Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor's Name

Steven Blevins

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Nathaniel Cadle

Third Advisor's Name

Heather Russell

Keywords

Neo-slave narrative, historiographic metafiction, pastiche, polyphony, reconciliation

Date of Defense

11-1-2012

Abstract

The classic slave narrative recounted a fugitive slave’s personal story condemning slavery and hence working towards abolition. The neo-slave narrative underlines the slave’s historical legacy by unveiling the past through foregrounding African Atlantic experiences in an attempt to create a critical historiography of the Black Atlantic. The neo-slave narrative is a genre that emerged following World War II and presents us with a dialogue combining the history of 1970 - 2000. In this thesis I seek to explore how the contemporary counter-part of the classic slave narrative draws, reflects or diverges from the general conventions of its predecessor. I argue that by scrutinizing our notion of truth, the neo-slave narrative remains a relevant, important witness to the history of slavery as well as to today’s still racialized society. The historiographic metafiction of the neo-slave narrative rewrites history with the goal of digesting the past and ultimately leading to future reconciliation.

Identifier

FI12112703

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