The New Black Novel and the Long War on Terror

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


If twenty-first-century black literature emerged over the years when the map of racial power was being redrawn, how did the high war on terror shift the spatial imaginary of African American literature? This essay analyzes Teju Cole's 2011 novel, Open City, as a text that surveys the war against terror's respatialization of race and measures its impact on notions of blackness, art, and coloniality in the 21st century. I track the representation of post-9/11 spatiality to probe the relation between race, place, and space in new black literature, that is, the literary experiments that arose in the time of the high war on terror. Open City, I argue, constructs the new black novel as a devastated form in a war-torn landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-681
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Literary History
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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