The Erotic Life of Racism has had several permutations over the last decade.
It first started as a book about ‘‘generations’’—a book that, thankfully, Ken
Wissoker at Duke University Press suggested I didn’t want to write. It then
became a more conventional project by taking on the shape of an introduc-
tion, a few chapters demonstrating my theoretical rubric, and a tidy con-
clusion. That manuscript made it through the first round of reviews, but it
wasn’t yet a book—it hadn’t yet become the project I wanted to write. I
thank the readers on that second attempt for su√ering through a fledgling
project. In the two years after that second attempt, I began to write a rather
long introduction to the existing project—one that comprised some fifty
pages or more of analysis. I took this portion of the project to a writing
group with Cathy Davidson—it was there that she suggested I siphon o√
the expository chapters of the book and concentrate on the theoretical
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