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Wrong Is Not My Name

Wrong Is Not My Name

Notes on (Black) Art

Erica N. Cardwell
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A dazzling hybrid of personal memoir and criticism, considering the work of Black visual artists as a means to explore loss, legacy, and the reclamation of life through art.

At the age of twenty-one, Erica Cardwell finds herself in New York City, reeling from the loss of her mother and numb to the world around her. She turns inward instead, reading books and composing poetry, eventually falling into the work of artists such as Blondell Cummings, Lorna Simpson, Lorraine O'Grady, and Kara Walker. Through them, she communes with her mother's spirit and legacy, and finds new ways to interrogate her writing and identity.Wrong Is Not My Name weaves together autobiography, criticism, and theory, and considers how Black women create alternative, queer, and "hysterical" lives through visual culture and performance. In poetic, interdisciplinary essays--combining analytical and lyrical stream-of-consciousness--Cardwell examines archetypes such as the lascivious Jezebel, the caretaking Mammy, and the elusive Sapphire to formulate new and inventive ways to write about art.Pioneering and inquisitive, Wrong Is Not My Name celebrates Black womanhood, and illuminates the ways in which art and storytelling reside at the core of being human.


Erica N. Cardwell is a writer, critic, and educator based in Brooklyn and Toronto. Cardwell's teaching and writing consider the consciousness and imaginations of people of color as a tool for social, spiritual, and collective movement. She centers Black feminist theory as her primary critical approach, and often writes about print and paper-making practices, archival media, and interdisciplinary performance. Her writing has appeared in ARTS. BLACK, Artsy, Frieze, BOMB, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, CULTURED, Hyperallergic, C Mag, Art in America, and other publications. Cardwell has been awarded residencies and fellowships from the Lambda Literary Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and the Queer Art Mentorship. She received her MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and has taught for various institutions, such as Parsons School of Design at The New School, Barnard College, City University of New York, and the Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency.


  • Publisher: Feminist Press
  • Publish Date: March 12, 2024
  • Pages: 224
  • Dimensions: 4.9 X 7.9 X 0.8 inches | 0.6 pounds
  • Language: English
  • Type: Paperback
  • EAN/UPC: 9781558613812
  • BISAC Categories: Personal Memoirs, Criticism & Theory, Ethnic Studies - African American Studies, Essays


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