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Speaking in Tongues and Dancing DiasporaBlack Women Writing and Performing$
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Mae G. Henderson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780195116595

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195116595.001.0001

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The State of Our Art

The State of Our Art

Chapter:
(p.133) 8 The State of Our Art
Source:
Speaking in Tongues and Dancing Diaspora
Author(s):

Mae G. Henderson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195116595.003.0009

As participant in a 1991 literary symposium conducted by The Women’s Review of Books, Henderson discusses literature, criticism, and theory. (Addressing the relationship between theory and practice, Henderson defines her strategy as thematizing theory and theorizing theme in her readings of black women’s writing. Her goal is not only to use theory as a means of grounding practice and practice as a means of building theory, but also to create sites of struggle and resistance to dominant practices. The theorizing critic, argues Henderson, must always bear in mind the relationship between literary and social practices, establishing connections not only within texts (intratextuality) and between texts (intertextuality), but between the world and the text. Henderson addresses issues such as the value of poststructuralist/deconstructive criticism, the role and commitment of the intellectual, the relationship of black feminism to the feminist, racial, and postcolonial critique, and the future of black feminist studies.

Keywords:   Mae G. Henderson, Women’s Review of Books, black feminist theory, poststructuralism, deconstruction, intratextuality, intertextuality, commitment of the intellectual, postcolonialism, black feminist studies

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