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Life of PaperLetters and a Poetics of Living Beyond Captivity$
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Sharon Luk

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520296237

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520296237.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021



The Life of Paper

(p.1) Introduction
Life of Paper

Sharon Luk

University of California Press

Highlighting the role of the epistolary in the making of Western civilization, the Introduction argues that deep within such movements and the conditions of violent duress they produce, the mundane activities of communities to reconstitute themselves—as manifest in letter correspondence—emerge discernibly as essential to social life rather than seemingly adjunct to it: facilitating a means for people to reproduce themselves at every scale of existence, from bodily integrity to subjectivity to collective and spiritual essence. Methodologically, the Introduction argues that regional approaches to spatial analysis modeled by Black geographies, alongside historical materialist approaches to literary studies modeled by Asian American, Queer, and Black cultural theory, yield unique insights into articulations of difference, power, and globality that have been under-studied while simultaneously opening new epistemological horizons for their investigation.

Keywords:   Epistolary, Incarceration, Black geographies, Historiography, Social reproduction, Poetics

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