Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (MA)
Second Committee Member
indigenous futurism, meta-slavery, Nnedi Okorafor, postcolonial literature, science fiction, speculative fiction
In recent years, a number of authors have written science fiction works that express the concerns and experiences of marginalized people groups, including those in postcolonial societies, Indigenous/First Nations peoples, and other racial minorities. These works provide counter narratives to that of much canonical science fiction, which developed from narrative forms that often explicitly and implicitly supported colonial ideologies, and still often includes these ideologies today. This thesis analyzes the way The Book of Phoenix (2015) by the NigerianAmerican speculative fiction author Nnedi Okorafor uses a combination of the forms of Indigenous futurism and what Isiah Lavender terms meta-slavery narratives in order to challenge the hegemonic ideologies of Western science fiction. Through the fictional LifeGen Technologies, Okorafor draws attention to the continuation of the racist ideologies that informed slavery and colonialism into today’s systems, thus highlighting the modern exploitation of people of color. The character of Phoenix provides an example of ways to resist hegemonic ideologies, such as community, self-definition, and non-Western ways of viewing the world.
Eubanks, Ellen, "The Persistence of the Past into the Future: Indigenous Futurism and Future Slave Narratives as Transformative Resistance in Nnedi Okorafor's The Book of Phoenix" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 3117.