Archives of Flesh

African America, Spain, and Post-Humanist Critique

264 pages

11 halftones

December, 2016

ISBN: 9781479843626



Add to Cart Available: 11/11/2016

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Robert F. Reid-Pharr is Professor of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University. He is the author of four books: Archives of Flesh: African America, Spain, and Post-Humanist Critique (NYU Press, 2016), Once You Go Black: Choice, Desire, and the Black American Intellectual (NYU Press, 2007), Black Gay Man: Essays (NYU Press, 2001), and Conjugal Union: The Body, the House, and the Black American (1999).

All books by Robert F. Reid-Pharr

Enlists the principles of post-humanist critique in order to investigate decades of intimate dialogues between African American and Spanish intellectuals 
In Archives of Flesh, Robert Reid-Pharr reveals the deep history of intellectual engagement between African America and Spain.  Opening a fascinating window onto black and anti-Fascist intellectual life from 1898 through the mid-1950s, Reid-Pharr argues that key institutions of Western Humanism, including American colleges and universities, developed in intimate relation to slavery, colonization, and white supremacy.  This retreat to rigidly established philosophical and critical traditions can never fully address—or even fully recognize—the deep-seated hostility to black subjectivity underlying the humanist ideal of a transcendent Manhood.               

Calling for a specifically anti-white supremacist reexamination of the archives of black subjectivity and resistance, Reid-Pharr enlists the principles of post-humanist critique in order to investigate decades of intimate dialogues between African American and Spanish intellectuals, including Salaria Kea, Federico Garcia Lorca, Nella Larsen, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Chester Himes, Lynn Nottage, and Pablo Picasso. In the process Reid-Pharr takes up the “African American Spanish Archive” in order to resist the anti-corporeal, anti-black, anti-human biases that stand at the heart of Western Humanism. 


  • Archives of Flesh is a daring and beautifully written book, offering reflections on the current state of Black studies and the sociopolitical and geographical locations of Blackness that inform our dominant discourses. With this volume, Reid-Pharr expands his reputation as a rigorous and iconoclastic scholar who pushes the field to examine its sacred cows and consider how their rigid mythologies cost us the development of more truthful, insightful, and liberating analytical practices. A bold indictment of the intellectual inflexibility that informs mainstream discourses on Blackness and the politics of difference, Archives of Flesh holds its own as a polemic by one of our most famous and respected contemporary scholars.”

    —Michelle Wright, author of Physics of Blackness: Beyond the Middle Passage Epistemology