A critique of theory through literature that celebrates the diversity of black being, The Desiring Modes of Being Black explores how literature unearths theoretical blind spots while reasserting the legitimacy of emotional turbulence in the controlled realm of reason that rationality claims to establish. This approach operates a critical shift by examining psychoanalytical texts from the literary perspective of black desiring subjectivities and experiences. This combination of psychoanalysis and the politics of literary interpretation of black texts helps determine how contemporary African American and black literature and queer texts come to defy and challenge the racial and sexual postulates of psychoanalysis or indeed any theoretical system that intends to define race, gender and sexualities.
The Desiring Modes of Being Black includes essays on James Baldwin, Sigmund Freud, Melvin Dixon, Essex Hemphill, Assotto Saint, and Rozena Maart. The metacritical reading they unfold interweaves African American Culture, Fanonian and Caribbean Thought, South African Black Consciousness, French Theory, Psychoanalysis, and Gender and Queer Studies.