In Queer Tidalectics, Emilio Amideo investigates how Anglophone writers James Baldwin, Jackie Kay, Thomas Glave, and Shani Mootoo employ the trope of fluidity to articulate a Black queer diasporic aesthetics. Water recurs as a figurative and material site to express the Black queer experience within the diaspora, a means to explore malleability and overflowing sexual, gender, and racial boundaries. Amideo triangulates language, the aquatic, and affect to delineate a Black queer aesthetics, one that uses an idiom of fluidity, slipperiness, and opacity to undermine and circumvent gender normativity and the racialized heteropatriarchy embedded in English. The result is an outline of an ever-expanding affective archive of experiential knowledge.
Amideo engages and extends the work of Black queer studies, Oceanic studies, ecocriticism, phenomenology, and new materialism through the theorizations of Sara Ahmed, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley, M. Jacqui Alexander, Édouard Glissant, José Esteban Muñoz, and Edward Kamau Brathwaite, among others. Ambitious in scope and captivating to read, Queer Tidalectics brings Caribbean writers like Glissant and Brathwaite into queer literary analysis—a major scholarly contribution.
“Queer Tidalectics is an ambitious synthesis of contemporary theories of diaspora, Black queer studies, and postcolonial eco-criticism, as well as affect theory. It powerfully argues for the presence of gender and sexual fluidity in queer Black Atlantic literature, mapping a twentieth and twenty-first century archive of water. Tracing the submerged histories and expressions of Black queer desire in the Black Atlantic as sites of political potential, this book queers oceanic studies as much as it expands the gendered and sexual dimensions of the Black Diaspora.” —Samantha Pinto, author of Difficult Diasporas: The Transnational Feminist Aesthetic of the Black Atlantic
“Queer Tidalectics intervenes in extending black queer studies (or queer of color critique) by its deep attention to the literary, taking Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley’s argument in ‘Black Atlantic, Queer Atlantic’ as a formative inauguration to theorize the diasporic via watery queerness . . . a strong, compelling achievement.” —Kevin Quashie, The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture
“In reminding us again of the fluidity of language and the language of fluidity in the endlessly creative queer Caribbean, Queer Tidalectics offers a life raft through racist and homophobic seas. A work of deft theoretical synthesis and literary analysis, it is a meaningful contribution to the ongoing study of the queer Black diaspora’s life-affirming aesthetics.” —Shane Vogel, author of Stolen Time: Black Fad Performance and the Calypso Craze
“In Queer Tidalectics, Emilio Amideo follows the sea to find queer meaning in Black diasporic literature. The book contributes to the fluid archive of critical and literary texts that together make the ocean the most interesting part of the map.” —Matt Brim, author of Poor Queer Studies: Confronting Elitism in the University