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  • Cloth: $94.95 - Not In Stock
    978-0-8223-7046-8
  • Paperback: $26.95 - Not In Stock
    978-0-8223-7055-0
  • Acknowledgments  vii
    Preface  ix
    1. There Is No Racism Intended  1
    2. Refuge, Refuse, Refrain  65
    3. Chromatic Saturation  140
    Notes  247
    Works Cited  271
    Index
  • "Fred Moten is one of the most brilliant and original thinkers in Black Studies. The Universal Machine offers us a social poetics of blackness in its rigorous and extended engagement with Kant, Levinas, Arendt, and Fanon. The book is a provocative and incisive meditation on the violence of the esteemed categories of western philosophy: man, universe, reason, and world. What becomes clear over the course of its pages is the critical role of blackness (black life, black study) in producing thought of the outside and the vision of another world, or, better yet, no world, just the love and caress of earth. The density of its argument and the labyrinthine beauty of its sentences define Moten's body of work and trouble the line between critical thought and poetry." — Saidiya Hartman

    "In The Universal Machine, Fred Moten's extraordinary prose and thought lights up with love 'the other, dancing civilization black radicalism is.' As political philosophy the elliptical and attentive analysis reanimates Levinas, Arendt, and Fanon, among others, learning from their dissident phenomenology and repudiating the Enlightenment racism that shaped their concepts and politics. Reading in the Black Marxist tradition of Cedric Robinson and civil rights too, the book induces its own kinetic revolutionary blackness, its own figures of fugitive improvisation and solidarity. Each reading minute is absorbing and reverie-inducing, dissolving the ground of the interpretive habits we've been taught to bring to thought and the world." — Lauren Berlant

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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 The Universal Machine—the concluding volume to his landmark trilogy consent not to be a single being—Fred Moten presents a suite of three essays on Emmanuel Levinas, Hannah Arendt, and Franz Fanon in which he explores questions of freedom, capture, and selfhood. In trademark style, Moten considers these thinkers alongside artists and musicians such as William Kentridge and Curtis Mayfield while interrogating the relation between blackness and phenomenology. Whether using Levinas's idea of escape in unintended ways, examining Arendt's anti-blackness through Mayfield's virtuosic falsetto and Anthony Braxton's musical language, or showing how Fanon's form of phenomenology enables black social life, Moten formulates blackness as a way of being in the world that evades regulation. Throughout The Universal Machine—and the trilogy as a whole—Moten's theorizations of blackness will have a lasting and profound impact.

    About The Author(s)

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