Afropessimism with Frank B. Wilderson III
With the narrative drive of a captivating novel, and the intellectual rigor of critical theory at its best, Afropessimism illustrates how Black death, both real and symbolic, is necessary for the material and psychic life of the Human species — and not just White people. Few writers have the courage to set fire to the world while soaked in kerosene. Frank B. Wilderson III is one of them. Here is the match. Some readers will experience Afropessimism as a high wire act between rage and paranoia. Others will welcome it as a breath of sanity. On September 24, Wilderson will read an excerpt from Afropessimism.
Frank B. Wilderson III is professor and chair of African American Studies, and a core faculty member of the Culture & Theory Ph.D. Program at UC Irvine; and an award-winning writer whose books include Afropessimism (Liveright/W.W. Norton 2020); Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid (Duke University Press 2015); and Red, White, & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms (Duke University Press 2010). He spent five and a half years in South Africa, where he was one of two Americans to hold elected office in the African National Congress during the apartheid era. He also was a cadre in the underground. His literary awards include The American Book Award; The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award for Creative Nonfiction; The Maya Angelou Award for Best Fiction Portraying the Black Experience in America; and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. Wilderson was educated at Dartmouth College (A.B Government and Philosophy), Columbia University (MFA/Fiction Writing), and UC Berkeley (PhD/Rhetoric).