"Inhabitants of the Deep": Water and the Material Imagination of Blackness
This dissertation undertakes a black ecocritical study of the trope of water in African Diasporic Literature. Over the course of three chapters treating fiction, drama, and photography, in a study both multi-generic and interdisciplinary in scope, I illuminate the ways in which black literature recursively figures the problem of being black in terms of a recurring crisis of having no ground that originates with and is haunted by the waters of Middle Passage. However, beyond its traumatic associations with the slave trade, I also argue, following the aesthetic philosophy of Gaston Bachelard, that water provides the feature element of what I call the "material imagination of blackness." That is, a poetic and ethical imagination informed by the physiopoetic properties of water that inspires both black literary creation and enactments of black social life.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Rights for Collection: Duke Dissertations
Showing items related by title, author, creator, and subject.
Omelsky, Matthew (2018)This project examines how African diasporic writers and filmmakers from Zimbabwe, Martinique, Britain, and the United States inscribe into their works a sense of anticipation of release from subjection, as if to experience ...
Bradley, Rizvana (2013)"Corporeal Resurfacings: Faustin Linyekula, Nick Cave and Thornton Dial," examines art and performance works by three contemporary black artists. My dissertation is opened by the analytic of black female flesh provided ...
Panaram, Sasha Ann (2020)“The Space in Between: Middle Passage Movement and Black Women’s Literature” explores renderings of the Middle Passage in literature by African American and Caribbean writers. Departing from the premise that the term “Middle ...