1 Besides the work of Wynter and Spillers, my thinking about racialization is in-
debted to Frantz Fanon and W. E. B. Du Bois. See Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the
Earth, trans. Richard Philcox (1963; reprint, New York: Grove, 2004), 150; Frantz
Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, trans. Richard Philcox (1952; reprint, New York:
Grove, 2008), 89 – 120; and W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk , ed. Don-
ald B. Gibson (New York: Penguin Classics, 1996), 3 – 12.
2 Dylan Rodríguez, Forced Passages: Imprisoned Radical Intellectuals and the U.S. Prison
Regime (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), 11.
3 Following Sylvia Wynter, I use Man to designate the modern, secular, and western
version of the human that differentiates full humans from not- quite- humans and
nonhumans on the basis of biology and economics.
4 As of April 2012, Google Scholar lists 19,800 entries for biopolitics, 11,400 for homo
sacer, and 8,790 for bare life but only 917 for necropolitics, 1,060 for Sylvia Wynter, and
2,050 for Hortense Spillers.
5 Ann DuCille, “The Occult of True Black Womanhood: Critical Demeanor and
Black Feminist Studies,” Signs 19.3 (1994): 603.
6 Dwight McBride notices a similar tendency in the resonances between Foucault’s
conception of historical discontinuities and the writings of Toni Morrison and
Maxine Hong Kingston, writing, “Often much of what western theory imagines as
the ‘new’ can only be understood as such when the object of critique is delimited