Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World


Product Details

New York University Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 6.6 X 0.6 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Zakiyyah Iman Jackson is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Southern California. Her work has appeared in Feminist Studies, Gay and Lesbian Quarterly, Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences, South Atlantic Quarterly, and Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, and Technoscience


"Brilliantly reframes the relation between blackened life and the category of the human, by shifting the terms of the debate. She maintains that neither dehumanization nor exclusion are sufficient to explain antiblackness and its descending scale of life. In so doing, Jackson's 'ontological plasticity' reveals the controlled depletion that produces the liquidity of life and fleshly existence, and enables blackened life to be anything, which is also to say nothing at all. Jackson's rigorous and sustained meditation is relentless in exploring the possibilities for a generative disordering of being, inhabiting other senses of the world, and imagining the field of relation in ceaseless flux and directionless becoming."--Saidiya Hartman, author of Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments
"The sheer beauty, force, and ingenuity of Zakiyyah Iman Jackson's aesthetic strategies and gestures are on display as she performs the very risks and rewards she conjures. Offering a brilliant intervention into questions of the human, each of Jackson's readings profoundly unsettle our presumed relations and prevailing ontologies. She reads western philosophy and science through African diasporic literatures, theories, and visual art to open us up to what is made--what might be made--in excess of the matrix of antiblackness and its constitutive forms of the human, animal, gender, and matter. In the book's range of knowledges, reach, and scope, no field nor discipline would not benefit from a real and sustained engagement with the work that Jackson undertakes here."--Christina Sharpe, author of In the Wake