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Citations since 2017
7 Research Items
I am a Black feminist literary and cultural critical who focuses on Black political thought and cultural politics in Black speculative fiction and culture. My current book project, Sea People, intersects Black feminist critical humanisms, ecocriticism, and sci-fi, fantasy, and Afrofuturism studies in a study of mermaids and water spirits in African diasporic expressive culture.
Mermaids are plural and complex beings with significant implications, as human-animal-hybrids, for a critique of androcentrism and the Anthropocene. Yet theorizations of the mermaid within monster studies rarely critically engage Black mermaid texts. This article defines a particular recurring narrative within Afrofuturism’s imaginings of aquatic h...
This article defines what I call the ‘crossing merfolk’ narrative, the idea that African people who jumped or were cast overboard during the Middle Passage became water-dwelling beings. While critical attention has been increasing for 1990s’ electronic music duo Drexciya, whose sonic fiction contains the most well-known example of this narrative, t...
This article examines the gendered implications of what I call Afrotopia: the imagining of an ancient, powerful African civilization untouched by colonialism, in Pauline Hopkins 1903 serial, Of One Blood; Or, The Hidden Self. Many, in tracing a geneology of Afrofuturism, have identified this novel as a precursor to the contemporary form. As such, t...
The ugly, grotesque alien is one of science fiction’s most enduring tropes. Where usually this ugly alien is the embodiment of evil, science fiction writer Octavia Butler refuses to represent it as a single-dimensional being. While she constructs insectoid and many-tentacled beings that might feel physically familiar as monsters, she endows them wi...
Blackgirlmagic has become a mode of digital resistance against the devalutation of black women and girls. But it has also provoked criticism by black feminists who question the movement's political potential given its propensity towards foregrounding the beautiful and the able bodied. Further, such critics have interrogated its reinscription of a "...