Critical Affinities

Critical Affinities is the first book to explore the multifaceted relationship between the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and various dimensions of African American thought. Exploring the connections between these two unlikely interlocutors, the contributors focus on unmasking and understanding the root causes and racially inflected symptoms of various manifestations of cultural malaise. They contemplate the operative warrant for reconstituted conceptions of racial identity and recognize the existential and social recuperative potential of the will to power. In so doing, they simultaneously foster and exemplify a nuanced understanding of what both traditions regard as “the art of the cultural physician.” The contributors connote daring scholarly attempts to explicate the ways in which clarifying the critical affinities between Nietzsche and various expressions of African American thought not only enriches our understanding of each, but also enhances our ability to realize the broader ends of advancing the prospects for social and psychological flourishing.


“These essays complicate and perhaps disrupt common notions of the discursive options available to black studies. Rather than promote an afrocentric, diasporic, queered, or feminist black studies, they tacitly envision a black studies charmed and unsettled by a seducer, by Nietzsche—a black studies richer in itself, newer to itself than before, full of new will and currents, full of new dissatisfactions. ” — from the Foreword by Robert Gooding-Williams

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