Miles P. GrierJan 15, 2024
Othello and White Authority in the Era of Atlantic Slavery
University of Virginia Press 2023
In his new book Inkface: Othello and White Authority in the Era of Atlantic Slavery (University of Virginia Press, 2023), Miles P. Grier argues that blackness in Othello and the texts that it influenced should be understood as deeply material, transferable, and unstable. The defining of alphanumerical and dramatic characters, while represented as settled, was anything but. As Miles writes in the book, “Before the racial categories of high scientific racism were elaborated in the late eighteenth century, a functional white interpretive community was being forged through the shared exercise of interpretive authority over inky black figures. The stage offered a place in which control over symbols and their interpretation could be celebrated as if it were already a fait accompli, rather than a tense, ongoing battle.”
Miles Parks Grier is Professor of English at Queens College, City University of New York. Miles’s articles have appeared in The William and Mary Quarterly, The Journal of Popular Music Studies, and Shakespeare/Text: Contemporary Readings in Textual Studies, Editing and Performance. Along with Cassander L. Smith and Nicholas Jones, Miles co-edited Early Modern Black Diaspora Studies: A Critical Anthology (Palgrave, 2018). Inkface is his first monograph.
John Yargo is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities at Boston College. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His specializations are early modern literature, the environmental humanities, and critical race studies. His dissertation explores early modern representations of environmental catastrophe, including William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, and John Milton's Paradise Lost. He has published in Early Theatre, Studies in Philology, The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, and Shakespeare Studies.