Date of Award

5-2018

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Advisor

David Kress

Second Committee Member

Gregory Howard

Third Committee Member

Ryan Dippre

Additional Committee Members

Margo Lukens

Abstract

This thesis is a collection of eight original stories that explore the intersection of the Black female body and magical realism. This work uses fiction as a means to explore such issues as Blackness, Womanness, Witch-ness, birth, death, mothers, sisters, southern space and the vagina as both a force of destruction and construction. From a research perspective, the thesis is in conversation with the African American Oral Tradition of storytelling using elements of southern folklore and myth as a motif. This includes legends of the “boo-hag” from the Gullah region, haints, and the “loup garou” from New Orleans. Other themes present are themes of sexuality, sexual awakening, wounding, healing, goddesses as a reflection of woman, silence, silencing, water, flight as escape and identity. The central question this thesis seeks to ask is: Why aren’t Black woman represented in magical realism spaces? This work is an attempt at providing a space for the Black feminine to exist in a fictional space outside of the master-slave cultural narrative. This thesis also seeks to ask and answer questions about Black masculinity and how Black Masculinity is seen in relation to the Black female body.

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