Traveling discourses: subjectivity, space and spirituality in black women's speculative fictions in the Americas

by Jones, Esther

Abstract (Summary)
This manuscript comparatively examines the production of speculative fiction by black women writers from Brazil, Jamaica, the United States and Canada. Examination of each text reveals the way in which black female subjectivity, African-based spiritual epistemology, and African diasporic spaces converge to create multiply liminal discourses, which are the counterhegemonic articulations of black agency—particularly through the use of African spiritual paradigms—in envisioning liberated futures. Multiply liminal discourse as an interpretive frame establishes the shared position of black female liminality and African epistemological frames of reference while remaining attendant to the particulars of difference generated by varied historical developments in African diasporic spaces. The examinations of the works within this text, utilizing multiply liminal discourse as an interpretive methodology, reveal the potential for enactment of "strategic essentialism" toward an integrated theoretical and practical liberatory discourse and politics. This occurs within the texts through reclaiming agency for black womanhood and black romantic relationships in Aline França's A Mulher de Aleduma; embracing African heritage particularly through one of the most demonized cultural legacies, African spirituality, in Erna Brodber's Louisiana and Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring; and the expansive and inclusive vision of liberation ideology that embraces difference and change through Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. This manuscript concludes by discussing the integration of ideology and activism through multiply liminal discourse, the ways in which speculative fiction enables that integration and ultimate implications for black liberation.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:black african american caribbean afro canadian brazilian women speculative fiction science spirituality diaspora subjectivity liberation theology octavia butler nalo hopkinson erna brodber aline franca


Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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