The intertwined domains of political action and critical thought have undergone a renewed interest in the “anti-” and the “non-” as generative frameworks and approaches. This issue of Propter Nos is interested in the relationship between these two prefixes, generally thought to index a negative orientation toward any given concept or practice. The critical fervor surrounding “the negative” often fails to pro- vide a safe home for such thinking and practice. More often than not, this posture is ostracized, considered “unproductive,” heretical, and criminal—all designations which fall heavily on those positioned as the ‘negativity’ civil society aims to liquidate: the Black, the Prison Slave, the Native. From this perspective, the negative blemishes the neatness of “rational” and liberal-progressivist thinking; it stubbornly and myopically forecloses possibility and plentitude in favor of despair and fatalism. Due to this general aversion to the negative, the finer points of detail between various articulations of negativity are often collapsed, and any sense of nuance is evacuated from this discussion.
Thinking with/in the negative, not merely as a psych0-affective register but as an amorphous system of philosophical sensibilities and theoretical dispositions that tarry with negation as the locus of structural critique, this issue considers the following questions: Are “anti-” and “non-” collapsible terms? Are the “anti-” and/or “non-” only thinkable in opposition to an affirmative posture; or, is there a mode of accounting for the space between, and outside of, these terms? What do “anti-” and/or “non-” offer as approaches to aesthetic practice, political action, or theoretical inquiry, rather than mere descriptors? What is the generative potential of the (perceived) passivity or resignation of orientations toward the “anti-” and/or “non- ”? And need there be the promise of generativity in order to ground a politics?
Lorenzo Komboa Ervin will be giving at talk titled “Anti-Fascism in the the Trump Era.” It is a massline political education event, so bring your family and friends. He will tell the history of Black anti-fascism & explain how any worthwhile struggle against racial capitalism must be led by (& based on the material demands of) oppressed Black, Brown, & Indigenous people.
Bismarck, ND – Red Fawn Fallis, a political prisoner arrested during the movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, was sentenced today in federal court by Judge Daniel Hovland. Fallis was sentenced to 57 months (4.75 years) in federal prison. She will receive a credit of 18 months ‘time served’ taken off of her sentence, from time spent in North Dakota jails before trial proceedings began. Fallis is expected to serve a total of 39 months in prison followed by 3 years probation.
The below list of materials is abolitionist food-for-thought. Each collective-author pushes the limits of what a mass struggle to abolish white supremacist domestic warfare and the U.S. prison industrial complex could look like. These can be shared electronically, printed out, mailed to friends/comrades, memorized, or otherwise circulated freely.
All items reproduced for educational purposes and are not the creation of True Leap Press
We are avid readers of Hortense J. Spillers and believe this bibliography of her life’s work will be a useful tool for people interested in reading and learning. Two summers ago our collective held a reading group, exchanging our thoughts on Spillers’ collection of essays Black, White, and in Color(2003). Through that experience we became most familiar with her work. Professor Spillers is a Black radical literary and cultural theorist who is oft cited for her essays “Interstices: A Small Drama of Words” (1984) and “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book.” (1987). Yet, her life’s work in papers, essays, speeches, and interview transcript spans over FOUR DECADES, and she is writing and teaching to this present day. Please take some time to get to know and appreciate her philosophical outlook. Below is a list of every work (to our knowledge) that she has published since 1970. We’ve also attached a zip file for ya’ll to download most of the titles listed below. Enjoy.
If there are any missing essays, articles, interviews, or titles that you find,
please contact our collective and let us know.
None of the materials are original creations of TLP,
but are republished online for educational purposes only.
Hortense J. Spillers
Working Bibliography and Source Book
[last updated 7/3/17]
“Letters to The Black Scholar (with Paul F. Johnson and Robert Boyd.” The Black Scholar 2:3 (1970): 53-54.
“Martin Luther King and the Style of the Black Sermon.” The Black Scholar 3:1 (1971): 14-27.
Fabrics of History: Essays on the Black Sermon. Dissertation. Brandeis University, 1974.
“A Lament.” The Black Scholar 8:5 (1977): 12-16.
“Ellison’s “Useable Past”: Toward a Theory of Myth.” Interpretations 9:1 (1977): 53-69.
