The Sense of Brown

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

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About the Author
José Esteban Muñoz (1967-2013) was Professor of Performance Studies at New York University and author of Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity and Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics.

Joshua Chambers-Letson is Professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University.

Tavia Nyong'o is Professor of American Studies, African American Studies, and Theater and Performance Studies at Yale University.
"The final work of José Esteban Muñoz--scholar, mentor, and precious node in an intergenerational and transnational web of intellectual and social relations--will be received with eager enthusiasm and a box of tissues."--Juana María Rodríguez, author of "Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings"
"In The Sense of Brown, José Esteban Muñoz maps and grapples with an evolving theory and method of feeling and being in the world that he names brown. In this work, brownness 'is already here, . . . vast, present, and vital.' Muñoz gives his theory 'historically specific affective particularity, ' rejecting the abjective. Read on their own and in tandem with Muñoz's earlier works, these thirteen essays written with care and a sense of urgency outlive his too-soon passing. Lovingly edited, they are a gift."--Christina Sharpe, author of "In the Wake: On Blackness and Being"
"Conceptualizing Latinx studies within the terms Muñoz offers, those of affect, aesthetics, and performance, gives way for more room in which to construct a Latinx studies that seeks to counter anti-blackness and anti-indigeneity, assimilationism, settler nation-state borders and boundaries, language essentialisms, and other settler colonial logics which merely reify the power structures perpetuating global precarity, exploitation, violence, and death."--Marcos Gonsalez "ASAP/Journal" (9/7/2020 12:00:00 AM)
"The Sense of Brown is a classic academic work, so it has a density that requires effort to parse through, but it's well worth the read. In this book, Muñoz examines how brownness, particularly for queer Latinx people, becomes a 'lifeworld' that reveals itself through performance of all kinds, including plays, films, and albums. If you loved his prior work, then The Sense of Brown serves as a perfect ending--both putting a bow on his scholarship and creating pathways for those who want to further it."--Evette Dionne "Bitch Magazine" (10/16/2020 12:00:00 AM)
"The book is his most pointed intervention into Latinx studies and the contradictions of Latinx racializations, and it represents the work of nearly two decades, done alongside and around two books and over a dozen essays and lectures. . . . As students, friends, and readers, we meet The Sense of Brown, finally, as a consolation in the midst of a global crisis that's paradoxically lonely and chaotically social."
--Roy Pérez "Los Angeles Review of Books" (11/21/2020 12:00:00 AM)
"Offers ... startling moments of insight and ... profound intellectual generosity."--Jane Hu "Bookforum" (11/1/2020 12:00:00 AM)
"Expertly edited after his passing by Joshua Chambers-Letson and Tavia Nyong'o, The Sense of Brown is Muñoz's final work, and it's a true testament to an intersectional project that suggests that 'queerness is in the horizon, forward dawning and not-yet-here. Brownness diverges from my definition of queerness. Brownness is already here.'" --Maximilíano Durón "ARTnews" (12/17/2020 12:00:00 AM)
"With The Sense of Brown, José Esteban Muñoz left a love-letter to brownness that acts as a dream for its desire. Extending to the minerals of the soil, to the animals, and to the people who bare its shade, it is an ode to a brown of rapturous multiplicity. . . [T]his book and Muñoz's thoughts remain an arsenal full for any minoritarian subject who desires to understand and even love themselves, and their sense of being, more-a radical proposition."--Jess Saldaña "Lambda Literary Review" (2/10/2021 12:00:00 AM)
"The Sense of Brown is more than a sketch of brownness as an ontology of relations; it is an opportunity to sit inside Muñoz's writing and thinking space, an almost wistful feeling of being in his thoughts as they formed, as they firmed. Reading Muñoz's essays invokes a meditative feeling; one gets a sense that Muñoz was reflecting on his ideas, the drafty in/coherence of this ensemble reveal the essay as process. The essays are inviting, soft and melancholic."--Moon Charania "Society and Space" (6/28/2021 12:00:00 AM)
"The Sense of Brown . . . provides theoretical concepts in performance studies, Latinx studies, queer theory, and other studies of race, gender, and sexuality that are invaluable to expanding our notions of performance and racial hegemony."--kt shorb "E3W Review of Books" (12/15/2021 12:00:00 AM)
"Chambers-Letson and Nyong'o provide a beautiful genealogy of Muñoz's scholarship in queer studies, Latinx studies, and performance studies. . . . [T]he book provides readers with myriad understandings of brownness, feeling/sensing brown, and the brown commons."--James Huynh "GLQ" (10/1/2022 12:00:00 AM)
"Muñoz offers a different way of being found in art and world making."--Patricia Ybarra "Performance Research" (10/3/2022 12:00:00 AM)