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Kinless or Queer: Racial Antagonism and Nonnormative Sexuality in Contemporary African American Literature


This dissertation argues that black sexuality is structurally nonnormative a priori, not contingently upon infraction. Due to the kinlessness of slavery, the violence of lynch sexuality, and the pathologization of the black family, black sexuality does not operate under the temporal model of normativity described by queer theory. Drawing on contemporary black critical theory and theories of slavery, my project places the normativity of civil society in the context of the constitutive exclusion of black political ontology, and stages the encounter between these conversations in works of contemporary African American literature.

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