Retrieving the Human

Reading Paul Gilroy

Edited by Rebecka Rutledge Fisher & Jay Garcia

Subjects: Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, Postcolonial Studies, African American Studies
Series: SUNY series, Philosophy and Race
Paperback : 9781438452760, 270 pages, July 2015
Hardcover : 9781438452753, 270 pages, October 2014

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Rebecka Rutledge Fisher and Jay Garcia
Part I. Theories in Motion: Roots and Routes

1. Traditions, Genealogies, and Influences: Gilroy’s Intellectual Roots and Routes
Richard H. King
2. Paul Gilroy and the Pitfalls of British Identity
Dennis Dworkin
3. “Enough of This Scandal”: Reading Gilroy through Fanon, or Who Comes after “Race”?
Anthony Alessandrini
Part II. Retrieving the Human: Two Scholars in Dialogue
4. Multiculturalism and the Negative Dialectics of Conviviality
Paul Gilroy
5. For a Dialogue with Paul Gilroy
Jonathan Boyarin
Part III. Debating the Human in Everyday Spaces
6. Sedentary and Mobile Poetics: Paul Gilroy and the Aesthetics of Postcolonial Theory
Ranu Samantrai
7. Dynamic Nominalism in Alain Locke and Paul Gilroy
Jay Garcia
8. Black Humanitarianism
Tavia Nyong’o
9. A Dialogue on the Human: An Interview with Paul Gilroy
Edited by Rebecka Rutledge Fisher and Jay Garcia
Afterword. “The Right to Address the Future”: Utopian Thinking and Paul Gilroy
John McGowan
List of Contributors

An interdisciplinary consideration of Paul Gilroy's contributions to cultural theory and understandings of modernity.


In the more than twenty years since the publication of his book The Black Atlantic, Paul Gilroy has become a leading Afro-European intellectual whose work in the cultural studies of race has influenced a number of fields and made the study of black Atlantic literatures and cultures an enduring part of the humanities. The essays in this collection examine the full trajectory of Gilroy's work, looking beyond The Black Atlantic to consider also his work in the intervening years, focusing in particular on his investigations of contemporary black life in the United States, histories of human rights, and the politics of memory and empire in contemporary Britain. With an essay by Gilroy himself extending his longstanding examination of fascism, racial thinking, and European philosophical thought, in addition to an interview with Gilroy, this volume features Gilroy's own words alongside other scholars' alternative conceptualizations and critical rereadings of his works.

Rebecka Rutledge Fisher is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of Habitations of the Veil: Metaphor and the Poetics of Black Being in African American Literature, also published by SUNY Press. Jay Garcia is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at New York University and author of Psychology Comes to Harlem: Rethinking the Race Question in Twentieth-Century America.


"…a diverse approach that allows for a well-rounded examination of Gilroy's rich, complex oeuvre. " — CHOICE