Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology

“In seeking to interanimate both black studies and queer studies, this volume stages a dialogic and dialectic encounter between these two liberatory and interrogatory discourses. Our objective here is to build a bridge and negotiate a space of inquiry between these two fields of study while sabotaging neither and enabling both.”

E. Patrick Johnson & Mae G. Henderson, Introduction, Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology

Building upon the work and community forged in the 1995 Black Nations/Queer Nations? Conference, this anthology brought together for the first time what would become foundation texts in Black Queer Studies. Edited by E. Patrick Johnson and Mae G. Henderson, this anthology was a reckoning with both Black Studies and Queer Studies, two academic disciplines that have had (and still do) a hard time being in conversation. This collection of critical works served as an opening up, a rupture, and a generative provocation for what scholarship could do and who it should be accountable to. This collection centers on considerations of representations of the Black queer body, Black queer literature, pedagogy, and the ways in which up until its publication gender and sexuality were glossed over in Black Studies and how race and class were marginalized in Queer Studies.

This collection has done nothing less than open up an entire world of Black queer scholarly inquiry. Inaugurating a field of study while also paying attention to its historical antecedents, this collection of essays has modeled how scholarship can create new possibilities for what can be said and thought, for what can be deemed as scholarly rigor, and whose cultural productions and critical perspectives are seen as legitimately intellectual. This anthology was and still is a bridge into a world of more abundant possibilities.