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  • Acknowledgments  vii
    Preface  ix
    1. Knowledge of Freedom  1
    2. Gestural Critique of Judgment  96
    3. Uplift and Criminality  118
    4. The New International of Decent Feelings  143
    5. Rilya Wilson, Precious Doe, Buried Angel  155
    6. Black Op  158
    7. The Touring Machine (Flesh Thought Inside Out)  164
    8. Seeing Things  186
    9. Air Shaft, Rent Party  191
    10. Notes on Passage  194
    11. Here, There, and Everywhere  216
    12. Anassignment Letters  230
    13. The Animaternalizing Call  240
    14. Erotics of Fugitivity  244
    Notes  271
    Works Cited  299
    Index
  • "Fred Moten's panpipe critical practice is nowhere more luxuriantly available than in Stolen Life. Diagnostic, ministerial, rhapsodic, it pulls out all stops to chase the farthest, fullest reaches of thought and language, criticality's gambit. Moten returns the essay to its etymon, a radical trial, a radical attempt, what John Coltrane called pursuance, in flight for and toward something, which is as much what fugitivity (a prized word and concept between these covers) is as getting away, an unremitting search prone to unexpected turns at any point. Study is a word of choice in Moten's work and he does indeed school us, take us to school. We've been tardy at times, we learn, and we've even, on occasion, played hooky. No matter. He pulls right up outside our door, driving the bus." — Nathaniel Mackey, author of, Late Arcade

    "Our friend Fred Moten, the prodigious philosopher, poet, collaborator, conspirator, critic, and fearless planner, extends to us a riveting, beautiful, and turbulent collection of essays. A massive and mobile series of meditations on the intramural and the undercommons, Stolen Life cuts a fugitive path toward the place where blackness and black study collude and collide with one another, offering us the blueprints to better hear the poetry of our ontology, and the ontology of our poetry. As precious contraband for this scholarly moment of emergency, this field-altering masterpiece is set to be played again and again." — Daphne A. Brooks, author of, Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850–1910

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  • Description

    "Taken as a trilogy, consent not to be a single being is a monumental accomplishment: a brilliant theoretical intervention that might be best described as a powerful case for blackness as a category of analysis."—Brent Hayes Edwards, author of Epistrophies: Jazz and the Literary Imagination

    In Stolen Life—the second volume in his landmark trilogy consent not to be a single being—Fred Moten undertakes an expansive exploration of blackness as it relates to black life and the collective refusal of social death. The essays resist categorization, moving from Moten's opening meditation on Kant, Olaudah Equiano, and the conditions of black thought through discussions of academic freedom, writing and pedagogy, non-neurotypicality, and uncritical notions of freedom. Moten also models black study as a form of social life through an engagement with Fanon, Hartman, and Spillers and plumbs the distinction between blackness and black people in readings of Du Bois and Nahum Chandler. The force and creativity of Moten's criticism resonate throughout, reminding us not only of his importance as a thinker, but of the continued necessity of interrogating blackness as a form of sociality.

    About The Author(s)

    Fred Moten is Professor of Performance Studies at New York University and the author of Black and Blur and The Universal Machine, both also published by Duke University Press, and In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition.
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