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Black Queer FreedomSpaces of Injury and Paths of Desire$
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GerShun Avilez

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043376

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043376.001.0001

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Freedom in Restriction

(p.1) Introduction
Black Queer Freedom

GerShun Avilez

University of Illinois Press

The introduction presents the argument that Black queer individuals are injury-bound subjects: they are surrounded by the threat of injury. This focus on injury is an engagement of and movement away from Afro-pessimism, which foregrounds the social and epistemic ubiquity of Black death. The turn to injury emphasizes embodied presence rather than physical absence. The introduction asserts that desire and pleasure represent recurring ways that artists respond to the threats of injury queers face. Attention to how different bodies inhabit space, one way of understanding of the “politics of scale,” is a crucial analytic for making sense of queer experiences of spatialized injury. Desire emerges as a cultural response to such spatial differentiation and is imagined as a way to find freedom in restriction.

Keywords:   injury, desire, pleasure, Afro-pessimism, politics of scale, embodied presence

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