Re-membering the normative black female body : a critical investigation of race, gender and disability in Octavia Butler's Kindred and Toni Morrison's Sula
Sellitti, Alicia Dawn.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Close readings of Octavia Butler and Toni Morrison's texts will demonstrate how these authors employ the trope of disability to reveal black female normativity as a discursive construction. As imagined in Western cultural discourse, a normative black female body is a born producer and reproducer, inherently suited to manual, sexual and reproductive labor. Initially used as a justification for enslavement, this perception has become discursively cemented in the cultural imagination, the fact of its construction concealed by time and ideology. Butler and Morrison, however, defy the cultural mandate that black female bodies be (re)producers in the service of the dominant discourse. In their texts, Butler and Morrison dismember black female normativity by rupturing bodies, time and space, so that the black female body can be re-membered outside its proscribed cultural boundaries.
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