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Title page for ETD etd-06282013-100304

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Averin, Rosalee Coleen
URN etd-06282013-100304
Title Aftermaths of the African Diaspora: The Apocalyptic Post-Apocalypse in Octavia Butler's Kindred and Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring
Degree Master of Arts
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Vera Kutzinski Committee Chair
Ifeoma Nwankwo Committee Member
  • apocalyptic
  • post-apocalyptic
  • african diaspora
  • time
  • nation
Date of Defense 2013-07-19
Availability unrestricted
Octavia Butler’s Kindred and Nalo Hopkinson’s Brown Girl in the Ring are African diasporic texts that trouble the boundaries of nation, home, time, and genre, as they are traditionally defined. This thesis argues that Butler and Hopkinson accomplish such a troubling through the use of post-apocalyptic frameworks that displace the characters in time and space in their respective national contexts. With Kindred set in the United States and Brown Girl in Canada, the effect of national context on the experience of post-apocalypse in the African diaspora is felt strongly, making salient the differences between the United States melting pot and Canada’s government sanctioned multiculturalism. Through exploring scholarly theorizations of time, belonging, home, and nation within and without the African diaspora, I argue that the dynamic differences and similarities Brown Girl and Kindred offer within their post-apocalyptic contexts mirror those that exist for literary analysis of African diasporic texts more broadly. This theoretical basis helps clarify the productive possibility of considering certain African diasporic texts as post-apocalyptic without foreclosing their position within existing literary genres, including speculative and science fiction, and the neo-slave narrative. Butler and Hopkinson’s texts help us understand that post-apocalypse in the African diaspora presents more than a fevered warning of what could come if our actions continued on unfettered in certain trajectories. Post-apocalypse is a reminder of a past that will not disappear, and a call to embrace the longevity of this past in the interest of best serving our possible futures.
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