In this Book

Searching for Sycorax highlights the unique position of Black women in horror as both characters and creators. Kinitra D. Brooks creates a racially gendered critical analysis of African diasporic women, challenging the horror genre’s historic themes and interrogating forms of literature that have often been ignored by Black feminist theory. Brooks examines the works of women across the African diaspora, from Haiti, Trinidad, and Jamaica, to England and the United States, looking at new and canonized horror texts by Nalo Hopkinson, NK Jemisin, Gloria Naylor, and Chesya Burke. These Black women fiction writers take advantage of horror’s ability to highlight U.S. white dominant cultural anxieties by using Africana folklore to revise horror’s semiotics within their own imaginary. Ultimately, Brooks compares the legacy of Shakespeare’s Sycorax (of The Tempest) to Black women writers themselves, who, deprived of mainstream access to self-articulation, nevertheless influence the trajectory of horror criticism by forcing the genre to de-centralize whiteness and maleness.  

Table of Contents

  1. Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xiv
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xv-xvi
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  1. Introduction. Searching for Sycorax: Black Women and Horror
  2. pp. 1-15
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  1. 1. The Importance of Neglected Intersections: Characterizations of Black Women in Mainstream Horror Texts
  2. pp. 16-40
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  1. 2. Black Feminism and the Struggle for Literary Respectability
  2. pp. 41-55
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  1. 3. Black Women Writing Fluid Fiction: An Open Challenge to Genre Normativity
  2. pp. 56-94
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  1. 4. Folkloric Horror: A New Way of Reading Black Women’s Creative Horror
  2. pp. 95-126
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  1. Conclusion. Sycorax’s Power of Revision: Reconstructing Black Women’s Counternarratives
  2. pp. 127-132
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  1. Appendix: Creative Work Summary
  2. pp. 133-166
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 167-194
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 195-200
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  1. About the Author
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Additional Information

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Launched on MUSE
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