Explores the theme of aesthetic agency and its potential for social and political progress.
Unmaking Race, Remaking Soul explores innovative approaches to analyzing cultural productions through which women of color have challenged and undermined social and political forces that work to oppress them. Emphasizing art-making practices that emerge out of and reflect concrete lived experience, leading contributors to the fields of contemporary psychoanalytic literary analysis, Latin American studies, feminist theory, Native Women's studies, Africana studies, philosophy, and art history examine the relationship between the aesthetic and the political.
The focus of the book is on the idea of aesthetic agency through which one develops different modes of expression and creative practices that facilitate personal and social transformation. Aesthetic agency is liberating in a broad sense—it not only frees our creative capacities but also expands our capacity for joy and our abilities to know, to judge, and to act. Artists considered include Nadema Agard, Julia Alvarez, Ana Castillo, Daystar/Rosalie Jones, Coco Fusco, Diane Glancy, Martha Jackson-Jarvis, Toni Morrison, MeShell Ndegéocello, Marcie Rendon, Ntozake Shange, Lorna Simpson, Roxanne Swentzell, Regina Vater, Kay Walking Stick, and Carrie Mae Weems.
Christa Davis Acampora is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, the City University of New York. Angela L. Cotten is Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at Stony Brook University, State University of New York. They are the coeditors of Cultural Sites of Critical Insight: Philosophy, Aesthetics, and African American and Native American Women's Writings, also published by SUNY Press.
"This collection makes an intriguing and important contribution to understanding the experiences and cultural productions of women of color." — Bilinda Straight, editor of Women on the Verge of Home