Date of Award

11-27-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth West - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Layli Phillips

Third Advisor

Dr. Kameelah Martin Samuel

Abstract

Dana, the Black female protagonist in Octavia Butler’s novel Kindred (1979), finds herself literally and figuratively in medias res as she sporadically travels between her present day life in 1976 and her ancestral plantation of 1815 – two time periods that represent two converse concepts of her identity as a Black woman. As a result, her time travel experiences cause her to revise her racial and gendered identity from a historically fragmented Black woman, who defines herself solely on her contemporary experiences, to a Black woman who defines herself based on her present life and her personal and ancestral history of experiencing and overcoming racial and gendered oppression. Using Black feminist theory scholarship, this thesis examines Dana’s movement out of in medias res, through temporal double-consciousness, into a historically integrated identity or interstitial consciousness.

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