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Speaking in Tongues and Dancing DiasporaBlack Women Writing and Performing$
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Mae G. Henderson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780195116595

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195116595.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 April 2021

Authors and Authorities

Authors and Authorities

(p.145) 10 Authors and Authorities
Speaking in Tongues and Dancing Diaspora

Mae G. Henderson

Oxford University Press

Citing historical examples of the “nasty review” and its sometimes tragic consequences, the chapter argues that while a reviewer can rescue a book from obscurity with a favorable review, a harsh review or simple inattentiveness can provide lubrication to the conveyor belt into oblivion. Addressing, in particular, the responsibility of the academic book reviewer, it focuses on the fate of black and women authors whose works have been subject to criticisms of exceptionalism, inauthenticity, trivialization—or, worse, subject to neglect or suppression. Proposing that the reviewer attend to issues of power, positionality, and process (the power of the review, the positionality of the reviewer, and the process of reading), the chapter explores the viability of alternative models for reviewing, especially as these address the politics and ethics of women reviewing women. The protocol it recommends entails what can be described fundamentally as a dialogic process of “critical conversation” between reviewer and author.

Keywords:   Mae G. Henderson, dialogism, book reviews, women and book reviewing, black and women authors, inauthenticity, positionality

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