In this Book

State University of New York Press
summary
Analyzes how literary representations of suicide have reinforced antiblackness in the modern world.

Death Rights presents an antiracist critique of British romanticism by deconstructing one of its organizing tropes—the suicidal creative “genius.” Putting texts by Olaudah Equiano, Mary Shelley, John Keats, and others into critical conversation with African American literature, black studies, and feminist theory, Deanna P. Koretsky argues that romanticism is part and parcel of the legal and philosophical discourses underwriting liberal modernity’s antiblack foundations. Read in this context, the trope of romantic suicide serves a distinct political function, indexing the limits of liberal subjectivity and (re)inscribing the rights and freedoms promised by liberalism as the exclusive province of white men.

The first book-length study of suicide in British romanticism, Death Rights also points to the enduring legacy of romantic ideals in the academy and contemporary culture more broadly. Koretsky challenges scholars working in historically Eurocentric fields to rethink their identification with epistemes rooted in antiblackness. And, through discussions of recent cultural touchstones such as Kurt Cobain’s resurgence in hip-hop and Victor LaValle’s comic book sequel to Frankenstein, Koretsky provides all readers with a trenchant analysis of how eighteenth-century ideas about suicide continue to routinize antiblackness in the modern world.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Death Rights
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  1. Title
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  1. Copyright
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  1. Dedication
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. ix
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-22
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  1. Chapter 1 Liberty and Death
  2. pp. 23-46
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  1. Chapter 2 Chained to Life and Misery
  2. pp. 47-72
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  1. Chapter 3 Writ in Water
  2. pp. 73-96
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  1. Chapter 4 In Sympathy
  2. pp. 97-116
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  1. Chapter 5 Marvelous Boys
  2. pp. 117-128
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 129-
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 169-192
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 193-203
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  1. Back Cover
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781438482903
Related ISBN
9781438482897
MARC Record
OCLC
1240211392
Launched on MUSE
2021-04-12
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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