Department of American Culture and Literature faculty member Prof. E. Lâle Demirtürk has published a new book. “African American Novels in the Black Lives Matter Era: Transgressive Performativity of Black Vulnerability as Praxis in Everyday Life” was released by Lexington Books (an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield) in September 2019.
As summarized on the dust jacket, Prof. Demirtürk’s book “explores the undoing of whiteness by black people, who dissociate from scripts of black criminality through radical performative reiterations of black vulnerability. It studies five novels that challenge the embodied discursive practices of whiteness in interracial social encounters, showing how they use strategic performances of Blackness to enable subversive practices in everyday life, which is constructed and governed by white mechanisms of racialized control. The agency portrayed in these novels opens up alternative spaces of Blackness to impact the social world and effects transformative change as a forceful critique of everyday life. ‘African American Novels in the Black Lives Matter Era’ shows how these novels reformulate the problem of black vulnerability as a constitutive source of the right to life in their refusal of subjection to vulnerability, enacted by white institutional and individual forms of violence. It positions a white-black-encounter-oriented reading of these ‘neo-resistance novels’ of the Black Lives Matter era as a critique of everyday life in an effort to explore spaces of radical performativity of blackness to make happen social change and transformation.”