Stephen Best offers a bold reappraisal of the critical assumptions that undergird black studies' use of the slave past as an explanatory prism for understanding the black political present, thereby opening the circuits between past and present and charting a queer future for black study.
Stephen Best is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of The Fugitive's Properties: Law and the Poetics of Possession.
Introduction. Unfit for History 1
Part I. On Thinking Like a Work of Art
1. My Beautiful Elimination 29
2. On Failing to Make the Past Present 63
Part II. A History of Discontinuity
Interstice. A Gossamer Writing 83
3. The History of People Who Did Not Exist 91
4. Rumor in the Archive 107
Dewey Decimal Classfication (DDC)