Race and the Rhetoric of Resistance (Hardcover)

Race and the Rhetoric of Resistance By Jeffrey B. Ferguson, Werner Sollors (Editor), George B. Hutchinson (Afterword by) Cover Image

Race and the Rhetoric of Resistance (Hardcover)


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Jeffrey B. Ferguson is remembered as an Amherst College professor of mythical charisma and for his long-standing engagement with George Schuyler, culminating in his paradigm changing book The Sage of Sugar Hill. Continuing in the vein of his ever questioning the conventions of “race melodrama” through the lens of which so much American cultural history and storytelling has been filtered, Ferguson’s final work is brought together here in Race and the Rhetoric of Resistance.
JEFFREY B. FERGUSON (1964-2018) was the Karen and Brian Conway Presidential Teaching Professor of Black Studies at Amherst College in Massachusetts, a mythical teacher, and the author of The Sage of Sugar Hill: George S. Schuyler, Satire, and the Harlem Renaissance, Harlem Renaissance: A Brief History with Documents, and an essay on Sinclair Lewis’s Babbitt for A New Literary History of America.

WERNER SOLLORS is the Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Research Professor of English and African American studies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

GEORGE B. HUTCHINSON is the Newton C. Farr professor of American culture in the department of English at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
Product Details ISBN: 9781978820838
ISBN-10: 1978820836
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication Date: March 12th, 2021
Pages: 144
Language: English
“These essays have extraordinary range, they are deeply thoughtful, and the writing has verve. It is sometimes polemical, but always braced by suggestive intelligence.”
— Uday S. Mehta

"In this collection, Jeff Ferguson has given us notes toward an intellectual project, now a collective one, that may move us beyond the constant sway between the extremes of unending suffering and explosive resistance as the only means for narrating Black life."
— Farah Jasmine Griffin

"Jeffrey Ferguson challenges us to see America for the weird experiment it has been. Broad ranging, and probing, Race and the Rhetoric of Resistance is a testament to Ferguson’s sorely missed elegance and wit."
— Glenda Carpio

"These brief, insightful essays illustrate what the world of literary scholarship lost with the tragically early passing of Jeffrey B. Ferguson. In his work, Ferguson deftly explores the limitations and complications of some key terms and concepts—race and Enlightenment, the blues, resistance and suffering, sincerity and authenticity, memory and hope—that have governed scholarship on African American literature and culture over the past quarter of a century. With wit, intelligence, and erudition Ferguson traces the lines of inquiry that have led us into the impasses that have characterized discussions of race and democracy since the colonial era, and in doing so he demonstrates how this history, if we engage it without mystifications and evasions, may yet provide us resources with which to understand our present. Framed by Werner Sollor’s preface and an afterword by George Hutchinson, Race and the Rhetoric of Resistance confronts us with what Ferguson calls the 'uncomfortable ironies, unexpected continuities, and unsettling discontinuities' that constitute the history of race and inequality in our troubled Republic."
— Kenneth W. Warren

"Race and the Rhetoric of Resistance is a rich, pathbreaking book, its pages weighed down by the gravity of the problems it addresses, the significance of the solution it suggests, as well as poignant awareness that what the author began here will forever remain unfinished."
— Soundings

"In this collection of complex, rich and insightful essays, Ferguson positions himself on the edge looking inside African American communities, and their literary and cultural production from a sober distance."
— Ethnic and Racial Studies

"While Ferguson’s astute critical lens is acutely missed in our current political moment, his paradigm-shifting provocations, incisive critiques, philosophical ruminations, and exhilaratingly wide-ranging use of sources in this book will inspire readers to move beyond resistance, and to think critically and in nuanced ways about race, nation, and foundational American myths, discovering new “intoxicating combinations” in our own Black study."

— Raquel Kennon