the nigrescent beyond

What emanates are not the dead, but the indecipherable matter from gaps left within us by the secrets of others.

The Nigrescent Beyond: Mexico, the United States, and the Psychic Vanishing of Blackness begins by articulating a psychic vanishing of ideas of blackness within the collective imagination of the Mexican nation. A valuable byproduct of this concern is a differentiation in the national psychic apparatuses that enact these vanishings and what this, in turn, says about the varied nature of the creation of black subjects across the Americas. Paradoxically, it is precisely the lack of engagement in such differentiation, embedded in many of the reanimated conversations around ideas of blackness in the Western Hemisphere, that forecloses the possibility of productive borrowings that take place in this work and that can shed light on transnational and transregional similarities. Objects of study considered in my analysis come from historical accounts detailing maroon activities in early New Spain, contemporary coverage of the push to make legible Afro-Mexican identities, and the works of, among others, Octavio Paz, Ivan Van Sertima, Colson Whitehead, Carlos Fuentes, and Steven Spielberg. My aim is to uncover and model a practice of reading that does not attempt to recover vanished ideas of blackness, but rather one that honors the disruptive capacity offered by a sustained awareness of what I understand as the nigrescent beyond, or the outline of the process of vanishing itself.

this book is under advance contract @ northwestern university press