I am E. Al-Tariq Moore, Ph.D (“Tariq”), an alumnus of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and current adjunct instructor of English at East Carolina University (Greenville, NC). My dissertation, Black Queer Homelessness and Horror in the Novels of Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Randall Kenan, interrogates the problem of black queer invisibility in African American novels, linking it to prominent anti-queer and anti-feminist patriarchal anxieties regarding the social and political potency of manifestations of the erotic (See Audre Lorde). I explore black queer invisibility as a form of literary and social “homelessness,” and as one of the primary problems facing black queer men (and many who identify otherwise) who are in pursuit of “spaces” of belonging within and beyond their communities. Primarily, I am interested in the matrix of factors that shape practices of inclusion, naming, and recognition, as these factors give voice to a criteria of racial and sexual belonging responsible for black queer exclusion, and also reveals a particular gender ideology that positions the feminine as fearful. My work labors to identify strategies for reconstructing and reclaiming black queer “homespace” that is racial, spiritual, intellectual, and sexual—immune to overdetermination and impenetrable by the heavy performative demands that burden racialized expectations of gender and sexuality. A necessary step in understanding the full value of texts that offer these representations, is attending to their articulations of “horror” in association with queernes. As such, my work is interdisciplinary and relies heavily on the fields of Psychoanalysis, Black Queer Theory, African American Literary Studies, and Medical Humanities.
My Aim is to honor the complexity of James Baldwin’s relationship to America, noting his well-known assertion: “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” I endeavor to echo this spirit of Baldwin’s polemics as a body beyond the borders, a dispossessed descendant, a resistance writer.