Digital Humanities: Fellowships Open Book Program

Period of Performance

5/1/2021 - 12/31/2021

Funding Totals

$5,500.00 (approved)
$5,500.00 (awarded)

Open Access Edition of Death Rights: Romantic Suicide, Race, and Bounds of Liberalism written by Deanna P. Koretsky

FAIN: DR-280048-21

Research Foundation for the State University of New York (Albany, NY 12207-2826)
Tim Stookesberry (Project Director: December 2020 to October 2022)

This project will publish the book Death Rights: Romantic Suicide, Race, and the Bounds of Liberalism, written by NEH Fellow Deanna P. Koretsky (NEH grant number HB-262280), in an electronic open access format under a Creative Commons license, making it available for free download and distribution. The author will be paid a royalty of at least $500 upon release of the open access ebook.

Associated Products

Single Publication (Open Access eBook or Collection)
Publication Type: Single Publication
Title: Death Rights: Romantic Suicide, Race, and the Bounds of Liberalism
Year: 2021
ISBN: 9781438482897
Publisher: SUNY Press
Author: Deanna P. Koretsky
Abstract: Death Rights presents an antiracist critique of British romanticism by deconstructing one of its organizing tropes—the suicidal creative “genius.” Putting texts by Olaudah Equiano, Mary Shelley, John Keats, and others into critical conversation with African American literature, black studies, and feminist theory, Deanna P. Koretsky argues that romanticism is part and parcel of the legal and philosophical discourses underwriting liberal modernity’s antiblack foundations. Read in this context, the trope of romantic suicide serves a distinct political function, indexing the limits of liberal subjectivity and (re)inscribing the rights and freedoms promised by liberalism as the exclusive province of white men. The first book-length study of suicide in British romanticism, Death Rights also points to the enduring legacy of romantic ideals in the academy and contemporary culture more broadly. Koretsky challenges scholars working in historically Eurocentric fields to rethink their identification with epistemes rooted in antiblackness. And, through discussions of recent cultural touchstones such as Kurt Cobain’s resurgence in hip-hop and Victor LaValle’s comic book sequel to Frankenstein, Koretsky provides all readers with a trenchant analysis of how eighteenth-century ideas about suicide continue to routinize antiblackness in the modern world. Print versions available for purchase at
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: SUNY Repository
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: SUNY Press
URL 3:
URL 3 Description: Project Muse
Type: Single author monograph