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Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing Joshua Bennett has a new book Being Property Once Myself (Harvard University Press, 2020) coming out on May 12, 2020. About the book, Harvard UP writes:
A prize-winning poet argues that blackness acts as the caesura between human and nonhuman, man and animal.
Throughout U.S. 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.
Congratulations to Professor Bennett! There's still time to pre-order your book from your favorite local bookstore (like Hanover's own Still North).