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Change my cultural coloring again: anti-colonial identities in Octavia E. Butler's feminist science fiction

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This article explores how the literature of the African American writer Octavia Butler elucidates the intersections of several political and cultural movements/phenomena: black women's writing, anti-colonial and feminist discourses, and western science fiction (SF). I relate Butler's writing to Carole Boyce Davies' theory of black women's migratory subjectivity', as well as to Mae Gwendolyn Henderson's notion of black women's writing as a reflection of simultaneity of discourses. Butler's work mirrors Davies' theory that black women's writing is crucial in understanding how women negotiate identities in the context of migration and colonial displacement. In her complex narratives of extraterrestrial displacement and colonized people, Butler explores the idea of an identity based in elsewhere as a creation of resistance to Eurocentric and US-centered domination.

Keywords: African American; black; literature; science fiction; women's writing

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Temple University.

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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  • The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics is committed to analyzing the politics of communication(s) and cultural processes. It addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, recognizing equally the importance of issues defined by their specific cultural geography and those that traverse cultures and nations.
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