Black to Nature: Pastoral Return and African American Culture

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Product Details
University Press of Mississippi
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.47 inches | 0.67 pounds

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About the Author
Stefanie K. Dunning is associate professor of English at Miami University of Ohio. She is author of Queer in Black and White: Interraciality, Same Sex Desire, and Contemporary African American Culture. Her work has been published in African American Review, MELUS, Signs, and several other journals and anthologies. She sometimes publishes under the pen name Zeffie Gaines.
This book is nothing short of a revolution in Black thought at its intersection with what we know of as the natural world. Dunning's discussions of land and sovereignty, and ownership and the Black self, are paradigm shifting and so very necessary. Black to Nature is beautifully argued and challenges us in this moment to find ourselves at the feet of Black conceptions of inhabitation and, yes, life.--Sharon P. Holland, Townsend Ludington Distinguished Professor, Department of American Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dunning shows an impressive depth and breadth of research, connecting the likes of Francis Bacon and Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Kanye West and Beyoncé with grace and elegance. Black to Nature is an interesting stylistic hybrid, incorporating personal moments and autobiographical passages, virtuoso close readings of a small range of primary texts, and an array of Very Big Ideas from Jared Sexton and Zen philosopher Alan Watts, among others.--Anthony Wilson, associate professor of English, LaGrange College
Dunning's book is a poignant, unforgettable, and layered study of the power and promise of Black ecologies.--Katie Hogan "Ecozon"
Stefanie K. Dunning's Black to Nature offers a rich discussion of the ways that Black texts--both verbal and visual--engage nature. Additionally, her project enriches debates in ecocritical and environmental humanist circles that highlight (and perhaps celebrate) the ways that Black and liberatory conceptions of engagements with nature represent an inherent subversion of the ills of Western "civil" society.--Chelsea Mikael Frazier "ISLE"
In this brilliantly crafted work Dunning provides both scholarly and personal analysis of the relationship between societal views of nature and Black racial history. . . . Highly recommended.--L. L. Johnson "CHOICE"
This is an excellent book. . . . readable, thought provoking, informed and passionate on every page, and well-suited for use in graduate and advanced undergraduate classes.--Jane Caputi "Journal of American Culture"
Black to Nature is neither utopian nor dystopian in its depiction of an environmental furture for humans. It is decidedly abolitionist in its orientation. The book succeeds in offering trenchant cultural criticism and perceptive literary analysis while enhancing the small but growing body of work on Black ecological thought.--Claudia J. Ford "Legacy"
Written in a clear, approachable, and multilayered style that aims to be as poignant as nature itself, the volume offers a unique combination of theoretical breadth and narrative beauty suggests it will be a foundational text in a new critical turn toward framing nature within a cultural studies context.--Michael Svoboda "Yale Climate Connections"