Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xiv

I was a seven-year-old curled up in a movie theater seat watching Ms. Jones as Katrina in Vamp (1986). My fingers were curled in anticipation on either side of my head, ready to plug my ears in terror at any hint of surprise or film-constructed danger. I was ensconced between my beloved aunt Errolyn—whom I had convinced ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvi

I have been writing this book for the better part of a decade and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who brought this moment to fruition. I would first and foremost like to thank God, for none of this would be possible without my faith and the protection He provides through my ancestors. ...

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Introduction. Searching for Sycorax: Black Women and Horror

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pp. 1-15

Defining the genre of horror remains an ongoing challenge, for it is one of the few genres that depends upon the reaction of the viewer/reader.1 Like many questions of genre, particularly concerning genres not traditionally considered the High Arts, producing a definitive taxonomic definition of horror proves quite difficult. ...

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1. The Importance of Neglected Intersections: Characterizations of Black Women in Mainstream Horror Texts

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pp. 16-40

In June 2005, black feminist critics Yolanda Hood and Gwendolyn D. Pough edited an issue of the Femspec journal dedicated to black women and speculative fiction in which they questioned the “surge in fantastic representations of Black womanhood.”1 The critics were the first to make a scholarly note of how black women ...

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2. Black Feminism and the Struggle for Literary Respectability

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pp. 41-55

The search for Sycorax does not develop from a vacuum of black feminism, nor can its subversive nature only be ascribed as a healing salve for the racially gendered wounds inflicted by horror studies. In the previous chapter, I discussed how horror criticism has failed in articulating a complex space for black women as well as the problematic nature ...

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3. Black Women Writing Fluid Fiction: An Open Challenge to Genre Normativity

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pp. 56-94

This chapter discusses the fluid lines between horror, fantasy, science fiction, and speculative fiction and how contemporary black women genre writers exploit the obfuscation of these lines to articulate the simultaneity of oppressions that uniquely affect black women. Weakened distinctions between science fiction, fantasy, ...

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4. Folkloric Horror: A New Way of Reading Black Women’s Creative Horror

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pp. 95-126

At the climax of Bree Newsome’s short film Wake (2010), the black woman protagonist, Charmaine, rushes through the woods in her nightgown, hair unbound with harried, furtive glances behind her in the morning light. Charmaine’s world has crumbled around her—her father is dead, and she suspects her recent husband to be a special kind of evil and possibly inhuman— ...

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Conclusion. Sycorax’s Power of Revision: Reconstructing Black Women’s Counternarratives

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pp. 127-132

The 2016 release of Beyoncé’s audiovisual album Lemonade heightens the need for the development of a black women’s horror aesthetic. The visuals are suffused with the presence of Santeria’s orishas, Vodou’s loas, and West African monstrous goddesses such as Mami Wata. The chapter “Anger” features the words of poet Warsan Shire being read by Beyoncé ...

Appendix: Creative Work Summary

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pp. 133-166

Notes

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pp. 167-194

Index

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pp. 195-200

About the Author

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