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For Pleasure: Race, Experimentalism, and Aesthetics (Minoritarian Aesthetics)

For Pleasure: Race, Experimentalism, and Aesthetics (Minoritarian Aesthetics)

Current price: $89.00
Publication Date: December 12th, 2023
New York University Press
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Argues that aesthetic pleasure plays a key role in both racial practices and struggles against racist

For Pleasure proposes that experimental aesthetics shaped race in the twentieth-century United States
by creating transformative scenes of pleasure. Rachel Jane Carroll explains how aesthetic pleasure is
fundamental to the production and circulation of racial meaning in the United States through a study of
experimental work by authors and artists of color.

For Pleasure offers methods for reading experimental literature and art produced by racially minoritized
authors and artists working in and around the US, including Isaac Julien, Nella Larsen, Yoko Ono, Jack
Whitten, Byron Kim, Glenn Ligon, Zora Neale Hurston, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and Cici Wu. Along the
way, we learn what a racist joke has to do with the history of monochrome painting, if beauty has a part
to play in social change, and whether whimsy should be taken seriously as a political affect. Carroll
draws attention to key connections between aesthetic pleasure and experimentation through their
shared capacity for world-building. Neither aesthetic pleasure nor experimental forms are liberatory in
and of themselves; however, both can interrupt, defamiliarize, and rearrange our habits of aesthetic

About the Author

Rachel Jane Carroll is the ACLS Emerging Voices Fellow at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.