- Assistant Professor
- Rutgers University-New Brunswick
This project contextualizes and historicizes the relationship of race to poetic innovation in African American poets’ work by expanding the conventional understanding of “black aesthetics,” a concept closely identified with the Black Arts Movement (mid-1960s-1970s). By delineating the contours and consequences of African American poetic innovation in a range of historical and cultural moments, the study redefines black aesthetics to account for the century-long efforts of African American poets and critics to tackle issues of racial self-determination on the field of poetics. Ultimately, the project argues that black aesthetics exerts a powerful, yet often unrecognized influence, affirmatively and negatively motivating poetic innovation and overdetermining how such innovation is read.