Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor's Name

Martha Schoolman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jason Pearl

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Nandini Dhar

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Heather Russell

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Keywords

ecocriticism, contemporary literature, speculative fiction, science fiction, queer theory, feminism, english, octavia butler, janet mock, toni morrison, audre lorde, climate change, environmental justice, african american, activism, transgender, parable of the talents, queer ecology

Date of Defense

3-30-2017

Abstract

This thesis seeks to bridge feminist and environmental justice movements through the literature of black women writers. These writers create an archive that contribute towards the liberation of queer, black, and transgender peoples.

In the novel Parable of the Talents, Octavia Butler constructs a world that highlights the pervasive effects of climate change. As climate change expedites poverty, Americans begin to blame others, such as queer people, for the destruction of their country. Butler depicts the dangers of fundamentalism as a response to climate change, highlighting an imperative for a movement that does not romanticize the environment as heteronormative, but a space where queers can flourish.

Just as queer and environmental justice movements are codependent on one another, feminist movements cannot be separate from black and transgender liberation. This thesis will demonstrate how writers, such as Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Angela Davis, and Janet Mock, help establish a feminism that resists the erasure of black and transgender people.

Identifier

FIDC001788

 

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