Black and Chicana feminisms, science fiction, and US women's bodily oppressions in the past, present, and future

Date
2013
Authors
Ranft, Erin
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Abstract

Through a framework of Black and Chicana feminist theories, including intersectionality and nepantla, I argue in this dissertation that feminist science fiction authors engage and expose complex bodily issues that impact women in the United States, issues that specifically relate to racial identity, sexuality, and reproduction, and that these authors utilize the conventions of science fiction to create literature that portrays resistance by women of color against bodily oppressions. The theories of intersectionality and nepantla together create a feminist framework that examines the structural implications of oppression while also creating modes of resistance. Utilizing the Black and Chicana feminist scholarship of Gloria Anzaldúa, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Emma Pérez, Dorothy Roberts, Chela Sandoval, as well as others, I examine feminist science fiction texts and each author's construction of the narratives of women of color characters. The science fiction texts by Gloria Anzaldúa, Octavia Butler, Tananarive Due, and Phyllis Alesia Perry address the internalized, personal oppressions and experiences for women of color as they concurrently address systemic and cultural confrontations of characters with white heteropatriarchal society in the US. Feminist science fiction authors such as those discussed within this dissertation employ feminist theoretical notions within their works to simultaneously articulate the realities and possibilities related to the bodily oppressions of women of color within the US while also theorizing the potential outcomes of resistance by women to such oppressions.

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Keywords
Black, Chicana, Feminism, Intersectionality, Nepantla, Science Fiction
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Department
English