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Body Politics

Short Meditations on José Esteban Muñoz’s The Sense of Brown

PTN welcomes four short meditations on the José Esteban Muñoz’s posthumous book.

In honor of the publication of José Esteban Muñoz’s posthumous book, The Sense of Brown, edited by Joshua Chambers-Letson and Tavia Nyong′o, we asked a few writers to offer a short meditation on what the book has meant to them. Readers are encouraged to check out the book’s introduction here, courtesy of Duke University Press.

Symposium Essays

In Convivencia, a Reflection on The Sense of Brown

This piece features a multimedia reflection on José Esteban Muñoz’s The Sense of Brown, which emphasizes the text’s radical approach to imagining solidarities and social relations beyond the normative paradigms of identity politics and its permutations. Through both textual poetics and sound design, Wadud and Lázaro Moreno riff off Muñoz’s own performance-based approach to storytelling and meaning-making, engaging Sense as an invitation to reconsider the aesthetic and philosophical terms of community-making, centering the power of counterintuitive methods.

The Power of Little Cockroaches Insisting on Worlds Otherwise

After a year when too many of us have mourned the tragic and untimely losses of loved ones (and raged at our governments for their roles in exacerbating these crises), I found another perspective on grief and change in Muñoz’s depiction of otherwiseness and a fable about a cockroach.

Coming

On the Work of Mourning in Muñoz

Pointing out and giving space to the melancholy at the heart of Muñoz’s work may help us rethink what queer scholars of religion, race, gender, and sexuality are doing and what we might want to be doing.

Coming

How Does It Feel To Be Seen As Needing a Cure

Reading The Sense of Brown has made the work of our collective, What Would an HIV Doula Do? less ineffable to me. While I do not think that brown and HIV are analogous, I do find thinking about the brown commons, and our HIV collective alongside each other instructive.

Coming