Historiographic Metafiction and the Neo-slave Narrative: Pastiche and Polyphony in Caryl Phillips, Toni Morrison and Sherley Anne Williams
Master of Arts (MA)
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First Advisor's Committee Title
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Third Advisor's Name
Neo-slave narrative, historiographic metafiction, pastiche, polyphony, reconciliation
Date of Defense
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.
Hawkins, Christiane, "Historiographic Metafiction and the Neo-slave Narrative: Pastiche and Polyphony in Caryl Phillips, Toni Morrison and Sherley Anne Williams" (2012). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 741.
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