Blackpentecostal BreathThe Aesthetics of Possibility

Blackpentecostal BreathThe Aesthetics of Possibility

Ashon T. Crawley

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780823274543

Publisher: Fordham University Press

Abstract

Blackpentecostal Breath: The Aesthetics of Possibility investigates the relationship of aesthetic productions to modes of collective, social intellectual practice. Engaging black studies, queer theory, sound studies, literary theory, theological studies, continental philosophy, and visual studies, Blackpentecostal Breath analyses the ways otherwise modes of existence are disruptions of marginalization and violence. The immediate objects of study Blackpentecostal Breath engages are the aesthetic practices—whooping, shouting, noise-making and speaking in tongues—found in Blackpentecostalism, a multiracial, multi-class, multi-national Christian sect that has one strand of its modern genesis in 1906, Los Angeles, California. Blackpentecostal Breath argues that the aesthetic practices of Blackpentecostalism constitute a performative critique of normative theology and philosophy that precede the twentieth-century moment. These performances constitute an atheological-aphilosophical project, produced against the desires and aspirations for the liberal subject of modern theological-philosophical thought. In contradistinction to the desire for subjectivity, Blackpentecostal Breath theorizes the extra-subjective mode of being together that is the condition of emergence for otherwise worlds of possibility. These choreographic, sonic, and visual aesthetic practices and sensual experiences are not only important objects of study for those interested in alternative modes of social organization, but they also yield a general hermeneutics, a methodology for reading culture.