“A Day in the Life of Civil Right.” The Black Scholar 9:8/9 (1978): 20-27.
“Gwendolyn the Terrible: Propositions on Eleven Poems.” In Shakespeare’s Sisters, edited by Susan Gubar and Sandra Gilbert, 233-244. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979.
“Formalism Comes to Harlem.” Black American Literature Forum 16 (1982): 56-63.
“Black American Literature and Humanism edited by R. Baxter Miller (review).” The Journal of English and Germanic Philology 82:4 (1983): 583-586.
“A Hateful Passion, a Lost Love.” Feminist Studies 9:2 (1983): 293-323.
“‘Turning the Century’: Notes on Women and Difference (review).” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 3:1/2 (1984): 178-185.
“Interstices: A Small Drama of Words.” In Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality, edited by Carol Vance, 73-101. London: Routledge, 1984.
“Kinship and Resemblances: Women on Women.” Feminist Studies 11:1 (1985): 111-125.
“An Order of Constancy: Notes on Brooks and the Feminine.” The Centennial Review 29:2 (1985): 223-248.
“Chosen Place, Timeless People: Some Figurations on the New World.” In Conjuring: Black Women, Fiction, and Literary Tradition, edited by Marjorie Pryse and Hortense J. Spillers, 151-174. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985.
“Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book.” Diacritics 17:2 (1987): 64-81.
“Moving Down the Line.” American Quarterly 40:1 (1988): 83-109.
“The Permanent Obliquity of an In(pha)llibly Straight”: In the Time of the Daughters and the Fathers.” In Changing Our Own Words: Essays on Criticism, Theory, and Writing by Black Women, edited by Cheryl A. Wall, 127-49. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1989.
“Changing the Letter: The Yokes, the Jokes of Discourse, or, Mrs. Stowe, Mr. Reed.” InSlavery and the Literary Imagination, 25-61. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.
“Notes on an Alternative Model—Neither/Nor.”In The Difference Within: Feminism and Critical Theory, edited by Elizabeth Meese and Alice Parker, 165-187. Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1989.
“Black, White, and in Color, or Learning How to Paint: Toward an Intramural Protocol of Reading.” Paper presented at the “Sites of Colonialism” retreat, Center for the Study of Black Literature and Culture, University of Pennsylvania, 1990.
“Who Cuts the Border? Some Readings on America.” In Comparative American Identities: Race, Sex, and Nationality in the Modern Text, edited by Hortense Spillers, 1-25. New York: Routledge, 1991.
“Reading the Future, Future Reading.” The Women’s Review of Books 8:5 (1991): 20-21
“Crisis of the Negro Intellectual: A Post-Date.” boundary 2 21:3 (1994)
“Invisibility Blues: From Pop to Theory (review).” African American Review 1 (1995)
“All the Things You Could Be by Now, If Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother”: Psychoanalysis and Race.” boundary 2 23:3 (1996): 75-141.
“A Tale of Three Zoras: Barbara Johnson and Black Women Writers.” diacritics 31:1 (2004): 94-97.
“The Idea of Black Culture.” CR: The New Centennial Review 6:3 (2006): 7-28.
“First Questions: The Mission of Africana Studies: An Interview with Hortense Spillers.” Callaloo 30:4 (2007): 1054-1068.
‘“Watcha Gonna Do?”: Revisiting “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book”: A Conversation with Hortense Spillers, Saidiya Hartman, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Shelly Eversley, and Jennifer L. Morgan.” Women’s Studies Quarterly 25:1/2 (2007)”: 299-309.
“Imaginative Encounters.” In Afro-Future Females: Black Writers Chart Science Fiction’s Newest New-Wave Trajectory, edited by Marleen S. Barr, 3-5. 2008.
“Views of the East Wing: On Michelle Obama.” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 6:3 (2009): 307-310.
“Long Time”: Last Daughters and the New “New South.” boundary 2 (2009): 149-182.
Cali friends and those who travel there frequently: 34 Trinity Arts and News is a radical newsstand, art space and used bookstore in downtown San Francisco. You can now find the first two volumes of Propter Nos in fancy print form, available for purchase at 34 Trinity!