Fashioning Lives: Black Queers and the Politics of Literacy

Fashioning Lives: Black Queers and the Politics of Literacy

by Eric Darnell Pritchard

Paperback(1st Edition)

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Honorable Mention, 2018 Winifred Bryan Horner Outstanding Book Award
Winner, Lavender Rhetorics Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship from CCCC, 2018
Winner, Advancement of Knowledge Award from CCCC, 2018
Winner, Outstanding Book Award from the Conference on Community Writing, 2017

Fashioning Lives: Black Queers and the Politics of Literacy analyzes the life stories of sixty Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people along with archival documents, literature, and film. Author Eric Darnell Pritchard provides a theoretical framework for studying the literacy work of Black LGBTQ people, who do not fit into the traditional categories imposed on their language practices and identities. Examining the myriad ways literacy is used to inflict harm, Pritchard discusses how these harmful events prompt Black LGBTQ people to ensure their own survival by repurposing literacy through literacy performances fueled by accountability to self and communal love towards social and political change, a process the author calls “restorative literacies.” Pritchard highlights restorative literacies in literacy institutions (e.g., libraries, schools), historical records repositories, religious and spiritual spaces, parties, community events, activist organizations, and digital spheres. This trailblazing study draws connections between race and queerness in literacy, composition, and rhetoric and provides the basis for a sustainable dialogue on their intersections in the discipline.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780809335541
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
Publication date: 12/06/2016
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 16.50(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Eric Darnell Pritchard is an assistant professor of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His article “For Colored Kids Who Committed Suicide, Our Outrage Isn’t Enough: Queer Youth of Color, Bullying, and the Discursive Limits of Identity and Safety” in Harvard Educational Review won the 2014 CCCC Lavender Rhetorics Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Prologue 1

Introduction: Black Queer Meanings of Literacy 15

1 "Treacherous Enterprises": Hiding/Out through Literacy Concealment 55

2 "Because of Their Fearlessness, I Felt Empowered": Ancestors, Fictive Kin, and Elders 102

3 "Spiritual Wanderers and Resident Aliens": The Unholy Life of Literacy Normativity and the Creation of Black Queer Spiritualities 153

4 Feeling Myself: Refashioning Undesirability in Black Queer Digital Spheres 192

Conclusion 241


A Research Participant Reference Chart 255

B Interview Script 257

Notes 259

Bibliography 275

Index 295

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