Thanks for shopping indie!
Shipping options »
List Price $35.00
Hardcover
In Stock
Order
Being Property Once Myself

Being Property Once Myself

Author Joshua Bennett
Publisher Harvard University Press
Publication Date 2020-03-31
Section Academic New Arrivals / Literary Crit & Biography
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9780674980303

A prize-winning poet argues that blackness acts as the caesura between human and nonhuman, man and animal.

Throughout US history, black people have been configured as sociolegal nonpersons, a subgenre of the human. Being Property Once Myself delves into the literary imagination and ethical concerns that have emerged from this experience. Each chapter tracks a specific animal figure―the rat, the cock, the mule, the dog, and the shark―in the works of black authors such as Richard Wright, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Jesmyn Ward, and Robert Hayden. The plantation, the wilderness, the kitchenette overrun with pests, the simultaneous valuation and sale of animals and enslaved people—all are sites made unforgettable by literature in which we find black and animal life in fraught proximity.

Joshua Bennett argues that animal figures are deployed in these texts to assert a theory of black sociality and to combat dominant claims about the limits of personhood. Bennett also turns to the black radical tradition to challenge the pervasiveness of antiblackness in discourses surrounding the environment and animals. Being Property Once Myself is an incisive work of literary criticism and a close reading of undertheorized notions of dehumanization and the Anthropocene.

There are no customer reviews for this item yet.

Support Harvard Book Store

Shop early, shop local, and help support our future.

Learn More »

Shipping & Curbside Pickup

We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $75+ ship free via media mail!

Learn More »

Classic Totes

Tote bags and pouches
in a variety of styles,
sizes, and designs
, plus mugs, bookmarks, and more!

Learn More »