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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

English

First Advisor

Jonathan Flatley

Abstract

“Weird Propaganda: Texts of the Black Power and Women’s Liberation Movements” examines texts of the Black Power and Women’s Liberation Movements: the early Black Arts Movement anthology For Malcolm; the now-canonical texts Our Bodies, Ourselves; The Black Woman; and Sisterhood Is Powerful; a number of pamphlets and other small press works; and the Black Panthers’ newspaper. This project argues that writers and activists used senses of the uncanny, along with elements of science fiction and fantasy, to negotiate the day-to-day uncertainties of political organizing and, more broadly, political hope. The texts examined here convey particular political views in an explict way; they also ask questions about the nature of collectivity, who might be included in categories such as women or Black or working class and what that inclusion means; what a future in which radical ideas spread would actually look like; and what might have been otherwise under different conditions. The texts express uncertainty about address: who does the text represent; who does it speak to; who is the we. The ghastly, spectral, and uncanny, as well as self-referentiality, allow writers to negotiate questions of representation and futurity.

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