“A lively and enlightening contribution to queer studies, investigating affect and embodiment as avenues for the radical reinvigoration of how we experience and think about raced, gendered, and sexualized subjectivities. Masterful in her engagement with queer, feminist, and psychoanalytic theory and their historical contexts, Musser provides incisive analyses that make for exhilarating and highly informative reading.”
—Darieck Scott, author of Extravagant Abjection
“Sensational Flesh explores the material aspects of power—how, in a Foucauldian sense, it is ‘felt’ in the body—unpacking the bodily, sensational dimensions of subjectivity. Comprehensive and exhaustive in scope, Musser leaves no stone unturned in her consideration of ‘masochism’ in all its different formulations, and in the often-contradictory ways it has been deployed.”
—Jean Walton, author of Fair Sex, Savage Dreams: Race Psychoanalysis, Sexual Difference
"In Sensational Flesh, Amber Jamilla Musser explores the appeal of masochism via empathetic readings of historical texts, extracting meaning from writing that might otherwise appear outdated or limited in its perspective. . . . Musser does a fine job of weaving together various texts to present the reader with a nuanced view of the practice. . . . [F]or those with a basic understanding of the philosophical complexities of arguments concerning subjects, objects, and notions of the 'other,' Musser presents a compelling and deeply satisfying read."
"Musser has written a book well worth reading.”
—Sexuality and Culture
"The book is a rich intellectual history of the constellations of power organized as masochism in psychoanalytic, philosophical, feminist, postcolonial, and critical theory.”
“In a sex-positive era, Musser admirably defends black women’s rights to experiment boundlessly with sensations and the erotics of power, free from the restraints of the collective memory of slavery.”
—Gender & Society
“What does it feel like to be enmeshed in regimes of power? And how does masochism… challenge and extend notions of agency, subjectivity, difference, freedom, and representation? In Sensational Flesh, Musser probes such questions in an effort to distill how it feels to exist in the liminal space between agency and subjectlessness and, importantly, how to account for difference within these performances of submission.”
—GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies
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