Africana literary critic and cultural theory scholar, Christel N. Temple, whose groundbreaking books, Literary Pan-Africanism: History, Contexts, and Criticism (2005) and Literary Spaces: Introduction to Comparative Black Literature (2007), have been some of the most influential models of contemporary Africana Studies-based literary criticism, responds to the demand for a core disciplinary source that comprehensively defines and models literary praxis from the vantage point of Africana Studies. This highly anticipated seminal study finally institutionalizes the discipline's literary enterprise. Framing the concept of transcendence, she covers over a dozen traditional African American works in an original and thought-provoking analysis that places canonical approaches in enlightened discourse with Africana studies reader-response priorities.
This study makes traditional literature come alive in conversation with topics of masculinity, womanism, Black Lives Matter, humor, Pan-Africanism, transnationalism, worldview, the subject place of Africa, cultural mythology, hero dynamics, Black psychology, demographics, history, Black liberation theology, eulogy, cultural memory, Afro-futurism, the Kemetic principle of Maat, social justice, rap and hip hop, Diaspora, and performance. Scholars now have a focused Africana Studies text-for both introductory and advanced literature courses-to capture the power of the African American literary canon while modeling the most dynamic practical applications of humanities-to-social science practices.