In Against the Closet, Aliyyah I. Abdur-Rahman interrogates and demanding situations cultural theorists' interpretations of sexual transgression in African American literature. She argues that, from the mid-nineteenth century during the 20th, black writers used depictions of erotic transgression to contest well known theories of id, pathology, nationwide belonging, and racial distinction in American tradition. Connecting metaphors of sexual transgression to precise historic classes, Abdur-Rahman explains how tropes equivalent to sadomasochism and incest illuminated the psychodynamics of specific racial accidents and instructed different types of social fix and political redress from the time of slavery, via post-Reconstruction and the civil rights and black energy hobbies, to the overdue 20th century.

Abdur-Rahman brings black feminist, psychoanalytic, serious race, and poststructuralist theories to undergo on literary genres from slave narratives to technology fiction. interpreting works by means of African American writers, together with Frederick Douglass, Pauline Hopkins, Harriet Jacobs, James Baldwin, and Octavia Butler, she indicates how literary representations of transgressive sexuality expressed the longings of African american citizens for person and collective freedom. Abdur-Rahman contends that these representations have been basic to the improvement of African American different types of literary expression and modes of political intervention and cultural self-fashioning.

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