Black women writers and the spatial limits of the African diaspora
Schindler, Melissa Elisabeth
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My dissertation contends that diaspora, perhaps the most visible spatial paradigm for theorizing black constructions of identity and self, is inherently limited by the historical conditions of its rise as well as the preoccupations with which it has been most closely associated. I propose that we expand our theoretico-spatio terms for constructions of blackness to include the space of the home, the space of the plantation and the space of the prison (what I call the space of justice). These three spaces point to literary themes, characters, and beliefs that the space of diaspora alone does not explain. Each chapter analyzes the work of three or four writers from the United States, Brazil and Mozambique. These writers include: Paulina Chiziane, Conceição Evaristo, Octavia E. Butler, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Carolina Maria de Jesus, Bernice McFadden, Wanda Coleman, Ifa Bayeza and Asha Bandele.