In Black Feminism Reimagined Jennifer C. Nash reframes black feminism's engagement with intersectionality, often celebrated as its primary intellectual and political contribution to feminist theory. Charting the institutional history and contemporary uses of intersectionality in the academy, Nash outlines how women's studies has both elevated intersectionality to the discipline's primary program-building initiative and cast intersectionality as a threat to feminism's coherence. As intersectionality has become a central feminist preoccupation, Nash argues that black feminism has been marked by a single affect—defensiveness—manifested by efforts to police intersectionality's usages and circulations. Nash contends that only by letting go of this deeply alluring protectionist stance, the desire to make property of knowledge, can black feminists reimagine intellectual production in ways that unleash black feminist theory's visionary world-making possibilities.
Introduction: Feeling Black Feminism 1
1. A Love Letter from a Critic, or Notes on the Intersectionality Wars 33
2. The Politics of Reading 59
3. Surrender 81
4. Love in the Time of Death 111
Coda: Some of Us are Tired 133
“Black Feminism Reimagined takes stock of how the ubiquitous notion of intersectionality has become vexed by various appropriations and disparagements in the decades since it was first introduced into the tool kit of race and gender analysis. Jennifer C. Nash's eloquent appeal cautions against too-reactive defensiveness in response to those derangements. In this meticulous ‘critique [of] proprietary impulses,’ Nash deftly reorients the theory of intersectionality back toward its most generous and generative inspirations: vulnerability, intimacy, transnationalism, and the ethical practices of witnessing.”
Patricia J. Williams, author of
The Alchemy of Race and Rights: Diary of a Law Professor
“This book troubles the water of black feminism's various permutations. It asks tough questions and provides nuanced answers. It is a must-read for scholars in the field. Jennifer C. Nash is a key voice in black studies, and if we didn't know that before, we know it now.”
Sharon Patricia Holland, author of
The Erotic Life of Racism
"What Nash does in Black Feminism Reimagined is new, brave, and important."
Women's Review of Books