Sensory Materialism and N. K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season
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This paper reframes theories of vital materialism and connectivity through African American perspectives, establishing an approach of “sensory materialism” based on the African American call-and-response tradition and Fred Moten’s ideas of “bone-deep” listening and “the ensemble of senses” (67). It then uses this approach to analyze N. K. Jemisin’s novel The Fifth Season, focusing on close readings of the systems of oppression in the world of the novel, the plurality of the narrative structure, the vitality of the novel’s earthly bodies, and the possibilities it presents for transformative, positive African American eco-relations. The paper concludes by advocating for more culturally diverse approaches to the agency and life of matter.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
Copyright DateJuly 2019
African American literature