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||Race and Ethnicity/African American Studies
Dr. Alexis Brooks De Vita takes up the challenge to develop culturally relevant modes of literary analysis of African/Diaspora literatures by identifying traditional African and Diaspora figures of myth, religion, legend, and history that interact with African and Diaspora literary heroines and their authors. Following upon Karla Holloway's arguments in Moorings and Metaphors that African American and West African women share strong traits of storytelling that both isolate and identify their literatures, Brooks De Vita traces these traits to their religious, legendary, and historical sources, identifying African and Diaspora female figures of power whose interaction with literary protagonists places personal stories among the collective historical and spiritual African/Diaspora experience, broadening and deepening each authorial voice by demonstrating how it breaks free of the European perspective of linear time and resonates in a timeless community whose members ceaselessly interact.
African/Diaspora women's symbols of power assert their autonomous definitions of good and evil, enabled by decolonialist analysis as expounded by theorists such as Chinweizu, Jemie, and Madubuike to be separated from universalizing, Eurocentric or masculinist assessments. Symbols of inherent, rootedness and empowerment are clearly identified, allowing the reader to perceive tales of salvation and success underlying and further developing literal tales of suffering, surrender, or loss. Will be of particular interest to students, scholars, and researchers of comparative literature as well as African American literature and African/Diaspora and Women's Studies.
- Table of Contents
Introduction: Reading African/Diaspora Women's Mythatypes
Trees as Spiritual Mothers
She Who Nurtures and Devours
Child Sacrifice and Salvation
Rape and Rage
Air and Fire, Bringing Rain
Cruelty, Castration, and Claiming
The River and the Wall
Conclusion: This Moment of Epiphany
[T]he work represents groundbreaking research.
...remarkable for its impressive scope of knowledge, particularly in the area of African lore and literature.
A complex, in-depth survey, ^IMythatypes^R is highly recommended for college-level students of African literary roots.