he calls queer objects: art-making that serves as a touchstone for modeling disaffiliation and non-belonging and energizing potentiality.
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