The Cry of the Senses

Listening to Latinx and Caribbean Poetics

Book Pages: 256 Illustrations: 31 illustrations, incl. 16 in color Published: December 2020

Author: Ren Ellis Neyra

Caribbean Studies, Chicanx and Latinx Studies, Cultural Studies > Affect Theory

In The Cry of the Senses, Ren Ellis Neyra examines the imaginative possibility for sound and poetics to foster new modes of sensorial solidarity in the Caribbean Americas. Weaving together the black radical tradition with Caribbean and Latinx performance, cinema, music, and literature, Ellis Neyra highlights the ways Latinx and Caribbean sonic practices challenge antiblack, colonial, post-Enlightenment, and humanist epistemologies. They locate and address the sonic in its myriad manifestations—across genres and forms, in a legal trial, and in the art and writing of Xandra Ibarra, the Fania All-Stars, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Édouard Glissant, and Eduardo Corral—while demonstrating how it operates as a raucous form of diasporic dissent and connectivity. Throughout, Ellis Neyra emphasizes Caribbean and Latinx sensorial practices while attuning readers to the many forms of blackness and queerness. Tracking the sonic through their method of multisensorial, poetic listening, Ellis Neyra shows how attending to the senses can inspire alternate, ethical ways of collective listening and being.


“In this insightful and creative work, Ren Ellis Neyra centers affect against mandates to perform Latinidad as positivist, representational, and recuperative. Offering substantive methodological, theoretical, and analytical contributions, The Cry of the Senses is primed to reorient the direction of Latinx studies.” — Leticia Alvarado, author of Abject Performances: Aesthetic Strategies in Latino Cultural Production

The Cry of the Senses is at once a poetic, disruptive, and critically demanding work. Ren Ellis Neyra theorizes the ways in which sensorial and material inventiveness, improvisation, and experimental ruptures are primary forms of thought and resistance in the Caribbean. It is a rare and profoundly pleasurable event when a critical work is exemplary of the material practices it explores, itself an eruption, a detour and a break. The work's poetic, expansive theorizing is promiscuous, high-low, feral, committed, and sly. It is a marvelous rearrangement of anticolonial frequencies and geologies, and a delight.” — Beatriz Santiago Muñoz


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Price: $25.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Ren Ellis Neyra is Assistant Professor of English at Wesleyan University and author of Meteor Shower/Días sin Shower.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface: The Ground?  xi
Acknowledgments  xix
Introduction: Cry Bomba  1
1. "¡Anormales!": Unruly Audition in Performances of 1970s Salsa  27
2. "I have been forced to hear a lot": The FALN, The Masses Are Asses, and the Sounds, Shapes, and Speeds of Puerto Rican Defiance  55
3. Sensorial Errancy in Beatriz Santiago Munoz's Cinema  91
4. Slow Lighting, Ecstatic Mourning, and Migratory Refuge  129
Coda, in Three: "fifty-two plastic bombs exploding as one, thundered against the sky"  163
Notes  171
Bibliography  203
Index  217
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-1117-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-1011-1