Taylor H Black
Assistant Professor of English
Taylor Black is a native North Carolinian. He was born in Durham and split his time growing up between Winston-Salem and the Triangle. At 18, he left for New York, where he pursed a BA in Black Studies at Hunter College and later earned a PhD in American Studies at Rutgers University. He is very excited to be returning home and continuing his work as a member of the Duke community.
He has published on twentieth century American literature, popular music, gender and sexuality studies, queer theory, ontology and theories of becoming and, above all, the subject and practices of style in Women’s Studies Quarterly, American Quarterly, Discourse and the Journal of Popular Music Studies. Black is the co-editor of the Spring 2016 issue ofWSQ, "Survival," with Frances Bartkowski and Elena Glasberg.
Black is currently at work on his book project, Time Out of Mind: Style and the Art of Becoming, which proposes style as a way to understand the ontology of identity and being. Black first became interested in the subject and practices of style as he encountered the works of Quentin Crisp, who described style as "an idiom arising spontaneously out of the personality but deliberately maintained.” His work takes up Crisp's rigorously perverse sense of style as a path into studying America and American literature as projects of the future and not of nostalgia. Time Out of Mind considers Edgar Allan Poe, Flannery O'Connor, Quentin Crisp and Bob Dylan as exemplary stylists: untimely figures emerging out of the history of American culture who have, in their works, pushed the limits of authorship to imagine concepts and modes of being that seem to defy their own times and places and belong in a world-to-come.