D.Phil. in English
My doctoral project explores how the idea of protest informs literature by African Americans. I’m looking at twenty-first century texts that turn away from the euphoria of post-race discourses toward a more sceptical, darkly satirical literary aesthetic. Novels by several key members of a post-civil rights generation of black authors are simultaneously a critical appreciation and a refutation of the African American literary and critical traditions they keep in view. I argue that even as they point to the limitations of literary strategies, these authors reach for more expansive yet finely grained verisimilitude between their imaginaries and commercially viable ‘real’ representations of black experience.