The Politics of Utopia and Dystopia in Late Twentieth-Century Black Literature

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Material Information

Title:
The Politics of Utopia and Dystopia in Late Twentieth-Century Black Literature
Physical Description:
1 online resource (471 p.)
Language:
english
Creator:
Tabone, Mark A
Publisher:
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
English
Committee Chair:
WEGNER,PHILLIP E
Committee Co-Chair:
SCHUELLER,MALINI JOHAR
Committee Members:
AMOKO,APOLLO OBONYO
KROEN,SHERYL T
JACOBS,NAOMI

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
african-american -- dystopia -- globalization -- late-twentieth-century -- literature -- postcolonial -- utopia
English -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre:
English thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract:
This study demonstrates how theconcept of utopia offers new insights into the convergence of art and politicsin black literature. It is in part a response to Dohra Ahmad’s 2009 call toaddress the nearly “complete absence” of scholarship on the black literaryutopia. It takes an interdisciplinary and transnational approach to elucidatinghow black authors used utopian and dystopian literary forms to work for socialtransformation during the last third of the twentieth century, and historicizestheir relationship to the social, racial, and political realities of the “ageof globalization.” Chapter I introduces this project and develops acomprehensive theoretical framework for reading black utopian literature. To doso, it places the ideas of black studies scholars like Paul Gilroy, FrantzFanon, and others in conversation with utopian studies scholars like RuthLevitas, Fredric Jameson, and Ernst Bloch. Chapter II explores the dialectic ofdystopia and utopia in the fiction of American author John A. Williams. Itconcentrates on the radical politics of two works from the turbulent 1960s: The Man Who Cried I Am (1967) and Sons of Darkness, Sons of Light (1967).A postscript notes the political shifts in the more sober later novels Jacob’s Ladder (1987) and Clifford’s Blues (1999). Chapter IIIoffers utopian readings of Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s novels Petals of Blood (1975), Devil on the Cross (1982), and Matigari (1987). It argues that thedrastic aesthetic transformations observable in Ngugi’s “messianic” fiction arerelated to his utopian politics. Chapter IV discusses Alice Walker’s Meridian (1976), Toni Cade Bambara’s The Salt Eaters (1980), and ToniMorrison’s Paradise (1997). It arguesthat these “healing narratives” represent a distinctive utopian sub-form, and thatthese three novels attempt to revive the waning utopian desires of the 1960swhile critiquing the problematic gender politics of that decade’s Black FreedomMovement. Chapter V concludes by speculating about the shape of black utopianliterature after the millennium through readings of Nigerian-British author BenOkri’s In Arcadia (2001),Jamaican-American author Claudia Rankine’s Don’tLet Me Be Lonely (2004), and American author Colson Whitehead’s Apex Hides the Hurt (2006).
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Mark A Tabone.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2013.
Local:
Adviser: WEGNER,PHILLIP E.
Local:
Co-adviser: SCHUELLER,MALINI JOHAR.
Electronic Access:
RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2015-12-31

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Classification:
lcc - LD1780 2013
System ID:
UFE0045746:00001