Forging Emancipatory Pasts, Presents, and Futures: Reproductive (In)justices, Premature Deaths, and Decolonial Families in Feminist Black and Brown Reproductive Dystopias

Date
2019
Authors
Nieto, Megan Elizabeth
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Abstract

This dissertation argues that a viable framework of reproductive justice is a necessary complement to a coherent study of race, gender, and class in contemporary American Literature. In this vein, I examine the place of reproductive issues in debates concerning familial violence, labor exploitation, and state violence in Mexican American, African American, and Filipino American literatures to point towards similar histories of colonialism and genocide experienced by Mexican American, African American, and Filipino American communities in the United States. Through this approach, I give full attention to contemporary Mexican American, African American, and Filipino American feminist writers' engagement with reproductive issues in debates concerning familial violence, labor exploitation, and state violence, a hitherto understudied area of literary studies. I am concerned with how the literary texts I am selecting raise awareness of reproductive justice issues from an intersectional approach in several ways, through their tropes, plots, characters, thematic concerns, settings, and genre blending. The feminist writers of color whose work I examine offer similar critiques of coloniality through the critical crafting of what I term feminist Black and Brown reproductive dystopias, a flexible, permeable genre that allows critical examination of reproductive issues, premature deaths, and decolonial families.

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Keywords
Decolonial, Dystopia, Genre Fiction, Mothering, Multiethnic Literature, Reproductive Justice
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Department
English