Racialized Politics of Desire in Personal Ads

In their search for a relationship, whether long- or short-term, how do desiring subjects signify their identities and those of their desiring subjects? The essays in "Racialized Politics of Desire in Personal Ads" take up this question by exploring how writers of personal ads fashion themselves and those with whom they seek a connection. More specifically, these essays explore the politics of desire — how complex intersections among the social categories of race, gender and sexuality within personal ads reveal a dynamic tapestry of power relations and hierarchies. By focusing on how, in each instance, African Americans both construct and are constructed discursively in the brief narrative space of personals, this collection offers a substantively new genre-based exploration of the politics of desire and makes an important contribution to studies of language and self; identity politics; cultural studies; gendered, sexualized and racialized discourses; and the performance of everyday texts that occupy scholarly attention in a variety of different disciplines. Those interested in American cultural studies, African American studies, sociology, communication, rhetoric, queer studies, critical race theory, women's studies, gender studies and race relations on a professional or lay basis will find this book informative and engaging.


Neal A. Lester is director of Project Humanities at ASU, where he is also Foundation Professor of English.

Maureen Daly Goggin is professor of English in writing, rhetorics and literacies at ASU.

Praise for this book

Using the often raw, radical, bold, unabashed, and edgy language of these ads, contributors move this medium, through carefully written and well-researched scholarly articles beyond what might be perceived as not so veiled pornography to study, deconstruct, and assess the deeper questions and issues related to race, class and gender problematize in these narratives.

Wilfred D. Samuels Associate professor of English and ethnic studies at University of Utah