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Showing posts from December, 2017

Searching For Sycorax: Black Girl Magic In The Blues & Conjure

"Folkloric Horror: A New Way of Reading Black Women's Creative Horror" (Music/Performance) & "Sycorax's Power of Revision: Reconstructing Black Women's Counternarratives"
Statement: Folkloric horror also extends to black women who make music. The blueswoman can be read as a conjure woman who brings the supernatural into the ordinary. Yet, conjure women are often labeled as marginalized outcasts. Brooks asserts that this status extends to the blueswoman and notes the "relationship between the blues and conjure".

Searching For Sycorax: Confirming A Black Women's Horror Aesthetic

"Folkloric Horror: A New Way of Reading Black Women's Creative Horror"
Thesis: Black women artists who create works classified as horror "specifically revise and and redefine the genre" by grounding their subversive storytelling in the ever-present issues/fear surrounding womanhood with "the principles of natal African religions." This section demonstrates a way to understand the aesthetic approach of black women horror creatives and its "literary history in black women's writing," and the use of folkloric horror to examine contemporary black women's writing.

Searching For Sycorax: The Fluidity Of Black Women's Horror Fiction

"Black Women Writing Fluid Fiction: An Open Challenge to Genre Normativity"

Thesis: Black women genre (horror, science fiction, fantasy, speculative) writers uniquely blend these themes in their work, creating a "fluid fiction" "to articulate the simultaneity of oppressions that uniquely affect black women."

The participation of black women in genre fiction:

1. Refuse to write their work in one genre. There is no distinct separation of horror, science fiction, fantasy, and the speculative.

2. Should not be positioned in "speculative fiction and Afrofuturism," and demonstrate an entirely unique subgenre "that is explicitly black and female."

3. Because genre lines have a natural tendency to blur, black women use this to their advantage in literary works, thus creating a subgenre that Dr. Brooks coins, fluid fiction.


Searching For Sycorax: The Struggle Of Black Women, Horror, & Literary Theory

"Black Feminism and the Struggle for Literary Respectability"
"The most egregious sin of black feminist literary scholars at the time remains their lack of engagement with the best-selling black woman writer of all time, Octavia Butler."
"black feminist literary theory lacks a space for horror...it proves detrimental in the recognition of the complexities of black women creators."
Statement: Black feminist literary theory has historically undermined the importance of horror/speculative texts written by Black women due to "the politics of literary respectability" that plagued this field and its movement to be accepted by academic standards. This chapter examines and why's and how's this respectability was employed in order for Black women's literature to be gained entrance into the academic literary canon and how the tactics have woefully overlooked speculative fiction written by black women.

#SciFiSunday: Black Feminism In Octavia Butler's Kindred

Science fiction has the ability to stretch ones imagination far beyond the logical and comprehensible. The fantastic element of the genre alludes to a creativity that forces an audience to suspend reality while simultaneously reflecting on the real, social world through the allegories played out in the genre. Additionally, it predicts our future and argues the existence of concurrent spaces. But what happens when science fiction moves backwards instead of forwards? How are we then to prognosticate our futures when we’re stuck in the past?

Octavia Butler’s 1979 classic Kindred took a radical angle on conceptualizing science fiction. The skeleton of the story being framed in the antebellum South before the Civil War[1] spins the reader into a time passed. One can imagine that Butler would like her audience to grasp the concept of the past in order to better understand the present and the future. Further, it is her main character, a black woman in her mid-twenties named Dana Franklin wh…

Searching For Sycorax: The Zombie Apocalypse, Black Women, & You

"The Importance Of Neglected Intersections: Characterizations of Black Women in Mainstream Horror Texts"
Thesis: The construction of black women characters in horror, while more bountiful than ever and proving "astronomical" in "advertising revenues" in the 21st century, still fail to escape disorienting and old tropes that diminish the complexities of Black womanhood in the genre. Here, Dr. Brooks "exposes mainstream horror's simplistic characterizations of black women by examining their presence in one of horror's most celebrated subgenres, the postapocalyptic zombie text" because of its varying, layered, and always complicated depictions of Black womanhood.

Searching for Sycorax: Black Women's Hauntings of Contemporary Horror

It tends to begin with a novel, or a comic book, someone on a screen. In the most extreme of circumstances or prosthetics, one character makes an indelible impression on our soft, youthful sensibilities. That one in horror is the pinnacle of overstimulation. Our imaginations run rampant; distorting truth and creating a reality that shakes our sense of safety to its very core. Yet, through terror, we are still here. Physically unscathed by what the screen makes possible. And for a little black girl in Louisiana, solving the equation of Grace Jones' alluring presence in 1986's Vamp was the spark that gives us "the first sustained critical examination of black women in contemporary horror," ever.