Monstrous Works: African American Women Writing Labor and Life Beyond Sovereignty


LAC Burkhardt




For residence at the Department of English at the University of Delaware during academic year 2016-2017


What if one selects to identify with monsters instead of running away from them? Monstrous Works analyzes written and visual texts produced by black women writers during the mid-twentieth century and considers how these writers redeployed conceptions of “monsters” and “the monstrous” to imaginatively reorganize the world. As such, their works converge at the point of creating a genealogy of black female possibility beyond rights and respectability while also exploring how black women as cultural workers offer alternative and expansive modes for considering the enduring question of what it means to be human.