Of Bodies, Communities, and Voices

Agency in Writings by Octavia Butler


45,00 € *

1. Edition, 2015
238 Pages

ISBN: 978-3-8253-7524-9
Product: Ebook
Edition: PDF
Subject: Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Series: American Studies – A Monograph Series, Volume No.: 262
Available: 22.09.2015

Keywords: Handlungsvermögen, Subjektivität, African American Studies, Butler, Octavia, Science fiction, gender studies, Gendertheorie, Amerikanische Literatur, 20. Jahrhundert, Autonomie, Gemeinschaft


This study investigates the narrative contribution of texts by African American science fiction author Octavia Butler to ongoing philosophical debates about the conceptualization of agency. These debates have been central and highly controversial both within the context of postmodern de- and reconstructions of the subject and within the ongoing struggle of feminism, critical race studies, and other schools of thought for social justice.

Discussing five novels and one short story by Butler, this book demonstrates that these texts, creatively referencing African American literary traditions, do not only individually perform multifaceted theoretical work regarding agency. They also engage in an intertextual dialogue with each other on the ethical and theoretical complexities of agency, specifically in relation to three categories at the heart of African American (women’s) cultural history: body, community, and voice.

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in: American Literature, Vol. 88.4 (2016), 872